creating new system cds

Dell / C51 and 5150
January 24, 2009 at 07:14:07
Specs: Windows XP, 2.4 GH 2MB RAM

I have two dell machines and i have to replace the hard drive on both of them. The current hard drives are ok but I have to replace them for reasons answered in a previous post. How can I transfer the XP Platform (without using ghost) without transfering personal files. I want to be able to swap the drives and have no conflicts. The new drives I purchased are exactly the same make and model as in the existing Dell. If possible I would like to be able to transfer office and other programmes too but If I have to I will just start with the operating system. Does ths mean I will have to create system cds and will this copy all the necessary data to transfer onto the new drive to make it bootable instantly. Many thnaks for your help.

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January 24, 2009 at 10:43:54
You *should* have a Dell Restore CD (or CDs) that can be used to restore the system to it's original condition...just as it was the day you bought it. However, the files needed to do this are on a hidden partition on the original HDD. If you swap drives, the Dell CDs become useless & a retail Windows CD will be needed. These clips are from the 5150 manual:

"NOTICE: Using Dell PC Restore permanently deletes all data on the hard drive and removes any applications or drivers installed after you received your computer. If possible, back up the data before using PC Restore. Use PC Restore only if System Restore did not resolve your operating system problem."

"NOTICE: Removing Dell PC Restore from the hard drive permanently deletes the PC Restore utility from your computer. After you have removed Dell PC Restore, you will not be able to use it to restore your computer’s operating system."

If you want to use the Restore CDs, you'll have to come up with a way to transfer the Restore partition to the new HDDs, then use the CDs to restore the system.

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January 24, 2009 at 15:24:16
The original drives are in both machines but as I said before i am not willing to leave them there so I have two new identical drives. I hate to sound stupid but does this mean that I can make a restore CD from these drives but that I can only in turn restore these drives. Or, can I swap the new drives when i have the restore cds made and restore the new drives as if they were the old ones. I think your implying that the restore function on the cd will only work if there are certain files on the hard drive that the restore cd was made from also.

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