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It's certainly worth a try, but there are a few possibilities that may cause it to fail.

I installed a new hard drive on my PC. I then tried to install Windows XP, but I kept getting messages like, "Setup cannot copy the file ega40850.fon, or eutrig,exe or a couple of others, and I believe it also said it couldn't find i386. I canceled the setup at that point. The new hard drive is a Seagate SADTA. I do have another Windows XP CD that was for my prior computer, but the system got fried and all I kept was my Windows CD. Could I possibly use that CD to install Windows XP on my existing PC? Thanks.

In this excerpt from Answercast #55, I look at the possibilities of using an XP installation CD from a different computer to reinstall an operating system.

Install with a different CD?

It's hard to say. You know, there's certainly no harm in trying. I would definitely give it a shot.

It sounds like the CD you started with has basically just got errors. Perhaps it got scratched; perhaps it got degraded over time. It sounds like the setup program that was running literally was unable to read the files that it needed to install Windows XP. Hopefully, the other CD won't have that problem.

Manufacturer's disc

Now there are two caveats that I want to throw out that may cause that second CD to fail. One is that if it's an OEM install of Windows (in other words, a Windows CD that was supplied by a computer manufacturer), then it's possible that it may not apply to your current computer. The current computer may be different enough (even if it's from the same manufacturer) that the drivers and so forth that are on that CD won't apply and won't work on your new computer.

Or they may work poorly. Like I said, it's worth a try but it could fail.

Recovery disc

The other scenario that is a little bit more concerning (and will fail immediately, of course) is to make sure that's truly a Windows installation disc and not a Windows recovery disc.

A Windows recovery disc (that comes with many computers from computer manufacturers) actually doesn't include a copy of Windows on it. It includes a copy of some setup software that was provided by that manufacturer. That may do things like assume there's a recovery partition on the computer and then restore Windows from that recovery partition.

Obviously, if you're using a completely different computer (or if you've got a completely blank hard drive)... well, there is not recovery partition - and even if there is, it's not going to be the recovery partition that this old copy of a Windows recovery CD might expect.

So, ultimately there are a couple of things that can go wrong. There's no harm in trying.

Test the CD itself

The other thing that you might want to consider with your original disc, if you have the opportunity, would be to see if you can read it properly on a different machine.

Try copying the contents of that CD to a folder. If that works... in other words, if on another computer you can actually copy the entire contents of that CD to that computer's hard disc, the CD's fine.

It's very possible then that your CD reader is either dirty or itself having problems. That could potentially be resolved by replacing the reader. So, that's another option you might take a look into.

End of this Answercast Back to - Answercast #55

Article C5848 - September 24, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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3 Comments
Ken B
September 25, 2012 6:22 AM

Note that I have run into problems using one manufacturer's OEM install disks on a different manufacturer's computer. The main issue I find is that the Windows install key for manufacturer X won't be recognized as a valid key for manufacturer Y's OEM installs.

However, I note that the original post says the new hard drive is "Seagate SADTA". I am going to assume he meant "SATA". I have seen install disks which don't include SATA support during the installation. (Yes, even the install disks that came with a computer which had SATA drives from the factory.)

If that's the case, it may be possible that the BIOS has a setting to turn on "legacy" (or "IDE", "EIDE", or "PATA") emulation for the SATA drives. Check the BIOS for such a setting and try turning it on. Then retry the install from the original XP disks. If that works, it may then be possible to switch the mode back to "true" SATA after the install is complete.

Dan Covill
September 25, 2012 11:06 AM

Windows XP did not have SATA support until SP1. I found that out when trying to do a repair install after replacing my IDE CD drive with a new SATA one. That's the point where I upgraded to Vista (this was before Win 7). His best path is to install Win 7 on the new drive.

steven
September 25, 2012 4:14 PM

pretend it worked, just fine and Windows also did not install in trial mode as it is supposed to. Isn't it totally illegal to do so, even through XP is not sold anymore.

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