Swaping Hard Drives

Dell Dimension 4500 desktop
July 12, 2010 at 19:35:03
Specs: Windows XP
I have Dell Dimension 4500 with a 40gb HD and I've been trying to put that hard drive into my Dell Dim. 8200. After the dell start sceen a message comes on asking to start normal,or last good config. and so on. But it just reboots.No safe mode either.

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July 12, 2010 at 20:06:46
Are you trying to swap the hard drive only, or are trying to use the already formatted drive with XP on it.

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July 12, 2010 at 20:09:56
Stick to working on Harleys...lol.

You can't just swap HDD's like that. The 40GB drive is configured for the Dimension 4500, not the 8200. You will most likely have to reinstall Windows. A "repair installation" *may* work though.


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July 12, 2010 at 20:37:59
When you install a hard drive that already has Windows 2000 or XP on it that was set up on another computer, if the difference in motherboard hardware (main chipset, I/O chip, etc.) is more than a little different, 2000 or XP often cannot deal with the change and will not boot all the way into Windows - typically you see the first bit of Windows graphics, then a black screen with a blinking cursor top left and nothing further happens
Or - sometimes you get other symptoms, such as the operating system reboots the computer before Windows has fully loaded.

In that case you need to run an XP Repair Setup, often called a Repair install.

An XP Repair Setup will (almost always) not harm your existing Windows installation, but it can only fix things Windows detects as wrong, and/or replace corrupted or missing Windows files that are on your original XP CD. In the case of drastically changed hardware, it will set Windows to the new hardware situation.

You will need a Windows CD of the same version as the one of your Windows installation, and the Product Key, preferably the one that was used to install it, but it can be one for the same version as the one of your Windows installation.
In most cases you get the Product Key from the official Microsoft sticker on your computer case, or from the official Microsoft sticker that came with your Windows CD if it has not been stuck to the case, or if you can't find that or don't have that, you can use a program to find the Product Key your Windows installation is presently using, BEFORE you run the Repair Setup (Repair install) - e.g. search for: keyfinder, by Jelly Bean whatever.

How to do an XP Repair Setup, step by step:


- nothing can go wrong that prevents you getting to the end of the Repair's end of Setup, otherwise you'll trash the Windows installation - you'll still be able to copy data you don't want to lose to elsewhere before you run Setup again if Setup doesn't complete successfully, but you'll have to install Windows from scratch. You only have the second Repair choice in Setup if Setup completed the last time it was run. DO NOT quit Setup before it's finished if you encounter a problem - leave it as is and tell us what your symptoms are.
- your ram must not be producing any errors, even a tiny amount of them. Re-seat the ram, test the ram with diagnostics if you're not sure about that.
- your CD should be clean and free of major scratches
- use a laser lens cleaning CD in the drive BEFORE you boot the computer with the Windows CD
- to really be sure, unplug all cards in mboard slots, and all things plugged into external ports, that are not necessary for running Setup. You can install those after Setup has finished.

- you must use a CD of the same version, XP Home or Pro, as that on the hard drive installation. .
- you MUST use an OEM Windows CD if you use the Product Key on the official label on the outside of the brand name case, or the Product Key the installation on the hard drive was using, otherwise you need the Product Key that suits the particular FULL version CD.
- a Recovery CD that is actually a slightly modified Windows CD (many Dell models have those) that came with a particular brand name model may NOT allow you to use it to install or Repair Windows on a different model of the same brand, or on any other computer.
- OEM 2000 or XP CD = it came with the brand name computer the hard drive is installed on NOW,
or - it's a regular Microsoft OEM CD - it has "For Distribution with a new PC only"printed on it.

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