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You haven't supplied enough information.
Tell us the make and model of your brand name system, or if you have a generic desktop system, the make and model of the mboard.
The specific model of a brand name system is shown on a label on the outside of the case somewhere, or it can often be determined by going to the brand name's web site.
The model, sometimes the make, of a mboard in a generic desktop system is usually printed on the mboard's surface in obvious larger characters, often between the slots.
Is the drive with XP on it IDE or SATA connected?
The one that came with the new computer is probably SATA.
It's sounds like you have a desktop computer.
If so, while you were fiddling inside the case you may have dislodged
- the video card in a slot , if you have one, and it needs to be re-seated. You need to make sure it's all the way down in it's slot.
- something else - a connection, card in a slot, or the ram.
- did you disconnect connections from the PS to get them out of the way while fiddling with the drives? If so, did you remember to re-connect them? E.g. new mboards require you connect TWO power connectors to them - the 24 "pin" one, and a smaller one. You'll probably get no video if the smaller one is not plugged in.
"DVD drives........(they light up continously). "
- did you disconnect data cable connections from IDE drives? If so, are you SURE you installed them in the right direction on the drive and/or the mboard? E.g. are your DVD drives IDE?
You MUST either unplug the computer, or switch off the AC to the computer or to the PS, whenever you fiddle with ANY connection inside the case, otherwise you can damage things! Did you do that?
ATX mboards are always powered by the ATX PS in some places, even when the computer is not running, as long as the PS is receiving live AC, it's switched on (if it has a switch), and it's connected to the mboard!
If you have both a video port or ports for onboard video built into the mboard, and a video port or ports on a card in a slot, in most cases, the onboard video and it's ports are disabled when you have a video card in a slot - you will not get any video from those - you must plug the monitor into a port on the video card in a slot.
If re-seating the video card doesn't help, try re-seating the ram, and checking to make sure everything is connected properly.
If you merely want to get personal data off of it, you should NOT boot from the drive with XP on it that had Setup run on it when it was connected to another mboard, because if the mboard hardware (main chipset, etc.) is more than a little different, which it probably is, XP's Windows will NOT LOAD - what you typically see is the first bit of Windows graphics, then a black screen, blinking cursor top left, nothing further happens.
You connect (SATA or IDE) and/or jumper the drive (IDE ), or change boot order / drive booted from settings in the bios Setup so you aren't booting from the XP drive.
(If you DO want that drive with XP on it to be able to boot XP on the new computer, that situation can be fixed, without you losing data on the XP Windows partition - you must have a regular XP CD in order to do that, preferably one that has SP3 updates built in. However, you usually don't necessarily need to boot XP in order to be able to retrieve your personal data.
I DO NOT recommend you set up your system so it dual boots XP and Vista, because by default you will LOSE ALL of your System Restore restore points in Vista EVERY TIME you boot XP, unless you follow certain procedures that may not be available for your version of Vista - must be Ultimate or Business - or you use a third party boot manager instead of Vista's or XP's built in multiple boot feature. )
Once you have video, you may need to change boot order or drive booted from settings in the bios Setup.
See the part starting "Bioses have boot order defaults they adhere to..."
in response 3 in this for more info: