If i were to get a new hard drive for my laptop i would have to install my windows xp on to it from my old hard drive. Would I be able to do this? Would the Windows software allow me to install Windows Xp on two different hard drives?
unless your laptop allows two hard drives to be connected at the same time, you have to use a Windows installation CD. Your laptop should have the activation code on the underneath so all you need is to borrow one from a friend. Does your laptop not have a system restore CD? This would work too.
Yeah i have all that stuff. I was just checking to see if it would allow you to do that (i dont know how their activation stuff works or if u are only allowed to register it to one computer hard drive). If i were to get a new computer would i be able to install windows and microsoft office from my old computer on to the new one?
Yeah, you can install windows onto different hard drives at the same time. You'll just get a dual boot option when they both startup at the same time on the same computer and you choose which one to use.
For the new computer, if the windows key is different from your laptop one then you'll be fine switching from the old to new. Only thing you can't do is run two computers at once with identical activation keys online.
There is a little hardware unit (Apricorn EZupdate I think, some unit from Apricorn) that I got from a Fry's Electronics, that connects to a USB output of the laptop, and then connects to the new drive. You can boot up with the CD that comes with it and it will copy your old drive onto the new drive, even the linux partitions if you have any. It worked best on laptops that use the 255 heads geometry, and doesn't work as well if the laptop uses the 240 heads geometry, at least it didn't work as well for me. Laptops I know use the 240 heads method are IBM/Lenovo and Compaq.
But there are ways to do this. You can take the drive out of your laptop and use an adapter and put it in your desktop computer, matching the geometry of the laptop BIOS, if you have one. Then you can use Powerquest drivecopy to get the partitions from the old hard drive to the new one. You can even use Linux dd, the dd command. But that might be a little dangerous if you haven't used that before. Again you need to have matching drive geometry in the BIOS of the machine you are using for the copy, and it must match the laptop drive geometry or it just doesn't work. And you always have to be careful you don't accidentally copy the new drive onto the old drive, which loses all the data on the old drive.
Since you have the cd's to intsall windows on your new hard drive you can either buy an external enclosure for your old one and use it as extra storage or you can by this product. I own one of these and have used it with no problems. You can can use this to pull data from it that you want on your new hard drive.
That product is a hard drive to USB adapter, and with the right software perhaps you could copy the old hard drive to the new one.
The Apricorn has an adapter like that one, but it also has the hard drive cloning software so you can boot up with the software CD, then copy the old drive onto the new drive, and it will expand the partitions to fit a larger drive, if necessary and desired. The point is that the old drive is copied to the new drive, then all you have to do is to take out the old drive and put in the new one and no other step is necessary, you have everything set up as before, just a new hard drive. Sometimes this isn't perfect, because, if there were viruses and trojans on the old drive, as they transfer too. Any problem you had like that before, it is copied faithfully to the new drifve.