Send me to computer jail
March 22, 2008 11:54 PM   Subscribe

PC Help again again. I have an old pc with windows 2000 server installed on a 20gig SCSI drive. I am trying to install a 40 gig IDE drive that has xp on it. I don't need windows 2000 server anymore so I want the computer to boot into xp but it isn't happening for me. What am I doing wrong?

It is a D850EMV2 intel motherboard with 512kb of that super expensive ram. A custom built computer, not a brand name.

I removed the scsi card and uplugged the scsi drive and then plugged in the IDE drive. The cd drive was connected to the secondary IDE connector so I moved that to the primary connector and connected the middle part of the connector to the ide hard drive and the end to the cd drive. I also moved the led light switched to the motherboard from the scsi card. I get a failure to boot error message. I did nothing with the bios. I am not a computer guy but i sure would like to make this work. What am I doing wrong?

I put everything back the way it was and it boots into windows 2000 server fine. By the way I also tried to format the scsi drive but the os wouldn't let me.

Shouldn't I be able to do this?
posted by snowjoe to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
You probably have to do something with the BIOS, if you're changing the boot device. Go into the boot section and make sure it's configured to boot off of IDE instead of SCSI. Also make sure the jumpers on the IDE HDD are set so it's the Master device. The CD-ROM is fine on the secondary IDE where it was.
posted by bizwank at 12:13 AM on March 23, 2008

Two things to check out:

Does your bios have a setting stating the boot order? If you've switched from SCSI to IDE, it's likely that your computer doesn't know to look for your hard drive.

Is your hard drive and cdrom set properly with master/slave settings? There are jumpers that change these settings, and if both are set to 'master', they can conflict. It's probably easiest to keep the cdrom on the secondary controller, and put the hard drive on the first, by itself.
posted by jsmith77 at 12:19 AM on March 23, 2008

bizwank has it right..... most likely you need to go into BIOS and set IDE as the "first boot device". (its probably currently set to have "SCSI is first boot device"). Or you may just disable SCSI all together if you dont plan on using it anymore. Also make sure the IDE hard drive is jumpered correctly and plugged into the correct connector on the IDE cable.
posted by jmnugent at 12:19 AM on March 23, 2008

If this IDE drive has XP on it, does that mean that you've booted successfully from it in the past? If not, how was XP installed?

I don't want to patronise, but do you realise that you can't just take a HD with an XP installation from one machine and plug it into another? (unless the PCs are identical)
posted by Busy Old Fool at 3:44 AM on March 23, 2008

Looking at your previous questions, it appears that you are trying to move this 40GB drive from another computer. As Busy Old Fool says, you can't do that. You need to re-install XP on this computer. First make sure you've copied any important data off the 40GB drive. Then make sure the master and slave jumpers are set correctly and re-install XP from a CD (just do the same things you did after your previous question).
posted by ssg at 11:03 AM on March 23, 2008

ssg and Busy Old Fool have it -- you can't just move a new drive with a pre-existing install of XP into the machine and expect to boot from it. At the minimum, you'll need to install the drive, boot from a CD/DVD and reinstall XP over top of the install currently on the drive.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:21 PM on March 23, 2008

^ On the contrary, I've moved HDD's from one computer to another many, many times, and the only issues I've ran into is re-installing drivers for the new hardware. XP will default to a standard video driver and PS2 keyboard/mouse when it sees a new motherboard, and that's all you need to get everything else running again. The HDD and it's data IS the computer; all the other stuff can be swapped out pretty much at will.

If you don't believe me, you can come check out my 4-year-old XP installation running on hardware that's only 1 year old (except for the system drive).
posted by bizwank at 6:58 PM on March 23, 2008

Well, OK, scratch "you can't" and replace with "it is strongly recommended that you don't," based on every discussion of this I have ever seen.

I mean it's good that it's worked for you (first time I've heard someone say so), but going from my couple of decades of experience building PCs (not to say that I know everything, by any means, just that I've got a fair bit of experience with this stuff), I'd say your positive result was the exception rather than the rule.

Anywhere, here's how I'd approach it:

1) Do as bizwank and razdrez and jmnugent suggest w/r/t boot order and disabling the SCSI interface, if you don't want the old drive any more. Connect your IDE drive. Master/slave jumper changing may not be necessary depending on the age of the drive in question.
2) Hard boot, go back into the bios, make sure you can see the new drive.
3) Reboot again, if XP loads up, well, good, I guess.
4) Me, I'd boot again from CD and reinstall XP over top of the old install.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:25 PM on March 23, 2008

(Er, just to be clear, just in case, your computer should be powered down, of course, when you connect the new drive.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:27 PM on March 23, 2008

With regard to swapping hard drives...I have to agree with what stavrosthewonderchicken said. The level of success/failure you have swapping components out from under XP is going to depend heavily on how similar or different the components are.

Example 1.)
If you are moving an XP harddrive from a single-core CPU, Intel chipset motherboard to a similar single-core CPU, Intel chipset motherboard (or from similar laptop to similar laptop)... you'll probably not have many problems.

Example 2.)
If you are moving an XP harddrive from a single-core CPU, Intel chipset motherboard to a multi-core CPU, VIA (or AMD) chipset motherboard with different video card,etc,etc, you're probably going to have much more difficulty getting it to "play nice" detecting drivers and performing up to your expectations.

The reason for this is because, at installation time, Windows XP scans your computers hardware and builds a configuration from it. This configuration affects how Registry settings get created, how/which drivers get copied and various other boot/system environment settings. Additionally, if down the road you start to have problems with the system, your troubleshooting will be more frustrating because you have to figure out: "is this current problem caused by the fact that I swapped the hard drive without reinstalling the OS?, or is it from some newer, unknown problem?

On the whole, XP still surprises me with its overall flexibility, but in the area of swapping harddrives across different hardware, I'd say my success factor is about 1 in 10.
posted by jmnugent at 4:57 AM on March 24, 2008

Okay thanks everyone. There are great answers here all of them good and all of them helpful. I was ready to give up and at the 12th hour remembered ask.metafilter! Without a doubt the best five bucks I have ever spent.

I did what several people suggested and completely removed the scsi card and drive and connected the drive to the primary and left the cd drive hooked up to the secondary. The computer the drive had been in and the computer I was putting it into were indeed almost identical and it booted fine, however I had always intended to do a new instalation of xp which I did with having any problems. Now I am wondering if I will go to computer jail because I have two computers running the same (purchased) copy of xp!

And my wife wants a new Dell.

Thanks everyone!
posted by snowjoe at 4:03 PM on March 27, 2008

« Older Streaming audio service recommendation?   |   My puppy fainted. Serious? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.