Author Topic: Cloning WinXP onto new hardware - workable?  (Read 1830 times)

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Offline Delta

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Cloning WinXP onto new hardware - workable?
« on: January 16, 2019, 06:43:32 pm »
At work we have a PC running a proprietary datalogging and display application (it reads data from our SCADA system). We are looking to replace it with new hardware, but the vendor will only sell a complete "system" (PC and software + new licence) to us, and are asking stupid money (five figures USD).  The PC doesn't just display numbers and pretty charts for the boss; it also streams live data via RS-232 to various 3rd party contractors, some of whom are operation critical.

I propose buying a new PC and cloning the HDDs over, but will Windows play nicely such a plan?  Will Windows be unhappy with new hardware from a drivers perspective?  Does Windows licencing from that era detect that it is running on different hardware?

The PC is a Dell OptiPlex 790. with an i5-2400 CPU at 3.1GHz.  It has 4GB RAM (across two sticks).
Running 32-bit Windows XP Profesional v2002 SP3.  (With PAE enabled)
Has two 250GB spinning HDDs.  (Disk0 with two partitions C for the OS, D for recovery, Disk1 single partiion E: for the database).

Will I be able to find new hardware close enough to the old machine to get the thing to run, or is this a hiding to nothing?
 

Offline soldar

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Re: Cloning WinXP onto new hardware - workable?
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2019, 07:16:03 pm »
The short answer is "yes", Windows XP will detect change in hardware.  Why do you want to change the hardware?

I am still running Win XP Pro SP3 on a number of machines and have reinstalled the OP not too long ago. It is still possible but getting more and more difficult.

There might be ways to get around problems but if this is a professional setting where you depend on the OEM you probably don't want to mess too  much with things.

Again, the question is why do you want to do this change if everything is running fine.  Depending on the answer you might want to proceed in different directions.
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Offline stevelup

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Re: Cloning WinXP onto new hardware - workable?
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2019, 07:20:28 pm »
As long as it will boot, you should be able to get it going on the new hardware, but that's a big if...

The key thing is that the hard drive controller is the same (or at least compatible).

But, as soldar says, why do this? That machine will probably outlive you! Why not just clone the drives onto new ones, give it a good clean, and leave it alone.
 

Offline RoGeorge

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Re: Cloning WinXP onto new hardware - workable?
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2019, 07:32:20 pm »
Very unlikely.

It might be possible with some tinkering and careful planing, but simply plugging the disks in a new PC won't do it.  I did that many times at home (plugging the old WinXP HDD into a new motherboard) and never worked.  Mostly, that gave a blue screen.

You need to take into account the following:
- conectivity (e.g. nowadays is hard to find a motherboard with a serial port onboard)
- BIOS ---> UEFI
- MBR ---> MPT
- Single core -> Multi core
- Drivers
- Any license keys for you SCADA programs (some license keys are hardware locked, and can read unique IDs like HDD ID, Proc ID, Bios ID) etc.
- Risk management (e.g. how critical that SCADA system is, how much time do you get, if any, to test the new system, will they sign an acceptance test for such a hack, is it legal to transfer the license)

I worked for the power grid, and implemented a few (tens of) SCADA systems.  Here, even if it were possible to just transfer the disks, such a solution won't be accepted.

Offline soldar

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Re: Cloning WinXP onto new hardware - workable?
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2019, 07:37:35 pm »
Also, Win XP behaves differently depending on the sales channel and product ID. 

https://www.mydigitallife.net/how-to-change-windows-xp-version-between-retail-oem-and-volume-license-channel/

You can use Everest or similar program to find out what version, serial number etc.

I have generally been successful with this type of messing but I should also say many times it has not been easy and has required many hours.

If this is a product which requires some kind of support or maintenance by the OEM I think it would not be wise to mess with it.

If you want to experiment I would not touch the original system at all. Try to get a new system and play and experiment to your heart's content but do not put it to real use until you are satisfied it is reliable and up to the job.

Yeah, I can't see this as acceptable in a corporate professional setting. Too much liability.

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Offline Delta

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Re: Cloning WinXP onto new hardware - workable?
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2019, 07:47:06 pm »
Thanks for the replies.

To clarify, this PC is not part of the SCADA system.  The PC & its software were designed to be used as a standalone datalogging system, connected to it's own DAQs and sensor suites in the field.  However in our installation it sees our SCADA system as a virtual DAQ, and reads sensor data from that.  This PC does not control anything, and the SCADA system runs fine without it.  The live serial data streaming is the only (potentially) critical aspect to it.

As to why we want to replace it; well out of good planning I suppose.  The PC recently had it's PSU go, and we feel it would be prudent to have a new unit available as a spare, instead of trying to get a replacement sourced and installed if/when it does fail.
My plan would be to attempt to get a cloned system up and running offline, and that would then sit as a spare until needed. 
Management would never agree to spend $10000+ on a spare that might never be needed, but I might get <$1000 out of them to attempt this.
 

Offline JVR

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Re: Cloning WinXP onto new hardware - workable?
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2019, 08:18:28 pm »
Management would never agree to spend $10000+ on a spare that might never be needed, but I might get <$1000 out of them to attempt this.

Got to love the beancounters. What is the real world cost if that machine is out of service for a few days? I'd like to think that will make the $10k look cheap
 

Offline soldar

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Re: Cloning WinXP onto new hardware - workable?
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2019, 08:18:45 pm »
As to why we want to replace it; well out of good planning I suppose.  The PC recently had it's PSU go, and we feel it would be prudent to have a new unit available as a spare, instead of trying to get a replacement sourced and installed if/when it does fail.
My plan would be to attempt to get a cloned system up and running offline, and that would then sit as a spare until needed. 
Management would never agree to spend $10000+ on a spare that might never be needed, but I might get <$1000 out of them to attempt this.
Sounds like a very good plan to me. I would get a duplicate of exactly the same hardware. Is that what you are trying to do?

A used Dell OptiPlex 790. with an i5-2400 CPU at 3.1GHz can be had on eBay for well under $100.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2019, 08:27:27 pm by soldar »
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Online digsys

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Re: Cloning WinXP onto new hardware - workable?
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2019, 08:29:06 pm »
Quote from: soldar
...
If you want to experiment I would not touch the original system at all. Try to get a new system and play and experiment to your heart's content but do not put it to real use until you are satisfied it is reliable and up to the job ...
Totally agree. I have done many XP migrations and still have several PCs using it. Luckily, long ago, I saved several M/Boards / video cards and made sure all
original installs were on the same hardware. BUT, in cases where I had differing hardware - note that the hash code usually only calculates the first few digits
of the serial #s, and usually only the video / chipset etc -
First, I'd do a total clean up defrag - my fav is Tuneup Utilities, then make an Image - I use Terrabyte Imager ... then -
In some cases, I dug up old identical m/boards on www / or sometimes video cards, then only swap ONE item at a time, boot and check.
IF, on rare occasions, that didn't work, I just use a 3rd party proggie to kill the validation. Never had a failure, one way or the other :-)
Hello <tap> <tap> .. is this thing on?
 

Offline soldar

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Re: Cloning WinXP onto new hardware - workable?
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2019, 08:43:38 pm »
Also, when I have needed to activate again due to any changes the activation has always succeeded. I think at this point it is not like MS are trying to stop the pirating of XP.

Last time I had to do it I remember I did it by phone. It is automated and it works easily.

Again, how this is handled depends muchly on the PID of your installation so you might want to determine that first.
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Offline CJay

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Re: Cloning WinXP onto new hardware - workable?
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2019, 08:48:29 pm »
At work we have a PC running a proprietary datalogging and display application (it reads data from our SCADA system). We are looking to replace it with new hardware, but the vendor will only sell a complete "system" (PC and software + new licence) to us, and are asking stupid money (five figures USD).  The PC doesn't just display numbers and pretty charts for the boss; it also streams live data via RS-232 to various 3rd party contractors, some of whom are operation critical.

I propose buying a new PC and cloning the HDDs over, but will Windows play nicely such a plan?  Will Windows be unhappy with new hardware from a drivers perspective?  Does Windows licencing from that era detect that it is running on different hardware?

The PC is a Dell OptiPlex 790. with an i5-2400 CPU at 3.1GHz.  It has 4GB RAM (across two sticks).
Running 32-bit Windows XP Profesional v2002 SP3.  (With PAE enabled)
Has two 250GB spinning HDDs.  (Disk0 with two partitions C for the OS, D for recovery, Disk1 single partiion E: for the database).

Will I be able to find new hardware close enough to the old machine to get the thing to run, or is this a hiding to nothing?

Simple answer ye, XP will run on new hardware but, depending on version, might want a licence key/activation, I do not know if MS will still activate XP.

The main stumbling block is that you may well find there are no XP drivers for the new hardware and it may be impossible or require a large amount of fiddling about to get it up and running properly.

If the machine is business critical, sell it to the beancounters as such, if they won't go for it then get them to put that in writing and it's on their heads when everything stops.

If you mess about fiddling the sopftware to make it run on a new machine and business stops, then it's your fault.
M0UAW
 

Online digsys

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Re: Cloning WinXP onto new hardware - workable?
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2019, 09:58:45 pm »
Quote from: soldar
.... Last time I had to do it I remember I did it by phone. It is automated and it works easily  ...
Yup, that worked for me too
Hello <tap> <tap> .. is this thing on?
 

Offline pelule

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Re: Cloning WinXP onto new hardware - workable?
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2019, 02:18:49 am »
I activated my XP 3 weeks ago (forced due to new HW) by phone. So still possible.
/PeLuLe
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Offline soldar

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Re: Cloning WinXP onto new hardware - workable?
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2019, 03:41:55 am »
I activated my XP 3 weeks ago (forced due to new HW) by phone. So still possible.
Not only that; you can still download all the patches and updates. I remember last time I had to do some tinkering before the updates would download and install. Something to do with needing to update the updating software first. But once I got around that it downloaded and installed everything. 

You need to be sure to have all the drivers though. Generally what I like to do is make a fresh install on a new HDD and keep the old disk with all the drivers etc. Hard disks are dirt cheap these days.

OTOH, corporate PID and serials do not require activation.
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Offline fsr

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Re: Cloning WinXP onto new hardware - workable?
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2019, 05:27:49 am »
If the Windows XP is an OEM version (came preinstalled on the machine), you cannot legally transfer it to another machine. It's legally tied to the computer's motherboard. However, if you have downgrade rights on the new computer, that will allow you to do it. In general, professional versions of windows do have downgrade rights. Talk about this with the people doing the software license stuff in your workplace.

The problem then, is that the new computer needs to have drivers available for windows XP.

Another option could be to use virtualization, but the RS232 ports could be a problem, as some virtualization systems don't allow you to do much with them, if at all. And it opens it's own licensing can of worms (thanks Microsoft for that).
 

Offline coromonadalix

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Re: Cloning WinXP onto new hardware - workable?
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2019, 05:49:10 am »
For very old softwares i used/built an vmware machine, you install the "suplement tool pack"  create a shared folder between the host and slave machine and youre good to go.

That way youre not hardware / driver dependant of the host machine,  done this for an win 95 and 98 machine too ...   if you configure your ram and drives partition, you wont take too much place, and backup them on a usb key ??? all 3 "vm" of them are under 4 gigs of size each.

 

Offline Delta

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Re: Cloning WinXP onto new hardware - workable?
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2019, 06:21:18 am »
Got to love the beancounters. What is the real world cost if that machine is out of service for a few days? I'd like to think that will make the $10k look cheap

3 days downtime would cost $267,000.


There's no chancing of buying second hand hardware unfortunately, so my goal is to get this running on new hardware.

Plan would be:
 shut down the running PC and image the HDD's to an external drive using a Linux laptop and USB - SATA adapter.
Burn the images to the new HDDs.
See if the new PC boots!
Potter and faff and see if I can get Windows stable.
See if the application will run!

 

Online blueskull

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Re: Cloning WinXP onto new hardware - workable?
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2019, 06:37:56 am »
Just download a so called "Russian cracked version" and it will activate on any computer. Anyway you have a licence, and if MS audits your company, tell them to fuck off.
 
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Offline RoGeorge

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Re: Cloning WinXP onto new hardware - workable?
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2019, 07:35:22 am »
Just download a so called "Russian cracked version" and it will activate on any computer. Anyway you have a licence, and if MS audits your company, tell them to fuck off.

"Advice of the day" award granted!
 :-DD :-DD :-DD
 
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Offline soldar

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Re: Cloning WinXP onto new hardware - workable?
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2019, 08:23:38 am »
There's no chancing of buying second hand hardware unfortunately, so my goal is to get this running on new hardware.
I think the best possible chance of success and the most economically feasible would be to buy hardware exactly like what you got.
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Online blueskull

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Re: Cloning WinXP onto new hardware - workable?
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2019, 08:27:08 am »
There's no chancing of buying second hand hardware unfortunately, so my goal is to get this running on new hardware.
I think the best possible chance of success and the most economically feasible would be to buy hardware exactly like what you got.

Even that might not work. Windows XP will refuse to boot on different hardware, even for the same part number with different fingerprint (MAC, BIOS SN, etc.).
It will disguise the anti-piracy BSoD as HDD failure, and the module that triggers BSoD will be either ntfs.sys or hard drive driver.

To run Windows XP on a different hardware without a new license, piracy is the only option to my knowledge.
 

Offline soldar

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Re: Cloning WinXP onto new hardware - workable?
« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2019, 08:48:59 am »
Even that might not work. Windows XP will refuse to boot on different hardware, even for the same part number with different fingerprint (MAC, BIOS SN, etc.).
I have changed a lot of hardware and never had a problem provided I changed one thing at a time.  In other words, I ended pretty much with a new system  but changed gradually.

It will disguise the anti-piracy BSoD as HDD failure, and the module that triggers BSoD will be either ntfs.sys or hard drive driver.
I have never seen that happen or even heard about it happening and, as much as I may dislike MS, I doubt they would do such a thing. It sounds to me MS hate folklore.

To run Windows XP on a different hardware without a new license, piracy is the only option to my knowledge.
I disagree. One way or another all my machines are running legit copies and, in any case, I am not going to advise anyone to run pirated software in a business setting. And this for a long list of reasons which I will not expand on right now.
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Online blueskull

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Re: Cloning WinXP onto new hardware - workable?
« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2019, 09:27:15 am »
It will disguise the anti-piracy BSoD as HDD failure, and the module that triggers BSoD will be either ntfs.sys or hard drive driver.
I have never seen that happen or even heard about it happening and, as much as I may dislike MS, I doubt they would do such a thing. It sounds to me MS hate folklore.

I've seen that many times. Usually when you install a non-cracked version of WinXP on one computer and ghost clone its HDD to another system, it will do exactly what I said. It won't boot and tell you just voided existing activation. It will simply not boot at all.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Cloning WinXP onto new hardware - workable?
« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2019, 09:39:53 am »
I would get a duplicate of exactly the same hardware. Is that what you are trying to do?

A used Dell OptiPlex 790. with an i5-2400 CPU at 3.1GHz can be had on eBay for well under $100.
This is a good route to take. Dell OptiPlex machines are reliable and will run for very long (unless you stick them in a very hot place). The biggest problem is probably the hard drive.

Another route is to clone the system into a virtual machine.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
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Offline soldar

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Re: Cloning WinXP onto new hardware - workable?
« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2019, 10:23:31 am »
This is a good route to take. Dell OptiPlex machines are reliable and will run for very long (unless you stick them in a very hot place). The biggest problem is probably the hard drive.
Not only that, if you have a second machine on standby you can even just use it for parts and swap out the bad part from the first machine. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

I have always liked having redundant systems because it helps so much in troubleshooting and repairing. My wife and I have exactly the same duplicate laptops, WIN desktops and another Linux desktop, monitors, etc. Same HW, same SW configuration. That helps a lot with diagnosis and repairs.
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