Migrating a hard drive and OS?

I’ve decided to upgrade my processor to a P4, which unfortunately requires a new motherboard (socket 478,) an ATX12V power supply, and a case to fit them both. Still, it was about 1/3 the price of a new system, and my other components are all fairly up to date. I’ve used Casper XP several times to backup my hard drive, and the mirrored drive boots and operates perfectly. I had planned on simply putting the mirrored drive (along with all my other components) into the new barebones system.

Have I missed something? My thinking is that the bios will detect the master drive, which itself is bootable, and the OS will detect the same old hardware. Am I correct, or am I facing a meltdown? I really don’t want to reinstall everything, and I’m already on Windows XP.

If you are changing your motherboard, I would strongly advise that you just copy the data from another drive or CD after reinstalling the OS. It is SO not worth the problems that can crop up trying to cut and paste a OS to a new system, and a fresh OS install is good, anyway, especially with Windows. Just set aside a Saturday to sit around with some junkfood and soda/beer to reinstall everything, and the system will take on a whole new life. :wink:

I appreciate the input, Zagadka. I’m curious what it is about a new motherboard that would cause you to suggest a fresh install of the OS.

I’m aware of how cluttered on old drive can get. This one would be in fairly good shape, and had a clean install of XP about a year or so ago. Is there a potential compatibility issue? In my naiveté, I was thinking the OS didn’t include any custom setting for the motherboard.


The real problem has to do with the hardware installed on the computer that you are migrating to. If the IDE controller doesn’t match, your system won’t even boot. What you could do though, is find out what kind of IDE controller is present on the new machine. After you have this information, go to the control panel, remove the old IDE controller driver and replace it with the IDE controller driver needed for the new machine, shut the system down and pull the drive and insert it into the new machine.

The old operating system has system files for the old system. The board has tons of files alone just for itself. When you change boards, some of the old system board files may still be there. That’s the tricky part.

Just make the old HD a slave & the new one a master & copy what data files you want from the old one.

Makes sense, I’ll likely go with a clean install then. Unfortunately, there isn’t a ‘new’ hard drive. I’ll have to wipe one of the two existing drives.

Copying files is easy, I can move them over using my home network. It’s the installs and endless resetting of preferences, custom toolbars, etc that I’m dreading.

Thanks for the help.

Well, if you want to spend the extra bucks you can buy software that transfers your old settings to the new computer.

I thought I saw this option in XP once, but couldn’t find it again.

And if you’re not sure what IDE controller is on the new machine, set the IDE controller to the generic Standard IDE controller and then change it back to the proper controller after everything is in place.

It’s the File and Settings Transfer Wizard that you’re looking for. Should be under Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools.