I am about to upgrade my wife's PC. I am buying a barebones bundle and will then install her current PC hard drive in it. I am assuming that will cover the Windows XP OS (and everything else) transfer -- and all will be sweetness and light Or have I overlooked something like,say, Microsoft 'recognising' the new PC?
I have to agree with wee eddie. You can swap the hard drive over and I believe do a windows repair booting from the CD and then change all the drivers but I've never had much success doing this. Some others on the Forum have done this many times but when I tried it things went pear-shaped. That is why I format the drive and start anew. Of course if the windows is OEM it might not allow you to tranfer it to a new PC in that it might upon checking for updates fail the validation process. OEM is meant to die with the old PC which for Microsoft means the motherboard, different motherboard is classed as new PC. Mind you if it is OEM you have and you contact Microsoft and explain the old motherboard died and this is all you can get as a replacement they might well give you a new serial number. They did that for me. If its a full version of windows you have then of course this would not be a problem anyway.
I have done this twice once on an old one of mine when I had to change dead motherboard explained to microsoft they gave me new actvation number but I then had major problem's with old and new motherboard drivers conflicting, and once with my brother-in-law's same thing exactly no problems at all.
Thanks to all for the very helpful advice. The Dell came with XP installed and although we have the backup CDs I am inclined to follow advice and contact Microsoft for a new serial number. If I do end up with a driver conflict on the new build PC then a complete reinstall might be an answer. If all else fails I will purchase an OEM XP version and then transfer the hard drive data to the new PC and a new hard drive. There is always a way through even if jumping through hoops is part of it. ( I doubt I would get her to accept Linux as a trade off though!) Consider it solved unless I come back to you guys-and thanks again