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Is it possible to install XP on an HDD then transfer it too another comp to boot from

By devinepaul
May 28, 2009
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  1. The general idea is too install XP from my desktop comp onto my laptop HDD which is in an external USB enclosure.

    My laptop is a Toshiba Satellite P35-S609. It's a P4 3.2ghz with hyperthreading. The desktop is an AMD 3700+.

    My reason for wanting to install the OS onto the laptop HDD outside of the laptop it is intended for is b/c I believe I have exhausted all other options of getting this computer to load an OS.

    I have tried several versions of UBCD and BartPE but I am under the impression that the computer simply won't boot from a USB. Yes, I changed the boot order to "removable devices" in bios. I have also tried booting from Win XP CD and UBCD and several other boot discs but I am under the impression that the bios simply isn't recognizing the dvd drive. It powers up when I push the eject button but does nothing when I try to boot from it. (Once again I changed the boot order in bios to boot from DVD).

    So my only other option for booting is to boot from a network and well I really don't want to start tackling that.

    The history of the situation is that I used a program called drivercleaner pro, which I have used with no problems before, and I think it erased chipset drivers. I was getting a BSOD immediately when windows began to load. So I saved the files from the laptop and then reformated it preparing for a reinstall. But now I am unable to boot from DVD as I have done in the past on this very same computer. My other option of resetting the bios is, to my knowledge, work for a tech since the CMOS battery is soldered to the MB and there are no jumpers to clear cmos.

    So I read a little on the sysprep and HAL but it didn't seem to address what I was attempting.

    So I'm at a loss and any help would be appreciated. I realize I didn't leave my sys specs, kind of hard as I'm at work at the moment but I can provide further information shortly.
  2. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,336   +49

    The correct way to move an OS in the manners you wish is to make a 'drive image' (q.v.) then install that drive image on the new HDD. Any other way will not boot, because of the way windows starts from a boot loader.

    Having said that, such a restore will still not work on different hardware, and will also decide it is a pirated copy because certain hardware tags in WGA will no longer match up, quite apart from the fact that the laptop OS is probably keyed to a Toshiba OEM version.

    Once an incorrect image is installed on the other PC, your one and only chance of getting it to work is to boot from a full Windows install CD/DVD and run what is called a 'repair installation'. That would set the proper drivers for the new hardware, excepting that they will all have to be installed from downloads on the web for all your new hardware, starting from the motherboard...

    Oh dear, why can't I just say, 'sorry, it will not work ??!!'

    All I can suggest is - for the desktop, you HAVE to have the install media for the desktop, or a recovery partition (if appropriate). Since your DVD does not want to work as a bootable media, you could just replace it (temporarily, with a bog-standard CD drive. On the face of it, you are trying to use the same copy of Windows on 2 PC's and MS have ways of stopping you doing that.
  3. devinepaul

    devinepaul Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    gbhall Thanks for the quick reply. Sadly I think I'm confused already. I have multiple valid copies of XP. For all my computers and the Toshiba one is aptly labeled. So there is no way to take the Toshiba XP Install disc and install that to the laptop HDD which is in an external case attached to my desktop? I guess create a drive image on the laptop HDD?

    I can see the confusion after reading my post. I don't want to install the same XP as my desktop or a cloned image of that particular computer. I want to install the XP that came with the Toshiba laptop onto the laptop hard drive. Or, for that matter anything that will let me boot from the laptop hard drive when it is "internal" then hopefully access the DVD drive and access the XP CD and recovery console.

    I don't know if I already stated this but I have reformatted and reinstalled the XP twice before on this OS with no hang ups.

    I am going to borrow a CD-rom and floppy from a friend that will fit in my laptop. This will hopefully rule out any optical hardware problems and should they actually work allow me to re-install.
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