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Installing a HD with XP preloaded

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by charlisity, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. charlisity

    charlisity is full of it

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    I have two hard drives that had new windows xp installations done on one pc. I wanted to use these extra hard drives to test other computers that come through here by just pluggin in one of the xp hard drives but this didn't work. I tried it yesterday and both xp hard drives went into a rebooting cycle. Any ideas on how to make it work?

    Thanks.
     
  2. vanRichten

    vanRichten

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    The hardware is different in different computers, even the same model from the same manufacter. There are little things in the machine that get detected as the OS is being installed that "personalize" it to that individual machine.

    About the only thing you can do is use something like SysPrep to strip out all of the hardware information and force it to rescan the hardware at the first boot. I do this when I build Ghost images.

    Secondly, you can set up a USB key to boot to XP if your machines are new enough to support USB booting. That way you can at least test that the machine comes on and the cd drive works and such.
     

  3. Nyper

    Nyper

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    Thirdly, be careful what you post. I think that is illegal. :) I know you aren't trying to USE it on those machines, but XP Pro is licensed to a specific machine, and that machine only.
     
  4. vanRichten

    vanRichten

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    Depends on what sort of license you have for XP. In my shop we have an open license so I get to do pretty much whatever I want to do with the installs.

    Plus, as long as you have a legal copy of XP Pro you aren't using on any other machine, it's perfectly ok to use it in a test environment, even without the open license agreement. XP isn't technically licensed per machine.
     
  5. charlisity

    charlisity is full of it

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    I have no idea what kind of license I have and there is no support for usb boot in the bios only a,c,cdrom and lan. That sysprep process is a little over my head.

    I think I'll go back to what I had been doing all along unless an easier method gets posted.

    I install a drive as a slave, format it and then re-install it on the computer being tested for a new xp install. I repeat this every time I get a pc to play with. That is very time consuming and a pain in the ***.
     
  6. fastvfr

    fastvfr Ancient Tech

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    That is the only way around it, unless you speak Linux or create a BartPE disk...

    If all you need is 'any old OS' to run so you can check hardware function, go like a white man and get yourself a bootable Linux CD made pronto!

    I use Knoppix distros for this...you don't even NEED a freaking hard drive to test a PC, just a CD-ROM.

    BartPE uses an XP disk to create an OS-on-disk that'll boot just as Knoppix does. Bootable Linux distros, even little ones like Slax, are more powerful and useful than BartPE, IMHO.

    Are you trying to do tech work somewhere?!

    And another thing: this certainly isn't the place to post about trying to bootleg Winders! Eric could get into trouble if such things are posted here.

    So, please, hush-hush or just send PM's with that sensitive stuff--unless being named first in a lawsuit brought by the biggest, richest Multinational Corporation around doesn't bother you...;P ;g ;m ;g ;P
     
  7. charlisity

    charlisity is full of it

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    I doubt what I do is illegal. Its a purchased disk that I use and no enduring instance of use exists for that single license. The drives are erased after the computer hardware is tested.

    I don't do this for work; its a hobby that I have. Friends, relatives and pretty much anybody can get a free computer from me if they provide me a hard drive, an operating system and any software that they want. What usually happens is that interested people buy an operating system and a small hard drive from ebay and bring them to me. I work across the street from a computer recycling facility and the computers are free for the taking besides the hard drives. I think it's a privacy protection policy of theirs.

    Do you think this is illegal? I'd hate to get into trouble for doing something like this. I like to tinker with PCs but I don't want to be committing crimes to do it.
     
  8. vanRichten

    vanRichten

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    As long as you are using a legal copy of XP that isn't installed on any machine what you are doing is perfectly legal. Pretty damn nice of you to do it too.
     
  9. Nyper

    Nyper

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    I know exactly what you mean. I honestly don't know if what you are trying to do is illegal. Is Microsoft going to come busting through your doors for doing? No...

    When I said 'be careful' I just meant 'be careful so you dont get flamed for asking illegal questions'. :) I can't cay with certainty whether it is illegal, but I would personally would not hesitate to do the same thing. As someone else posted, it depends on what type of license you have. Sorry for my original post. Just posted it in a hurry and should have been less critical and more helpful.
     
  10. charlisity

    charlisity is full of it

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    No worries.:)

    I'll just let them do it for themselves from now on. I like doing it but I'll just play with my computer at home and let them do it for themselves. Teach a person to fish and all that...
     
  11. fastvfr

    fastvfr Ancient Tech

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    If you haven't trid a Lice Linux-On-CD, you really should!

    As I said, Knoppix has been my favorite for a long time now.

    You will wonder how you ever got along without it...and BTW it CAN be installed to HDD and used to run most any PC around! Usable KDE desktop and about 2GB of compressed software are included on one CD, but there are many folks working for even larger versions, with more apps included, that need a DVD for elbow room.

    Give it a try! It's even more 'interesting' than Windows--and it'll do just as well for testing a computer's hardware as a complete XP installation will.

    Oh, and BTW, you aren't breaking any laws if the license key isn't active on any other PC's. Sadly, though, XP is designed to require reactivation when more than four parts of the PC it as installed on are changed (makes XP think it's being pirated).

    This is a big part of why a HDD with XP on it won't boot other machines well...or at all.

    Bill Gates just doesn't have enough money yet, you see...
     
  12. DM6

    DM6 Libertarian

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    However, you can transfer your license to a new machine, provided the old machine is no longer running said copy of Windows. When I used to do systems administration, hard drive swaps were routinely done after we closely examined the EULA.


    You will have two problems with a retail copy:

    1. During Windows setup, the hardware abstraction layer is configured to communicate with the rest of the operating system based on certain system paramaters that remain invisible to the user (mainly motherboard architectural features). Without completely replacing this configuration set, there is no way to transfer HD's easily. You'll need to either reconfigure it each time (a major pain), or follow certain other procedures. If you do want to do this (I would advise against it), check out this guide.


    2. Windows activation will prevent you from installing or using Windows on too many computers, as determined at Microsoft's discretion. The full details of WPA are beyond the scope of this thread (see this guide), but what you need to understand is that each computer running XP is "fingerprinted" by the operating system based on its hardware characteristics. If too many of these characteristics change, you will have to re-activate. If you re-activate too many times, automated activation will be blocked and you will have to call Microsoft and explain your situation. This should only be a problem if you overcome the problem presented in point 1. WPA is part of all versions of Windows XP except for the Volume License editions, which you wouldn't have unless you have a pirate copy of Windows.


    As quick as XP can be installed, I just re-install everytime I do a hardware swap or major upgrade. As long as you know how to back up your documents, and have the install media for all of your applications, you shouldn't run into any problems. The hassle of tinkering with the inner workings of the OS just isn't worth it, even to me, and I'm a computer professional.
     
  13. DM6

    DM6 Libertarian

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    This is an extremely good point, and I feel it needs repeating. As confusing as EULAs are, the average person should remember one quick rule of thumb: you need one license for every active machine that you have installed said software on.

    • If you are installing another copy of something installed on an inoperable machine at the back of your closet, you should be fine.
    • If you are moving hard drives, you should be fine.
    • If you sell your hard drive, and forget to wipe it clean, you should be fine.

    The key to avoiding license paranoia is to use common sense. You need one license for each copy installed on a computer you use - plain and simple. Not only do software companies have little in the way of tools available to catch people on technicalities, but they have no reason to do so when there are others out there with $10000 worth of pirate software installed on each machine owned by said pirate.

    I have yet to hear about one person sued on technicality when they were operating in good faith.
     
  14. woettinger

    woettinger King Nothing

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    To get the drive to work with the new hardware you need to do a 'dirty install'.

    Install the drive then boot to the windows install cd and then go through the steps like you are doing a fresh install.

    Do not select recovery console.

    When it comes time to select the partition, there will be a option for a repair install. That will allow the OS to work on the new hardware layer.