There are 2 different Boot CD’s that can do this for you, Hiren’s Boot CD (v10.2 and newer) and Ultimate Boot CD 4 Windows (UBCD4Win). The Hiren method is easier because it doesn’t require any software to be installed on your system or a Windows XP install CD. Here are the instructions for both, you obviously need access to a working system for this to work.
2. Boot up the computer with Hiren. You need to go into the BIOS to change the boot sequence if your computer can’t boot up the computer with a CD, or press a hotkey such as F11 to reach the boot device selection dialog.
3. Select the second option down, “Mini Windows XP” from the menu and load Mini XP.
4. Once loaded, click on the Hiren menu icon in the system tray and go to Registry -> “Fix hard disk controller (fix_hdc.cmd)”.
5. Press the T key, then enter and type in the TargetRoot folder. The default would be C:\Windows but might be different on multiboot systems, in which case you would need to check in Windows Explorer what the correct drive letter is.
6. Hit the M key on your keyboard to select Update MassStorage drivers and press enter.
7. When it’s finished, press any key to continue and restart the computer.
1. Download latest UBCD4Win and install.
2. Launch UBCD4Win from the Desktop or Start Menu.
3. Insert an original Windows XP CD into the CD/DVD drive and select the source. To confirm that the source is correct, click on Source from the menu bar and select Check.
4. If your computer can burn CD’s, select Burn to CD/DVD and click the Build button. If it can’t, select Create ISO image and once it has completed creating the ISO image, copy it to a computer that can burn CD’s and burn it.
5. Boot up the computer with UBCD4Win. You need to go BIOS to change the boot sequence if your computer can’t boot up the computer with a CD.
6. Select Launch “The Ultimate Boot CD for Windows” from the UBCD4Win menu and wait for it to load. You can select No when asked to start network support.
7. Click Start -> Programs -> Registry Tools -> Fix_hdc -> Fix hard disk controller.
8. Hit the M key on your keyboard to select Update MassStorage drivers.
9. When it’s finished, press any key to continue and restart the computer.
Good luck and hopefully that you are now able to move Windows XP hard drive to another computer with either of the methods above.
These days there is another way to achieve a similar result which is through backup software such Acronis TrueImage and EaseUs Todo Backup. These programs are able to restore backups to dissimilar hardware meaning you can move an image from one computer to a system with a completely different set of hardware. The hard drive controller is automatically switched to the Microsoft default driver during the transfer, so the computer should boot straight up without the need for a third party boot CD.