Microsoft Vista/MicrosoftXP Pro

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hairygrape | 13:36 Tue 30th Jan 2007 | Technology
16 Answers
I'm using a PC right now with XP Pro as the OS. I may buy in the future a new PC with Vista pre-installed (subject to good reviews!)
In the past I've copied the contents of a small HDD to a larger Seagate HDD using their copying utilities such as "Seatools" and IDE cables etc.
If I buy a Vista PC, how can I copy the contents of my present HDD to the new drive?
The problem as I see it that I obviously don't want to copy over XP to the new drive but I can't think of a way to prevent this happening. Can I copy over the rest of the stuff alone and if so, how can I do it?
My present motherboard and HDD have IDE connectors. How would I copy the drive contents if the new PC had a SATA hard drive and SATA motherboard connectors?

Many Thanks


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I am not sure what files you want to copy over from your XP machine to the Vista machine.

If it is personal files (pictures, movies, mp3s, word documents or whatever) then why cant you copy them on to a CD or DVD, and then they are easy to put on the Vista machine.

If it IS those types if files then they should all be backed up on CD or DVD anyway, in case your hard disk ever crashes.

If it is NOT those types of files, then what do you want to copy across ?
You could set up a small network.

I have a router and three PCs plugged into it.

I can easily set a folder to "share" on any of the PCs and copy files from one to the other, in fact I do it all the time.
Question Author
Thanks veryhelpfulguy

I had intended copying across everything but the OS with the aim of avoiding reinstalling all the programs etc.

The problem I've got is that the XP machine won't boot into the OS. This followed an attempt to upgrade the SDRAM memory from 128mb to 256mb by adding a new DIMM. The BIOS gives out the "memory problem" beep on starting and the system goes no further. The only thing that's odd is that it boots on a 32mb DIMM into XP but halts as there's insufficient memory.
The DIMM contacts have been cleaned to no avail. We even reinstalled the original 128mb DIMM alone, but it won't even boot from that.
I just don't know what else to try.
Ah I see your problem.

Well first, I do not think that you will be able to copy files across from XP to Vista to avoid a re-install.

Many programs update the Windows registry and make other changes and without a full re-install of the program that will not happen. Also so much has changed in Vista that I think you will get all sorts of other problems.

Sometimes if you update memory you need to go into the BIOS and let it find it, then you need to save the new BIOS settings. Have you tried that?

Or you may have the wrong memory type (the new memory).

Memory has to be the exact type for the motherboard (speed, pins etc) and in fact sometimes memory from two different companies will not work together.

I think you are better off trying to get the memory problem sorted out and get a working XP on your current machine before doing anything else.

There is really no safe and effective way that you can copy part of your XP installation from one machine to another (even if they were both XP). That is to say, obviously you can copy data, but not installed programs. If you just want to copy data, you can simply remove your existing hard drive, change its configuration to "Slave", install it in a new machine as a D or E drive and copy the stuff from drive to drive.

BTW, I've just finished preliminary testing of a machine with Vista Business installed, and I really cannot find any reason to recommend it whatsoever - though I can think of a lot of reasons to recommend sticking with XP!
I also agree with VHG that it's probably a lot easier to get the memory problem sorted.
Question Author
Thanks again.

The XP machine is a Fujitsu-Siemens model that we bought directly from them when they were selling via mail-order. At the time of purchase, some seven years ago, it had one 128mb SDRAM dimm installed.

About five years ago, we bought 3 DIMM modules from ebuyer and discovered soon after removing the FS installed DIMM that the system would not accept it back once it had been removed - we had the warning beep. We next tried one of the bought DIMM's and found it worked in the socket from which we had removed the pre-installed DIMM. Adding more DIMM's in the other two sockets, again stopped the PC from booting. In effect, we were now, back to square one, with a useless pre-installed 128mb DIMM and a working ebuyer DIMM in it's place.

The other two new DIMM's were installed in a HP Pavilion PC and have both worked fine ever since.

This time, after failing to get the FS machine to boot on more newly bought memory, we took the DIMM's out of the HP Pavilion and installed them in the FS machine. Now these modules were bought at the same time, had the same batch number, were the same types exactly as the FS installed memory and were known working modules.

To our horror, we discovered that the FS machine would not work on either of them.

On returning the removed DIMM's to the HP Pavilion, they worked perfectly!

It's not a socket problem, as the 32mb DIMM works in the socket from which the 128mb DIMM was removed.

Logically, the whole affair doesn't make sense. If they were from different batches or different types or even bought from different suppliers, I could accept a problem might arise.

Question Author
Thanks for your advice too rojash
Question Author
I was thinking along the same lines as you veryhelpfulguy, when you mentioned letting the BIOS find the memory.

The problem is that I can't even get as far as the BIOS with any 128mb DIMM installed. The PC beeps continuously, fails to boot and the monitor is blank.
Can you post the model of Fujitsu-Siemens computer that you have, and also details of the DIMMS? I just MIGHT be able to get some info on how to solve this.
Question Author
That would be fantastic rojash.

It's a Fujitsu-Siemens A1000 with a 1000Mhz processor and originally had Windows ME installed. It included an "upgraded" HDD to 30Gb!

DIMM's are PC133 128Mb with two banks of four chips on each side. I think they were Major 3rd. We phoned ebuyer prior to purchase for advice on which DIMM's to buy and these were the ones recommended to work with the system. DIMM's have the code numbers HK1604A1and 880802D2 marked on them. Chips bear the codes 16X8Y3VTW, -75,MQ and 0136.

Thanks again.
1. I'm amazed that you ever managed to run XP with so little RAM
2. Seven years ago, PC 100 would have been the type of RAM in use.
3. Did you clear the CMOS before re-booting after fitting the new RAM.
4. Did you take anti-static precautions when fitting the new memory. 60volts can kill the average PC component whereas the body can store up to 3000volts of static electricity.
Too much wine, hit the submit button before I intended to.
Agree with Rojash, as usual, that Vista is not worth the expense of upgrading.
I have been testing it for six months in Beta form on a high spec PC and can find nothing in it that justifies the cost.
The added security is nothing more than is freely available at present and the drawbacks are horrendous.
Read this drm_analysis/ and see if you really want to upgrade.
By the way, XP has a migration tool that will meet your transfer requirements.
Bad news, I'm afraid, hairygrape. My company refurbishes Fujitsu-Siemens returns, so I thought I would be able to help. But it seems our experience doesn't extend far enough back in time to have any info on this model!

Sorry :-(
Question Author
Thanks dodgyshirt.

Only one 128Mb module has been installed in the Fujitsu-Siemens since we bought it. ME was the original OS, but we took it back to W98 due problems with drivers and software. We then upgraded to XP Pro and if I remember rightly, 128Mb was the minimum memory requirements. I've never detected any instability with the one DIMM fitted and it's been quite happy with XP Pro. About the only thing we had a problem with was the systems inability to run Photoshop and Illustrator (not together!), but I knew we were really pushing it with these two.

I appreciate the point about PC100 being prevalent seven years ago. However, at the time this was a "top-of-the-range" model and Fujitsu-Siemens moved quickly in their advertisements to show that it had a better standard of memory than most of it's contemporaries. This was one of the reasons why we bought this model.

Yes, we did clear the CMOS before rebooting with the new DIMM in place.

We also took full anti-static precautions including wrist-straps etc while removing the old DIMM and fitting the new one. We were strapped up even before the PC was opened.

Thanks for the advice on the XP Migration Tool. I thought I'd seen just about everything useful in XP Pro, but I've not come across this before.
Question Author
Thanks rojash.

I thought you might have a problem with the obsolescence of the PC.

Never mind, I know you've done your best and I'd like to thank you for taking the time to look into this.

Thanks again.

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