Moving System Drive to Another PC

Discussion in 'hardware' started by Aaron Here, Sep 17, 2011.

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  1. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    Three years ago, shortly after buying a 17" Dell Inspiron laptop, my son found it much too large for traveling, so he bought a 14" Toshiba Satellite which he's been using 100% since then. The Inspiron has an AMD CPU/chipset whereas the Satellite has an Intel CPU/chipset. Both laptops have Vista Home Premium 32-bit.

    Here's the problem: The Satellite's display has been flickering (and getting worse by the day!) and as my son no longer travels he asked me if he can simply replace the Inspiron's HDD with the Satellite's HDD which has all of his important docs & data (the Inspiron's HDD has no personal files on it and is like new).

    Upon checking-out his laptops I see that both hard drives are SATA-150, so I'm thinking that swapping them should be pretty straight-forward. I realize I will likely have to install the Inspiron's drivers on the Satellite's HDD, but is there anything else that I should be aware of? :doubt:

    Thanks in advance,
    Aaron
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011
  2. philby

    philby Registered Member

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    Hi Aaron

    If the OS on each machine is OEM, i.e. tied to the motherboard of each machine, you may well have issues simply swapping the drives out. With retail versions of Windows, you don't have such problems.

    philby
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011
  3. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    Hi philby,

    Both are OEM (came pre-installed on each laptop), so what kind of issues might I encounter (since both Vista's are legit)?

    Aaron
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Aaron,

    You should be able to get the Satellite HD to boot in the Inspiron by using TBOSDT Pro (osdtool.tbs) and updating the storage controller drivers and processor. But you might find Vista needs to be "activated" as Philby indicated. Sometimes this doesn't happen so keep your fingers crossed.
     
  5. Spysnake

    Spysnake Registered Member

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    Your OEM license key is tied to the hardware it is installed on first. This data is transferred to Microsoft upon activation (or more likely in this case, the deal between the manufacturer and Microsoft includes "general" guidelines such as BIOS identification).

    So simply swapping the drives would be a EULA violation. Your Windows Vista most propably detects itself as non-activated version.

    You have few ways to go around this. You could re-enter the license key which shipped with your Dell Inspiron (always use the license key which matches the currently installed hardware). I think you need to call Microsoft to verify your activation, but after that, it should work.

    Or you could transfer the personal files from the Toshiba Satellite to Dell's HD if you can, this would be ideal and maybe less troublesome.
     
  6. philby

    philby Registered Member

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    Agreed. Probably far less problematic.

    Vista EULA for pre-installed Windows can be found here.
     
  7. cozumel

    cozumel Registered Member

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    Microsoft OEM license permits you to change the hard drive and is NOT a violation. All you need is the original OEM Dell Windows & drivers CD. You can also change the motherboard if it fails and reinstall Windows OEM. You may be required to contact Microsoft for re-validation by telephone as your key may fail without the validation. Be very careful not to say anything on the phone that would breach your license.

    From Microsoft:

    Microsoft OEM license FAQ page here
     
  8. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    @Brian. Thanks for the info. I do have a copy of TBOSDT Pro, but I've never used it, so if you have any tips I'm listening...

    @Spysnake. Thanks for that insight. I don't mind having to call MS to re-validate, but if what I'm trying to do constitutes an EULA violatation then MS obviously would not permit re-validating Windows! If that actually the case, backing-up and restoring all of my son's email and data files would be the only recourse (albeit a real 'pita')!

    @cozumel. Your info seems to corroborate that of Spysnake. I don't see what I can tell MS that would circumvent an EULA violation? Looks like Spysnake's suggestion to copy the files over is the only way... :doubt:

    Aaron
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011
  9. philby

    philby Registered Member

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    Cozumel - if I understood right, Aaron doesn't just want to put a new HDD in the Dell, he wants to fit the HDD from the Toshiba along with the OEM OS installed on it, which is licensed only for the Toshiba.

    Microsoft OEM operating system software cannot be transferred to the new computer
     
  10. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Aaron,

    You son has 3 years of installed Programs on the Satellite HD. He can't copy these to the other HD. Even if Vista needs to be Activated with Microsoft, you can buy a new license which will be much less traumatic than reinstalling 3 years worth of apps.

    As far as using osdtool.tbs is concerned, there is a new tutorial here... (you are licensed for IFL too)

    http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/howto/index.htm

    See "Restoring to dissimilar hardware using Image for Linux (video)"

    Edit.. The first 2/3 of the video doesn't apply to you. Only the last third.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011
  11. Spysnake

    Spysnake Registered Member

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    I'm sorry if I were a little unclear. Sleep deprivation is kicking in :D

    What I meant with the EULA violation part was that when you transfer the OEM installation as a whole to a new computer, Windows detects different hardware and asks for reactivation, as the old license can no longer apply. But because both computers utilize the same OS, only thing you should need to do is the reactivation of the OS with the Dell Inspiron's license key. This way the enviroments should match.

    cozumel is basically right though, we only talk about different things here. I speak from the practical point of view - it has been noted that Microsoft doesn't like hardware changes with OEM installations. Therefore I suggest you to use the Dell license key if you make the HD transfer.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011
  12. cozumel

    cozumel Registered Member

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    Philby & Aaoron. I did misread the original post. Although you can put the Toshiba HDD into the Dell you would have to reformat the disk and install the Dell OEM onto the HDD so that Toshiba OEM is not on the Dell. This would be ok for validation. You would have to save important files somewhere else temporarily....Not ideal.

    Apologies for not reading the OP correctly.

    Edit: Or do as Spysnake said above, execpt you would also need to locate&remove all old Toshiba drivers, then install correct Dell drivers. Personally, I would go with a reformat to ensure it will be clean, smooth xp installation.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011
  13. philby

    philby Registered Member

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    No problem sir - just wanted to make sure I hadn't misread the OP. It's late... :)
     
  14. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    Hey guys - I am so confused with all of this that my brain is about to expload.

    Obviously, the easiest solution would be to install the Satellite's HDD into the Inspiron. As I said before, I realize that I then would have to install some Inspiron component drivers. Then if I can simply call MS and have them re-activate the Vista license for the Inspiron that's not a show-stopper. But I got the definite impression that doing this is an EULA violation and therefore MS would decline to re-activate Vista on the Inspiron. :doubt:

    So what sayeth you (and please keep it simple)?

    Aaron
     
  15. Spysnake

    Spysnake Registered Member

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    Yep. The driver installation / uninstallation process coupled with the fact that there may be some software which makes straight hardware connections (such as software needed for Fn -commands in laptops generally), makes this a messy way to set up a computer. The directions I gave should give you a working OS with an activated license key, but I still would advice you to just backup the files from Toshiba and transfer them to the Dell installation. This way you don't have to play around with the drivers and settings.
     
  16. Spysnake

    Spysnake Registered Member

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    It's a violation as long as you use the Toshiba license key when the hard drive has been transferred to Dell Inspiron. After you supply the Dell key, it should work and it should no longer be a violation, as the operating systems are exactly the same type. It's all about which key is in use.
     
  17. cozumel

    cozumel Registered Member

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    Late? It's only 0103 hours Saturday night Sunday morning (sound like Rebecca Black song), still early really...

    But is good that we are all saying the same thing, with same advice, just coming from different angles.

    Apolologies again to everyone if I caused any confusion.

    @ AAron : As Spysnake says above it will not violate your EULA. In the event you do end having to speak to MS for re-validation make you sure it is clearly understood replacement drive is a replacement for defective component. Don't use words like 'rebuilding' or anything similar as that could cause problems re your EULA (if MS agent is overzealous).
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011
  18. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Sounds good to me.
     
  19. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    Got it (I hope)! .....

    Either install the Satellite's HDD into the Inspiron, give MS the Inspiron's Vista Prod. No. and tell them that the new HDD is a replacement for the original HDD which failed.

    OR

    Reinstall my son's apps onto the Inspiron's drive + 3-years worth of emails, contacts, data, docs, etc. ...thinking about that is hurting my head again!
     
  20. Spysnake

    Spysnake Registered Member

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    Yes, correct. I prefer the latter option, but either way will do just fine.
     
  21. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I prefer the first way. You may not even need to activate with a new serial number. Theoretically you should have to activate, but not always. If you do have to activate, the Inspiron OS serial should be enough. You shouldn't have to contact Microsoft.
     
  22. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    That's what I love about this forum, you ask for suggestions and you get all kinds! ;)

    Much obliged y'all...
     
  23. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Just a comment on the TeraByte video about installing Storage Controller drivers. TeraByte put a folder (containing drivers) on the IFL USB flash drive, booted from the USB flash drive into IFL, ran the OSDTool, mounted the flash drive partition as Drive 1: and navigated to the drivers.

    If you have a computer that won't boot from a USB flash drive there is a workaround. Put your drivers on a USB flash drive. Boot from an IFL CD, plug in the USB flash drive anytime before running the OSDTool, mount the flash drive partition as Drive 1: and navigate to the drivers.
     
  24. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    My son had other commitments this past weekend so we decided to postpone this 'operation' until next weekend.

    Re the choice of the the two methods for getting this job done, the latter would require reinstalling 8 apps (and that counts MS Office 2007 as just one app) onto the Inspiron's drive, not to mention all of his personal files! Therefore, I would definitely prefer the former method (i.e, simply installing the Satellite's drive into the Inspiron). However, my primary concern here is the likelihood of a boot-up problem because of the different chipsets (Intel on the Satellite and AMD on the Inspiron)! :doubt:

    What are your thoughts on this?

    Aaron
     
  25. cozumel

    cozumel Registered Member

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    Hi Aaron,

    All depends how confident you feel. You could remove all drivers, files and registry entries from the Toshiba drive while still installed in the Satellite. You may find it easier to use a third market program to assist you with the removal process. However if anything is left behind, you could have conflicts and instability once installed in the Dell with all the latest Inspiron drivers. Like I said, how confident are you? If you don't feel comfortable and get it wrong it could take longer doing the transfer than the other option of a reformat and clean installation. It's a bit of a o_O conundrum

    Good luck Aaron!!

    Cheers, Vic
     
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