Hello. I'm not that smart. But if I buy a new computer and need to use my….

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Christian Christian 3 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #1856

    Rev 2
    Participant

    Hello. My computer hath the dust bitten.

    I’m not that smart. But if I buy a new computer and need to use my current drive with a current project on it, can it be done painlessly?

    Both PCs are Dell Optiplex. Current one is GX620, new one would be like it but newer, Optiplex 780 probably.

    My concept is to buy the new (secondhand) Dell with Windows 7 on it, never start it up but slide the xp drives and my sound and video cards into it, it’ll have the right drivers for the sound and video cards, and what else would have to be overcome?

    After the project is done, I can just take the old drives out and store them, and return the original drive…

    #1857
    Christian
    Christian
    Participant

    I know someone who did that with XP recently and it worked right away, but the computers were identical models. If they’re not, it’s still doable but tricky. You probably want to make sure that Windows XP drivers exists for the parts of the new computer. This search yielded a few promising results. One site says you might need to replace the hardware abstraction layer. I think I had to do that when I moved an XP installation from an old computer to VirtualBox. I remember having to do some stuff, possibly replacing the HAL, using the old computer. Since yours is broken, that might make things more difficult. Good luck!

    This is easier to do with a Linux installation because it contains all possible drivers and simply loads whichever ones are needed at boot. Windows typically only installs the drivers needed for a particular model of computer.

    #1858

    Rev 2
    Participant

    I guess I should have said so, but yes I’m in XP.

    I just came from looking at GX620s in ebay. Some of them came in Pentium D and they sell for under a hundred bucks. This would certainly be better than $350 for a newer Optiplex and a new hard drive, and the transplant might be smoother too, do you think?

    Downside is that the GX620 was always kind of temperamental, and if that’s a GX620 trait, I’ve had enough of that.

    I’ve never even heard of a Hardware Abstraction Layer. I looked at it in Google, and it seems like I’d have trouble getting my fingers around it…

    #1859
    Christian
    Christian
    Participant

    You did say XP, or at least it was implied. If you want the newer Optiplex, it sounds like there’s a reasonable chance it will work. Try following these instructions here, but look at the second page as it tells you how to make XP bootable once you’ve already moved it to the new computer. It sounds like the main problem is that the motherboard’s disk controller could be different, requiring a different XP driver. The instructions says to download and burn a bootable CD which can change the hard disk driver in XP. If you still can’t boot XP after that, then you might need to change the HAL.

    It looks like if the above steps don’t work, or seem too complicated, you can still get it working by doing a “repair install”. Maybe I should have mentioned that first 🙂

    #1871

    Dave_M
    Participant

    Seems like you’d be better off using the drive from your current PC as a second slaved drive. Both those models accommodate 2 drives right out of the box. All you have to have is the 2nd SATA cable (which you can steal from your original PC) and enable the 2nd drive in the BIOS and you’re all set.
    That way you don’t have to screw around hoping that the drivers on your current PC’s drive will work on your new(er) one.

    This of course assumes that the PC you’re purchasing comes with a hard drive and OS. And even if it doesn’t, I still think you’re better off purchasing a drive and installing the OS and installing your old drive as a 2nd drive. You can download drivers from support.dell.com

    All you have to do is enter the service tag and it will take you right to the correct page.

    #1873

    Rev 2
    Participant

    That’s a good idea, thanks !

    Here are some boundaries that I didn’t mention…My mixing/editing software is Adobe Audition, which itself requires two drives, one as an unencumbered buffer. If I have to install a new Audition on a new drive, so it can use the second drive as it normally wants to, I have to get online activation from Adobe, except they don’t do online activation for this product any more, so I have to download a special cracked-by-Adobe-themselves version, if I can find my ID and password, which I’m not too sure about. And this machine is not connected to the Internet, which makes that awkward. And I have to find all my presets and preferences and VSTs. Bla bla bla….

    In short, there would be quite a puzzle involved in deploying a new C:, and I’d rather shovel snow than plow through that process. Call me a sissy.

    #1911

    Dave_M
    Participant

    I always tell people, moving to a “new” PC is never painless, but is often worth the pain involved because you get a fresh start.
    You mentioned that the OS is Windows XP. A fine fairly bulletproof OS, but one that’s run its course. I assume you know that Microsoft support for XP ends as of April 8 this year?
    You might consider moving up to Windows 7. No I WOULD NOT go to Windows 8 – I consider that an abomination….but that’s another discussion.
    So….if you care for the adventure, the process might be something like:
    Put the original drive in the new PC, download and install the drivers from support.dell.com for the new PC and get it working as it was. Backup all your documents, presets, profile related items to a separate folder on the drive that you can find later.
    Purchase a new hard drive and install Windows 7 (I’d go 64 bit), then you can re-install Audition (because by this time you’ve located your license key, etc.) and you’ll be good to go for several years. Then you can put your original drive in as your second drive as described earlier.

    #1912

    Rev 2
    Participant

    I’ve had a few days to contemplate this now, and I think that what’s going to happen is that the recording computer is just going to be another GX620 running the same XP, just to get the project done because the project has to get done, and time figuring out operating systems would be time badly spent in this circumstance.

    I am absolutely unimpressed by the idea that “you have to use this because it’s new” But my general-purpose machine can migrate to 7. Later.

    #1938

    Rev 2
    Participant

    Well, here’s what happened, and this is only the first evening so I only presume that it’s going to stay happened.

    I ordered another empty GX620 from a recycler on ebay. For some reason he couldn’t send me the one that he thought he had, because he didn’t, so he sent me an Optiplex 745. Looks exactly the same, but two steps up, from Pentium 4 to Core 2 Duo.

    I put my drives and memory and stuff into the 745 and it booted with no smoke at all. It didn’t exactly run, and I had to find a bunch of obscure drivers and stuff, and uninstall and reinstall my audio card, but that only took three or four hours, and it looks like I’m sailing.

    Plus, the new machine has a nice, relaxed, kind of content vibe to it. The previous machine, even when it worked, was kind of grumpy and irritable the whole time. Still, I will give it a decent and respectful burial, because it did do a lot of work for me.

    #1943
    Christian
    Christian
    Participant

    Congratulations Rev 2! I’m glad it wasn’t as complicated as I originally suggested. I think you’ll find the Core 2 Due a huge step up from the Pentium 4. My primary desktop is a Core 2 Duo and I love it.

    #1945

    Rev 2
    Participant

    Well, thank you for the kind advice. The most demanding software, the only one that specifically asks for a dual-core machine, is better but only noticeably. But the new machine really is happier and friendlier in an unexplainable way.

    #1947
    Christian
    Christian
    Participant

    I think it’s multitasking where dual core becomes really noticeable. It’s not that one program is significantly faster, but when you’ve got several things open and are switching between them, it seems smoother.

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