win xp and new pc

By nyorker ยท 4 replies
Jun 5, 2002
  1. when i get my new mb next week can i use my old hard drive with win xp? or do i have to do a full install? i dont want to lose any of my programs? also how can i find out my serial cd key so i use the right cd? i have 2 win xp home that i bought>
  2. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Although it is extremely recommended you format and install a fresh copy of XP, you just may be able to use your old hard disk.

    The new motherboard will undoubtedly have new doodads and features.. Possibly an entirely new chipset.. If it is same board as before you won't encounter any major problems, but depending on how different it is, you could run into some serious issues.

    First - install your new board. When you start your computer for the first time, it may start on its own. If it does, good for you.

    If it does not however, here's a possible solution. Most of the issues you'll encounter can be resolved by deleting in your C:\WINDOWS\Driver Cache\i386 folder after installing your new board. To do this though, you will have to boot from the Windows XP CD because you cannot do this in Windows.

    Boot into the CD and let it load the pre-installation blue screen stuff. At one point, you'll be prompted if you want to Install Windows XP or repair a current Windows installation. Choose repair and select the "Recovery Console".

    Once you are in the recovery console, type the following....
    del C:\WINDOWS\Driver Cache\i386\

    Now restart your system and remove the CD. It should boot into Windows XP and take a really, really long time. Just wait and be patient. It will take some time because Windows XP will be reenumerating your devices and installing drivers accordingly for all PnP devices on your system.

    Hopefully, it will finish without problems. You'll probably need to reboot for all of the settings to take effect.

    If it does not work or you have serious problems that this cannot fix, it is imperative that you reinstall Windows XP completely.

    As for the serial number, it is not kept locally in your system registry or anywhere I'm aware of. I think Microsoft encrypts it now, or at least muddles it up so it isn't your exact serial number anymore.. It probably takes the form of a UID or something silly because they don't like anyone having access to another user's serial # I guess. There may be a program out there that will get it for you, if not, there are plenty of serial generators and/or cracks if necessary. I do not condone the use of these as nothing beats the real serial number though. If you own two legit copies, there is no reason for you to do this anyway... You should already have the serial numbers. As for the activation number.. Just get your activation key from Microsoft over the phoneline... No big deal. If you don't own the "real" versions, then I can't help you. You'll have to find other means.

    Good luck installing your new motherboard and I hope it works out well for you.
  3. nyorker

    nyorker TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Re: Re: win xp and new pc

    problem is that the 2 win xp cd's i own are upgrades not the full version now what

  4. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    rick has some very good information and recommendations there.

    however, for all the time it would take, you would be well advised to bless that machine with a fresh install....

    it will love you for it.

    i mean divided 32 divided by 16.......

    a clean install is worth its weight in gold.....
  5. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Re: Re: Re: win xp and new pc

    I have no experience with the upgrade versions... But as long as they are bootable CDs and get you to recovery console, then it should not be a problem.

    If you cannot get them too boot, try popping in the XP CD in Windows and "install it" again. It won't actually install it, but add the recovery console to your boot menu. You can then select the recovery console on startup by pressing F8 precisely before you see the XP boot logo.

    This is works in Pro.. Not sure about home.. It is worth a shot though.
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