Cloning an old PC HDD with XP and progs and settings to boot/work in new PC

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by mokwit, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. mokwit


    Putting this in a new thread as I seem to have incurred the wrath of the gurus as nobody came in to supply the magic answer when i tacked it onto an old thread

    I am sure I have seen multiple discussions on this on ET where they were describing doing it as I describe below but I can't find them via search or on my Hard drive where I thought I had saved them more than once (disclosure: I am 48yrs old)

    I need a workaround for one that is not working.

    Previously I was able to clone old XP HDD from P4 machine into I7 p6x58 De - if I remember rightly I just installed the casper XP cloned HDD and booted - it either rebooted first time or maybe I used safe mode - then i just upgraded win XP with a newer version and it worked perfectly - just had to reset a few HDD sensitive programs. Workd for me and I have read on ET threads that this is the way to do it BUT:

    THIS TIME trying to clone from the X58 current installation to a core i72600 p8 z68v machine and getting a list of drivers missing or incorrect in DOS boot screen as I boot up - can't boot in safe mode, can't do repair from 1.44mb floppy

    SO: is there any workaround where I can get the same result as before i.e. clone old HDD with all its programs and settings into a new machine even though it won't boot due to driver differences. Is there something i forgot to do this time?

    I would have thought that XP would recognise the new hardware on boot (XP date means would have drivers for new) and install basic working drivers and I would be able to boot in safe mode and then upgrade windows so that it recognised all the new hardware and installed the new drivers on upgrade installation.

    Thinking maybe X58 Asus drivers program was the problem blocking XP from doing this I thought i could clone drive, attach back to old machine to remove the old ASUS drivers program - but there is no uninstall for it and nowhere does it show as being installed even though it is.

    Gurus, where for art thou, hast thou fosaken thy fellow ET'er? - but seriously I come here because I get the right answer at a level I can understand here from people who are doing the same as me with their PC's

    One point, this is a 10 year old installation with multiple programs with my settings and web pages with long lost passwords etc. Also I really need to be able to replicate and carry on literally overnight. Extreme tedium of starting anew is for 64 bit Win 7 and plan to do that in paralell with daily usage over time until I reach the point where I can move from one to the other.
  2. eurpar


    With an install over 10 years old (and one that has been moved before), a new install is definitely recommended. However, if you really must move your old install to a new machine, you can try the sysprep procedure.

    1. Make a complete image of the hard drive and save in a copy in a safe place. Backup the image to CD/DVD or USB stick. This will be your master image just in case something goes wrong in the next step.

    2. Before moving to new hardware/motherboard (bare metal), you need to make the windows xp installation hardware independent. This is done with the Microsoft utility called sysprep. If not already installed, it can be found on your XP CD (\support\tools\

    Some reference links of interest

    3. After your install is ready to be moved, make an image. This one is hardware independent and ready to restore on your new machine. You will want to have your new drivers ready for your initial startup. These drivers should be included with your new motherboard, video card, etc.

    This should get you started. Any questions, just ask.
  3. The reason why you got a little flamed in the other thread about doing this is because a clone of a clone with new hardware each time (including the actual firmware & drivers for the new hard drive each time) will really muck up your registry and can eventually cause driver & firmware conflicts. It's going to be a mess and slow your operating system down a lot - as well as potentially leave security holes.

    On the new system you can upgrade the BIOS and configure it without a HDD plugged in at all so that should be no issue via USB or floppy (IDE or USB or SATA converted). Do all the BIOS configs or upgrades you need to do without a HDD plugged in.

    That's step 1, next, with the HDD unplugged are you at least getting to the screen where it says "no boot device" and getting through POST and the BIOS?

    If you are reaching a prompt that says "no boot device available" then plug in your cloned HDD and give it a whirl. If that is getting messed up then at what point? Do you see a windows start screen then it locks (blue screen or just black??) or do you not get to that point? If you can plug in the new cloned HDD into the new system and are NOT getting a "no boot device" screen then it's drivers not the motherboard or BIOS.

    I would try loading *Version* chipset drivers from the Asus website onto the cloned HDD vs. the 9.3 version. As soon as it boots and you are happy you can upgrade to 9.3. Are you doing the "pre os" install from the DOS command prompt?

    Are you doing anything crazy like trying to install the cloned HDD into an overclocked motherboard?
  4. mokwit


    eurpar, WinstonTJ, thanks for your replies - the spirit of ET of yore lives on :) This is still where I get the right answer at a level i can understand.

    Was not able to do this weekend but with your replies I now see how I can do it. It seems you have pointed me to my workaround.

    I was going to fork out for Acronis product

    but with Sysprep bought to my attention by eurpar it looks like no need. Thanks for the detailed info info/links eurpar. Exactly what I need to do as a workaround it seems.

    WinstonTJ - thanks for highlighting how to identify where the problem might be - from memory last time I tried it got as far as the coloured windows logo on black background and then the DOS style list of wrong/not installed drivers - too fast to read and forgot how to freeze DOS window long ago. Your post seems to confirm using sysprep as suggested by eurpar is appropriate for my problem i.e it is drivers so need driver independent

    Re: Are you doing the "pre os" install from the DOS command prompt? I think so as can't get as far as windows so via the blue Y?N answer type screens

    Re: Are you doing anything crazy like trying to install the cloned HDD into an overclocked motherboard? M'lud, no. I use standard settings whenever possible because that is what software is written for/ hardware dsigned for. Premium on reliability end of scale vs performance.

    re: I would try loading *Version* chipset drivers from the Asus website onto the cloned HDD vs. the 9.3 version. As soon as it boots and you are happy you can upgrade to 9.3.

    You mean similar idea to using a later copy of XP to upgrade i.e. should seek hardware and replace old drivers with new or appropriate ones?