can i just swop my harddrive, load windows 7 and boot up? using xp at present?

  SANAP 00:36 22 Nov 2013

I have a dell 9150 pc with win xp pro and it runs like a charm, its about 7 years old, 4gb ram, 3.0.ghz pentium, 2 hard drives, 2 cd writers, and so on. But xp will become defunct in april 2014. So I was dondering could I take out my existing xp drive, install a new drive load up windows 7 and away I go. All my files are on second hard drive. Then when required take out win 7 HD and put back in xp pro one, say I need some software program, copy to second drive etc put back in win 7?

Or am I missing something obivious???


  hastelloy 08:09 22 Nov 2013

You can still use XP after Microsoft withdraw support - you are not obliged to change.

If you want to change then you can install W7 on a new drive but you can't copy software - you need to reinstall from a disc or by way of a download.

  Secret-Squirrel 08:50 22 Nov 2013

SANAP, as Marvin has said, your XP will still work when MS withdraw support next April. However, no more Windows updates will released (including security ones) so you may feel a tad vulnerable.

"Then when required take out win 7 HD and put back in xp pro one,"

I can't think of any reason why that won't work. If you're planning on accessing XP frequently then you may want to consider adding a new drive and setting up a dual-boot system.

  lotvic 09:59 22 Nov 2013

Yes you can. I also have dell 9150 pc with win xp pro (mce) about 7 years old.

I have XP on one harddrive, and W7 on a new harddrive. I don't Dual boot they are quite separate.

I just swap the SATA leads round on back of harddrives depending on which harddrive I want to boot from (the bios doesn't seem able to let me choose so I found that easiest - or I'm too thick to work it out)

By swapping the SATA leads round it means I can still access Files on both drives no matter which I've booted from.

  lotvic 10:15 22 Nov 2013

Oh, better mention that before I installed W7 I created partitions and formatted the new harddrive to NTFS. This was so I had a smaller partition for W7 to install on (I then had the rest of the drive for storage :) - it's a 1TB drive in total) and also does away with the small 100mb system reserved partition that W7 creates when installing on an unpartitioned unformatted new harddrive.

Next I shut down and disconnected all other harddrives before booting up with the W7 DVD and installing W7.

The BIOS setup can be picky when it can't find other sata harddrives connected and you can either 'Press F1' when message pops up or you can go into BIOS setup and switch them to off.

  SANAP 16:06 22 Nov 2013

thanks all and lotvic as we have same PC. That is some news as it will save me quite a bit of money and I can wait and watch developments.

I'll do a bit more reading about partitions.

The next Q is where do I buy windows 7 and the best version? I ask because I looked on amazon and it was quite expensive but cheap on ebay.

My instinct says get the ultimate pack Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit OEM Operating System, saw it at scan uk.

Why so cheap on ebay?

  hastelloy 16:29 22 Nov 2013


The OP said "say I need some software program, copy to second drive etc put back in win 7?"

Which I took to mean that he/she wants to copy programs from XP drive to 2nd drive and then to W7 drive - this, of course, won't work.


Others might disagree but I would go for Pro rather than Ultimate (unless you have a specific need) and definitely 64 bit. If anybody in the family is in full time education (teaching or learning) you could try software4students.

  lotvic 17:44 22 Nov 2013

marvin42, I said access Files on both drives.

SANAP, You can download W7 (whatever version you want) to try them out - no product key so you can use them for a month (longer if you 'slmgr -rearm'). Here is page with the official Microsoft download links click here

  SANAP 12:42 25 Nov 2013

thanks again, I have downloaded win7 and burnt to a dvd but will it only last 3 months max or can I keep changing dates??

My worry is win7 will be gone if I wait say 3 months.


  lotvic 12:52 25 Nov 2013

Windows lifecycle fact sheet click here

  HondaMan 17:00 25 Nov 2013

Surely the simp0lest way is to do it by way of an upgrade?

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