|Stop using the Windows installation on the old machine with the old machine, or at least change the Product Key used by Windows on the old machine (e.g. if you have another legitimate Product Key that will work with the existing Windows installation, other than the one it was already using and the one on the Microsoft label). |
Use the Product Key for the old machine with the new machine for the same type of Windows license - OEM, Retail, or Volume, for the same version of Windows, Home or Pro or Pro 64 bit, as your Windows CD.
XP MCE versions are a different situation.
If you have any version of XP MCE on the old machine, you must buy the Microsoft OEM MCE 20xx 2 CD set, if you don't already have it, or obtain copies of the two CDs.
Brand name systems NEVER come with that, and it's NEVER available for brand name systems from the brand name web site separately (it's embedded in a multi-disk archive that installs all of the original brand name software installation) . (I have the set for MCE 2005 because I bought it for my generic system.)
All of the MCE 2 CD sets have bugs in their Setup. When you install Windows from scratch, a lot of files load from the first CD, then you are prompted to provide another CD but the quoted volume label of it is WRONG. At that point, insert the second CD in the SAME drive the first CD was in. Files will be loaded from the second CD, then you are prompted to insert another CD, but the volume label of it that is quoted is also WRONG - insert the first CD at that point, in the SAME drive - more files will be installed and Setup will complete successfilly.
Most computers that have XP installed on them have XP Home, Pro, or Pro 64 bit.
As far as the Windows CD for the old machine is concerned
- an XP Re-installation CD or similar that came with a brand name system model usually CANNOT be used with a different computer, to install Windows from scratch, or to run a Repair installation of Windows procedure, unless the other computer is the same model, or a model in a small group of models made at about the same time, because certain files on the CD have been modified. The CD will refuse to do those things.
- a regular Microsoft OEM CD has the Microsoft holograms on it and has "For distribution with a new PC only." printed on it. That CD can be used with any OEM licensed Product Key for XP, for the same version of Windows, Home or Pro or Pro 64 bit.
In most cases, a brand name computer, or a generic desktop computer, has an OEM licensed Product Key, unless you installed a Retail or Volume licensed version on it yourself.
- it doesn't matter whether the CD has no SP updates, SP1 updates, SP2 updates, or SP3 updates integrated into it, other than
- you may NOT be able to run a Repair installation of Windows procedure unless the CD has SP1 updates or later
- it must have SP1 updates or later integrated into it in order for XP to be able to recognize the full size of hard drives with a manufacturer's size of 137gb or more, and to recognize USB 2.0 controllers.
- If the CD has no SP updates integrated into it at all, if you DO have (a) hard drive(s) with a manufacturer's size of 137gb or more, you can follow a procedure to make yourself a "slipstreamed" CD that has had the SP3 updates integrated into it, and use that instead of your original CD, along with Product Key for the original CD, to install Windows
- if the XP CD did not have SP3 updates integrated into it, after SP3 updates have been installed in the Windows installation, Windows' SFC (System Filer Checker) will NOT accept an XP CD that does NOT have SP3 updates integrated into it as a valid source of files.
XP MCE versions cannot have the SP3 updates integrated into the contents of their CDs. All versions have at least SP1 updates integrated into them. MCE 2005 has SP2 updates.
After SP3 updates have been installed in the Windows installation, Windows' SFC (System Filer Checker) will NOT accept any XP MCE CD as a valid source of files.
As far as the Windows installation on the hard drive of the old machine is concerned, if you connect that "as is" to the new computer and boot from it, if the hardware on the new computer's mboard is more than a little different from that on the old mboard, XP will probably NOT load all the way. That can be fixed without losing the personal data that's already on the partition Windows was installed on if you run a Repair installation of Windows procedure
e.g. How to do an XP Repair installation of Windows procedure, step by step:
- you MUST have a suitable Windows CD to boot from - it must be for the same type of Windows license - OEM, retail, or Volume - and for the same version as is already installed on the hard drive - Home, Pro, or Pro 64 bit
- nothing can go wrong while running the procedure that prevents you from completing it.
If you can't complete it, you can still use something such as a Linux CD to boot your computer with so you can copy the personal data you don't want to lose to elsewhere, but you will NOT be able to run the Repair installation of Windows procedure anymore.
You must install the drivers for the changed mboard after Setup has finshed, especially the main chipset drivers.
When you do a Repair Installation of XP with the MCE two CD sets, a bug in MCE's Setup prevents the second CD being accepted as a valid source of files. If there was nothing wrong with the existing Windows installation when it was on the old machine that requires files on the second CD, or files that would normally be accessed after the files from the second CD were loaded and you inserted the first CD again, you can Quit Setup after the contents of the first CD have been used as a source, and the resulting Windows installation will work fine with the new computer.
After Windows has been installed successfully, if Activating Windows fails, choose to telephone Microsoft with the number shown on the screen.
An automated answering machine will answer.
When you are asked something similar to "Did your original mboard fail ?" answer YES.
Then you will probably be able to Activate Windows no problem.