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epic

Dell HDD to DIY PC

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So my mothers dell computer is just slow, she's getting old and I'm sure it drives her insane having to wait for a program to start up, just as much as I dread having to work on the thing. The IDE HDD is fine, so I have this Atom system but will only allow for a SATA drive which I have already installed. What I would like to do is migrate (clone) the Dell HDD to this new drive. However, I've came across some issues the last time I cloned that drive... it would not boot and comes up with the Blue bar at the top or bottom of the screen IIRC, the problem occurs both on the Atom system and the VMware test bed I created. I've used Acronis to clone the drive and the additional tools to allow for new hardware, but still unable to boot the drive.

Does anyone know of a way to bypass or trick the cloned SATA HDD on the Atom system to believe it's on a Dell system? Is it likely all I need to do is copy the MBR from the Retail XP CD I have?

Edited by epic
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Dell is probably an OEM Pre-install and MAY have the Utilities Partition (1st) and Recovery Partition (3d).

That "Blue Bar" sounds like the Special Dell MBR Code (I have it on a E521).

http://www.goodells.net/dellrestore/

Can you say what Model? What OS? (assume XP?)

Atom is a CPU. Can you tell what Make/Model this "Atom System" is?

You're also going from IDE to SATA as well as probably Chipset differences. In addition, the OS WILL more than likely immediately deactivate. Each OEM Install is "tied" to their Make (Brand) via SLP (XP) / SLIC2.0 (Vista) / SLIC2.1 (Win7). No way to "trick" the Install. Hope you have the COA sticker still available on that Dell.

addendum- There is no MBR on a Retail XP CD. If you try a FIXMBR, it will only "wipe" the MBR but still not "fix" the OS to work on a non-Dell PC. (SEE LINK GIVEN and do some light reading).

Edited by submix8c
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The Atom system is what I built to replace the dell system. The XP COA is still on the dell system. As for going from IDE to SATA, that's not an terrible issue especially with Acronis cloning and if I had hardware compatibility issues one can always download and update the drivers. I guess I could re-clone the drive and run the repair module from the CD.

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Um... NO!

A Retail CD has different "special files" as opposed to an OEM Install. The COA Key will not work on a Retail CD.

Hint - search for OEMBIOS and SETUPP (particularly on the Dell HDD). You can Google that along with "site:msfn.org" (no quotes) for some helpful information. You will NEED those to create a Dell OEM CD (useable with the COA key).

In addition, you will STILL have issues with the SATA Drivers that will NOT be present on the CD, the only work-around being Disabling SATA (AHCI) Mode in the Atom PC's BIOS -OR- Integrating the CORRECT SATA Drivers for the Atom PC into it (see HINT above).

It's NOT just "slap in in and Repair" or "just swap/clone the HDD to another PC". Not that simple. It probably WILL NOT BOOT (blue screen).

BTW, it will violate the EULA to use that COA Key on another PC. They (any Retail/Upgrade/OEM) can be used ONLY ONCE on a given PC and it WILL need activated. The COA Key is assigned at the Factory to that PC even though, by manipulation, it can be used on another.

I can't won't give any more on this so do your own research (via google on above). The subject is all over MSFN as to the Exact Differences between All Editions/Variations in DETAIL (keys, files, etc) as well as the WWW, so think first before you act.

Side issues -

Is the OLD PC that bad or is it just loaded with "garbage" or Trojans/Viruses? If either/both is true, then even transferring to the Atom PC won't help and a good "cleaning" would make it all good again . Don't be so reluctant to give Make/Model of both if you want further help.

HTH and good luck! I've said almost too much so I'm done... ;)

Edited by submix8c
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addendum- There is no MBR on a Retail XP CD. If you try a FIXMBR, it will only "wipe" the MBR but still not "fix" the OS to work on a non-Dell PC. (SEE LINK GIVEN and do some light reading).

Well, NO. :no:

The MBR code is there allright, in several system files:

http://thestarman.pcministry.com/asm/mbr/Win2kmbr.htm

http://thestarman.pcministry.com/asm/mbr/WTC.htm

And "FIXMBR" will replace the CODE without touching the partition table entries (it won't "wipe" the MBR. only the code).

So. it would "break" the compatibility with F11 recovery BUT NOT alter the "normal" booting:

http://www.goodells.net/dellrestore/fixes.shtml

The Dell-specific Ctrl+F11 process is supposed to completely automate the restoration process, returning the hard disk to the state it was in when Dell shipped the computer. However, overwriting the MBR by using a boot manager, using the commands "fixmbr" or "fdisk /mbr", installing from a Windows installation CD, and assorted other tasks a user might do will inadvertantly break Ctrl+F11, rendering the system unable to boot the DSR partition. Furthermore, changing the partitioning by adding, deleting, or resizing partitions will cause DSRcheck to fail, so even if Ctrl+F11 works, the restore process will abort without attempting to restore the Ghost image.

This said, installing from an OEM disc to another hardware - besides connected legal issues - is not "easy" and not "for the faint of heart" or "newbie".

The DELL install CD's. addditonally, tend to be "tricky" (to say the least).

@epic

The procedure that I personally recommend (though not particularly "fast") is to "re-generalize" the install CD.

If you will be able to bear the pages and pages of "difficulties in communication", "side notes" and more generally the overall verbosity of this (seemingly unrelated) thread:

http://www.911cd.net/forums//index.php?showtopic=24161&hl=

it contains all you need to know (and do) up to the most detailed minutiae and even more.

jaclaz

jaclaz

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Well, YES, but

"wipe"
was a bad way of putting it - REPLACE would have been a better term.

OP never mentioned a Dell Install CD, although OP MAY have one, in which case this Dell Install CD / Recover Partition subject had been hashed before along with the link given.

One might "assume" (barring the COA legal implications) that the Original HDD would ultimately remain in the Dell. If the Dell is Home then the Pro CD will do no good. The OP has not specified ANY specifications whatsoever even though the request for them was made. Ultimately without that the OP has no choice except to read the given link, attempt to construct a CD from the contents of the HDD and a Good Luck To You given.

Outa here!

And... Good Luck To You. ;)

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