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Can I Swap primary hard deives between computers?


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#1
njlock

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My nephew (who lives with me) has a dell 2400 , I have a dell 4600, He has more use for the better computer, than I (gaming mostly), the 4600 is a rarely used backup, I usually use my laptop. But I have a lot of junk on there I'd like to keep. Can I just swap out the hard drives? Or is that just silly? If not can I copy the entire contents of this drive to an external hard drive and then just access my files/programs though that? Or is my thinking totally off?

Basically whats the easiest way to get my data/setup to the other computer? I could just reinstall everything, but thats a pain.

If the swapping hard drive thing does'nt fly, I'd have to reformat the drive on the 2400, as he has much junk.

Another question. I've bought 3-4 dells roughly the same time frame (xmas gifts) so I have the original disc's all together and not seperated by computer. Do I have to have the exact right xp disc?, or as long as I know the proper cd key it should'nt matter? So if i want to reformat and reinstall xp from scratch, I won't have any problem? Do I need to reformat, or will reinstalling xp, automatically wipe out the hard drive? Thanks Dave

Edited by njlock, 16 October 2005 - 07:02 PM.

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#2
Michael

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You could swap the hard drive, you just might run in to hardware issues where the hardware is not reconized. You can try if it gets to the desktop evey thing would be easy, if not you will have to format.

Any CD will work, as long as you have a valid CD key.
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#3
Tyger

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Win2k and XP don't get along well with changing motherboards, but if they have the same chipsets you may be OK. You may need to run a repair with the cd-rom.
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#4
njlock

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Ok Cool!, will give it a shot. What about the dell cd key, Do you think the one on the side label of computer will be ok, or will I have to call dell for the multi licence cd key? If I'm able to swap hard drives, do you think there will be any problem with the windows activation? (i.e. both computers having different xp cd keys, than the computer was built with?
Thanks alot for the advice, I'll let you know what happened, after I'm ready to do this. Dave
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#5
Guse

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The one on the side label should be the one you're looking for.

You will most likely HAVE to reactivate the product (with which key, I have no idea). It's no big deal, but with the way you're doing it you may end up having to give Microsoft a call to do it. They're usually pretty nice about the whole thing, just explain that the old HDD is in the new machine.
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#6
dsenette

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if you're just wanting to save your data files...you can just throw the drive in as a slave and transfer that stuff over, then format the drive....you would have to reinstall any usefull software on the new machine's hd if it doesn't already come that way
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#7
TestyTech

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You might get a Blue screen at boot up if the IDE controllers are other than those reconized by Windows XP by default.

Personally I would not swap the Hard Drives. Even if they boot after the swap neither system will be optimally configured. If it is just data you want on the other computer copy it accross the network. If you want the applications/configuration also take the time to back up your data and load from scratch, less problems in the long run and better performance.


As for the XP keys from Dell, all the CDs you have look the same you will have no problem. But if you have one CD that comes pre configured with SP1 or SP2 the keys may not be reconized.
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