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Thread: Swapping-in an operating system by swapping in a hard drive

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    Swapping-in an operating system by swapping in a hard drive

    I have a simple question. My old system has the operating system (Windows) installed on a hard drive (a parallel ATA drive). Can I swap that hard drive into a new system (with a different mobo that accepts a parallel ATA drive) and still expect the operating system to work?

    I've been told the chance of success would be small, because when Windows was installed on the first system it (invisibly and unknown to the user) installed drivers that are specific to that mobo -- and since the second system uses a different mobo, the harddrive would likely have a driver that is incompatible with the new mobo.

    Can someone lend insight to this? Thanks!

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    Seething Cauldron of Hatred TheAnimus's Avatar
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    Yeh, basically the OS won't be able to talk to the same memory addresses that it could before. However, this is windows, not linux, as such its HAL (Hardware Abstaction Layer) is pretty good at handling this sort of thing, you will probably need a install CD to get important files off, and windows probably will have to reboot an anoying number of times, but you should be able to go accross without too much problem because your keeping the same interface for your hdd.

    A better questions is, is it right to do so?

    realoading windows isn't hard, and you can probably get rid of a lot of the junk you've accumulated over the last x months. You just need to find all your CDs + keys.
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    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheAnimus
    However, this is windows, not linux, as such its HAL (Hardware Abstaction Layer) is pretty good at handling this sort of thing, you will probably need a install CD to get important files off, and windows probably will have to reboot an anoying number of times, but you should be able to go accross without too much problem because your keeping the same interface for your hdd.
    *yawn*

    do you ever stop it with the flame wars?

    1) it WOULD just work with linux, as you full well know. we recently did some complete hardware swaps, moving hard disks between machines, and the systems didn't even notice the change.
    2) windows OEM licenses (as this is highly likely to be OEM) do not permit the movement of the installation from one system to another. infact, the windows license is invalidated by a motherboard swap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by directhex
    2) windows OEM licenses (as this is highly likely to be OEM) do not permit the movement of the installation from one system to another. infact, the windows license is invalidated by a motherboard swap.
    That makes sense. I always suspected that MS was making it intentionally more difficult to pirate copies of Windows by making Windows 'mobo dependent' and selling (at a discount, through OEMs) OEM versions of Windows that work only on those mobos. Thus, an OEM version of Windows would not work on another machine. It makes sense.

    Unfortunately, my version of Windows is an OEM version, not even if I "insert the original installation CDs", so I'm SOL about using it on a new system.

    Thanks for the insight.

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    Resident abit mourner BUFF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by directhex
    infact, the windows license is invalidated by a motherboard swap.
    Is it? What happens if your mobo dies & needs to be swapped out?
    Activation allows you a certain no. of hardware changes which afaik incl. a mobo swap.
    Even then you can re-activate.

    edit: did some searching - from Microsoft's OEM Builder FAQs:
    " Generally, you may upgrade or replace all of the hardware components on your customer's computer and the end user may maintain the license for the original Microsoft® OEM operating system software, with the exception of an upgrade or replacement of the motherboard. An upgrade of the motherboard is considered to result in a "new personal computer" to which Microsoft® OEM operating system software cannot be transferred from another computer. If the motherboard is upgraded or replaced for reasons other than a defect, then a new computer has been created and the license of new operating system software is required. If the motherboard is replaced because it is defective, you do NOT need to acquire a new operating system license for the PC."
    Last edited by BUFF; 15-12-2005 at 12:04 AM.

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    Re-activating it (or applying for it to be reactivated) gives MS the option (or not - at its discretion) of re-licensing the software for you! Remember that when XP was first introduced, MS were talking about annual licensing - ie - you paid so much a year to carry on using the software (which magnanimously did include updates...) Although they dropped the idea (for the moment) in the face of corporate hostility, it was one of the reasons why I didn't move to XP...
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  7. #7
    Mike Fishcake
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    Most of the time we've done it in our workshop, it's had to be a reinstallation. A repair usually works, so it doesn't wipe all your stuff off though.

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