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This is a question I have regarding adding two hard drives to a new motherboard. I am posting this to the windows xp board instead of the hardware board because it is more software OS related.

These hard drives are currently in a HP Pavilion 762n.

--The master drive is a Maxtor 80GB 7200rpm and it has Windows XP Home Preinstalled.

--The slave drive is a Hitachi 160GB 7200rpm 8mb buffer ATA internal drive.(won't be a problem installing after master is in place)

I am wondering if I can add the current master hard drive, which has Windows XP Home preinstalled, on a new ASUS P4P800 SE motherboard.
I have heard that Windows XP recognizes major hardware changes and required re-activation. I have also heard that microsoft considers a motherboard change a "new system," which would require me to purchase XP.

Has anyone ran into this problem or have any info? I am hoping that I don't need to buy XP, due to this mobo upgrade.
Thanks in advance!

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Last Post by alc6379
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The worst thing that will happen is you'll be prompted for an activation key, in which case you have to contact M$ and explain what you've done and they *should* give you another activation code - you shouldn't have to purchase another copy of XP because you swapped a hard drive into another system. Well, at least I've never had to yet, and I do this for a living...

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The worst thing that will happen is you'll be prompted for an activation key, in which case you have to contact M$ and explain what you've done and they *should* give you another activation code - you shouldn't have to purchase another copy of XP because you swapped a hard drive into another system. Well, at least I've never had to yet, and I do this for a living...

Thanks TheOgre, hope it works.

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just say the mobo broke, and your replacing it, make sure you install sp1 on the master first so you can support drives over 150gb

if you stick the mater onto a new type of mobo windows will either not boot (keep restarting in which case you neeed to reinstall)(run the windows repair ;)) or it will be feked for life as drivers will be wrong etc.. so a clean install really is the best option.

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I have replaced motherboards a few times and have not had problem with Microsoft, a clean install was the way I went.

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I have replaced motherboards a few times and have not had problem with Microsoft, a clean install was the way I went.

Yes, a clean install sounds like the right way to go, but I can't imagine buying Windows XP when I already have it installed.

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just say the mobo broke, and your replacing it, make sure you install sp1 on the master first so you can support drives over 150gb

if you stick the mater onto a new type of mobo windows will either not boot (keep restarting in which case you neeed to reinstall)(run the windows repair ;)) or it will be feked for life as drivers will be wrong etc.. so a clean install really is the best option.

suRoot, is it possible to run windows repair with a preinstalled version of Windows XP?

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The worst thing that will happen is you'll be prompted for an activation key, in which case you have to contact M$ and explain what you've done and they *should* give you another activation code - you shouldn't have to purchase another copy of XP because you swapped a hard drive into another system. Well, at least I've never had to yet, and I do this for a living...

A friend of mine just took his Hard drive from one system and put it in another and it won't boot to windows XP. BIOS shows that it recogonizes the drive but he gets an error message saying "Hardware change detected" and if he selects "ignore" or "continue" the computer will just reboot. Windows was preinstalled on his hard drive so he doesn't have a disc. How did you get around this problem? Thanks.

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When you buy a machine like a Dell or HP and it has XP installed you get a version of XP that is machine specific. They are not selling you an over the counter version where you can install it on a new machine once your hardware is obsolete... Even their recovery discs check the BIOS of the system and will not work on another machine...

So when the OS detected a change in hardware your copy of XP is no longer going to work...

Just another way M$ makes money...

Even the over the counter version of XP will force a call to MS or Re-activation if you change out the motherboard...

Just another reason to learn Linux...
You would be amazed how far that OS has come...

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When you buy a machine like a Dell or HP and it has XP installed you get a version of XP that is machine specific.

No, you don't. You get customized driver CDs and utility CDs, but BY LAW you have to receive a FULL VERSION of the operating system. Sometimes instead you get a restore CD that's actually an IMAGE of your drive, but that's not to be confused with an alterated copy of an operating system. (I've been a reseller for Dell for the past few years, and that's how I found all this out.)

I use the XP Home CD I received with my Dell laptop on other systems (to reinstall XP Home) and change the product code to whatever their product code is on the sisde of their system, and haven't once had any problems doing that.

As far as XP detecting changes in hardware and forcing you to call Microsoft for another key, it's only a few devices (now) that trigger that - CPUs and NICs being on the list (it used to be almost ANY change in hardware, but they've since mellowed out.)

And yes, all the more reason to learn ANY operating system other than Micro$oft :)

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That is great info...

Two situations here in front of me...

Dell XP CD Part #R2490 I can put it in a Dell laptop with no OS on the hard drive and it boots and installs XP...

I put it into a non dell and it does not boot...
I boot to a floppy call up a dir and execute the setup.exe and it says it cannot run this in dos mode..

I have the XP cd's from compac, they boot in the same test machine but the come up with a bios test failed and do not install...

So how do I get XP to install on this test box...

Do I need a non-dos boot floppy to run the Dell setup?

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Believe it or not adding ram requires a reactivation. :(
The windows that companies preinstall is OEM software - Microsoft is supposed to only activate this stuff once, though if you can provide a good explanation then in my experience they are very helpful and will reactivate it.
Personally I don't see why I should require permsission from Microsoft to add more RAM. I think that the reactivation would be better if it were only required when a number of components changed at once.

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That is great info...

...and free, too :)

Two situations here in front of me...

Dell XP CD Part #R2490 I can put it in a Dell laptop with no OS on the hard drive and it boots and installs XP...

If you boot the system with a Windows 98 boot disk, you'll see a very small (less than 20 MB) FAT16 partition if you run "fdisk /status"

WinXP needs either a small (10MB or so) partition already on the drive if you don't want to predefine/format the entire disk before you install the O/S if you're booting the system from the XP CD.

Normally I either create a small partition (4GB or less) on the drive and format it using FAT32, then boot using the XP CD (and use partitioning software later to expand the existing partition), or I format the entire drive with FAT32, boot from the XP CD to install the O/S, and convert the existing partition to NTFS (quick format.)

(Yes, this is a hassle, but it's been the only way I've found of getting XP on a system directly from a non-OEM CD. If I spent more time trying to come up with a better solution, I'd probably find one, but my time is better spent on more productive issues.)

I put it into a non dell and it does not boot...
I boot to a floppy call up a dir and execute the setup.exe and it says it cannot run this in dos mode..

See above reason...

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Thanks for the info..

M$ sure does not want to tell you that...

They always say to go buy a FULL version...

I did what you said and it installed on the system I was testing...

The Compaq uses some sort of Disc Image program so it still will not work but the Dell CD did...

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Lemme clear up some misconceptions, because I've done all of these things:

  • Installing a new motherboard in an installed Windows XP system might make you reactivate, however, you don't have to call Microsoft-- if you have Internet access, you can do it that way, too.
  • An OEM is not required by law to give you a full version of the software with your systems. Most OEMs make it available, though, upon request, or at least make product recovery CDs available for the system. An OEM is only responsible for restoring the system to the way it came from the factory, if that, and nothing more. Some have agreements with Microsoft to provide the media for up to one year, but that's not some law or something.
  • Even when an OEM provides the CD, they can modify the CD boot image as needed. Certain OEM systems do have BIOS locks in place where the boot CD will only boot/run on their particular systems. This is more to prevent piracy then some kind of "lock-in".
  • With these same CDs, it's just the El Torito bootable image that gets modified, not the actual OS installation files. It's just the bootsector information that makes it bootable per BIOS.
  • To start a Windows XP installation from DOS, you'd type winnt.exe from the i386 directory to start it up. That means you should be able to install from it, regardless of where you got that CD from.
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