How to move a HDD with op sys to new laptop

By trimjim007 ยท 11 replies
Jan 4, 2008
  1. I purchased a used Dell Inspiron 3700 without an operating system on the hard disk drive. The Dell Inspiron 3700 has a Pentium 4 processor.

    I have a much older slower Clevo model 98 laptop with windows 2000 on it. I would like to take the hard disk drive out of the older Clevo laptop with windows 2000 on it and put the hdd in the newer Dell laptop. The older Clevo laptop with windows 2000 has a AMD K-6 processor.

    But when I add the drive with windows 2000 on it to the Dell Inspiron 3700 laptop, and power up, it will not boot. I do not get any error messages or anything. Just a blank screen.

    Can someone tell me how to make it work on the Dell Laptop? The Dell Inspiron 3700 came from the factory originally with windows 2000 on it, so I know windows can be installed. Also both hard disk drives are the exact same model, same capacity, same everything. The only difference is one is erased and one has windows 2000 on it.

    When I power up I get a blank screen only. My suspicion is that the drivers expect the Clevo model 98 and do not know how to talk to the Dell Inspiron 3700. If that is the case, can anyone tell me how to change the drivers to match the Dell Inspiron 3700? I do not know where the drivers are stored. Or what drivers are necessary.

    What drivers are needed? Is it he drivers for the processor, keyboard, screen, ??? Can someone help me? Please.
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

  3. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    The BIOS update is unnecessary as the Inspiron 3700 comes equipped to deal with the differences you describe.
    You will need a Windows 2000 install disk to do this properly, and the product ID of the Dell will not work on this other drive. You need to run W2K in repair mode to get functional operation. Microsoft designed in prevention to avoid illegal copying of the W2K OS... it is easier to do than Windows XP, but unless you have a great deal of experience, you are not likely to be very successful. You can tweak the new drive as a slave in another machine, but you will still need a W2K disk to do so.
    The Dell version of W2K is slightly different than the OEM or other W2k versions... and you must have the correct product ID and disk.
    Contact Dell. They may say that they no longer support W2K. But they may also sell you a Dell recovery disc set for less than $40 including shipping if you provide them with the service tag and express service code. They will only do this if they still have the old disk sets in stock. Once they run out, they do not make more. Before you contact Dell for disks, go to the Dell site and change the ownership from previous owner, or unknown, to you. Then wait 15 days to order the disks. A number of Dell machines, however, used an original Microsoft W2K install disk, with separate application and device driver packages.
    Oh, and a... The disc set from Dell will wipe out everything on the drive as part of the install.
  4. trimjim007

    trimjim007 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks Raybay. I cannot transfer ownership at Dell because I do not know the original owner's name. My laptop is little more than a door stop now. Setup is password protected and I do not know the password. I cannot change the boot device to add windows from a CD.

    This was my last hope. I've tried everything to get by the password problem. I got screwed. I didn't know it was password protected when I bought it. I have no way of adding an operating system. I bought this laptop in good faith but got screwed. Unless someone can think of another way.
  5. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Does bios update delete passwords ? I'm not actually sure
  6. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    You do not need to know the original owners name. It just takes a bit longer to show you as owner, when you run the ownership without a previous owner... Two weeks will do it... probably 7 days... but 2 weeks for sure.

    As for the password, Dell has had their hands on that machine. Definitely. Either your company had it remanufactured, or it was traded for a Dell refurb which had the EEPROM erased. What you have was NOT done by some local contract tech person.

    BIOS does not update delete passwords. They have to be keyboard entered into the EEPROM. Due to the theft and fraud and requests from insurance companies and corporate headquarters, Any normal BIOS or field action on passwords was eliminated in nearly all models back in the Fall of 2003 and February of 2004. Until then, anybody with a battery probe or electronic knowledge could remove a password.
  7. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Admin Password
    Reset Admin Password to Blank. Access XP/2000/NT/2003/Server!
  8. mscrx

    mscrx TS Rookie Posts: 310

    @trimjim007, I answered to a similar question of yours in the other thread you started. maybe you should give this a try first?

    and if I read correct this is the 3rd thread you started around the same problem...
  9. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Trimjim007, we think that perhaps you disrespect the forum when you repeatedly shop for an answer that you like. Out of 8 posts, only two subjects. Most of the experienced techs survey all messages... maybe not everyday, but your problem is reviewed by a lot of good techs.
  10. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    you cannot use windows configured for 1 system and licensed for 1 system to work on another system of a different configuration. Not only is it a license violation, but it will not work. You can retrieve the data and port it over, but the OS, must be initialized and loaded on each system, provided you have a license for each installation.
    With XP you have only 1 license. With a server or 2000 you may have several. I don't remember the exact count - I think 5.
  11. crawdoogie

    crawdoogie TS Rookie

    boot/drive/win2000 stuff

    Dell Inspiron 3700's have a unique master password so getting someone else's password would be of no use to you.

    To transfer ownership w/o previous owner info you just need the Service Tag and the Express Service Code both of which is found on a white bar-coded label affixed to your Dell computer.

    Dell online transfer form:

    Dell will not transfer ownership if the computer has been reported as stolen by the current registered owner.

    So why no-go when you swapped the drives? When Windows is installed it creates a list of hardware on that pc and kind of locks itself to that pc. When you swap drives Windows sees that the hardware has changed and therefor doesn't start. Usually it BSOD's giving some error code like 0x0000007E or sonething like that. Doing a Repair install possibly can fix this but I think you would be better off reinstalling Windows. When you bought the used pc you also bought the license for the OEM version of Windows that came with it. So installing Win 2000 would be OK if you use the OEM's version of Windows.

    Boot problems

    If you have a pc that can't be booted from a cd-rom drive you can install windows 2000 by starting up with a Windows boot floppy with CD-rom support (like Win98SE or Win ME) and then once started into DOS switching over to the CD drive. A good bootdisk for this is Boot Disk Essentials which can be downloaded here:

    To install Windows 2000:
    1. Start the computer with floppy boot disk and Windows 2000 cd inserted in your pc.

    2. When the A:> prompt appears type in the letter of your cd-rom drive and a colon :)) and hit enter. For Example:
    A:\>D: (hit enter)
    D:\> (if D:\> doesn't show try again using E )

    3. Change to the \i386 directory on the cdrom by typing cd i386
    You should now see D:\i386>

    4 type WINNT.EXE to start installation.

    Another method is to create the Windows 2000 4 disk boot disk set.
    The set can be made from the Windows 2000 cd while your running in Windows 95. Details here:;en-us;197063

    You can then boot with the floppies and then switch to the cd-rom. For more info and step by step instructions:

    You'll have to copy and paste the links above. This is my first post and links are not enabled until I have 3 posts.
  12. mscrx

    mscrx TS Rookie Posts: 310

    very helpful input, thanks!
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