I added a larger hard drive to my PC (now I have 2). I also upgraded
from XP Home to XP Pro. But the Home is on the original drive and the Pro is on
the new drive. I don’t know how this happened this way. Is there anyway to get
the Pro version off the new drive and over to the original drive without having
to reformat the drives?
My first concern would be why the situation arose in the first place. There
are approaches to moving the operating system, but my advice is not to.
Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!
When you add a hard drive, it’s usually designated in the BIOS as primary or
secondary. Primary is of course, the boot drive, and is where Windows expects
to be installed. Typically when you install a second drive it will be the
secondary, and not participate in the boot process at all.
If your new drive had been installed as primary by mistake, I would have
expected your first reboot thereafter to fail, because the new drive would not
have an operating system on it. Unless, perhaps, your BIOS is smart enough to
check all drives.
When you install Windows, it will also present you with an opportunity to
upgrade in existing installation or set up a new one. In the latter case, you
could certainly have selected the new drive.
But the bottom line is that why it installed on the new drive may
impact the success of the suggestions to follow.
Moving an existing installation of Windows is theoretically
possible, but I would consider it risky. I’d expect it would be easy for many
things to go wrong, putting you back where you started, or worse.
So the ultimate answer to your question is no, I would not recommend
attempting to move the operating system.
In your shoes I would try one thing: swapping the hard drives. I started by
pointing out that the drives are primary and secondary, and it’s apparently
installed the new operating system on the wrong drive. Make that drive the
primary, and see if that results in what you want. Exactly how to do this will
vary on your motherboard, your bios, and your drive types. And ultimately,
it may not work. Depending on the exact configuration you ended up
with, I can think of several issues that might invalidate this attempt.
That brings me to what I’d expect to be required: reinstall. Or rather,
re-upgrade, making sure that the upgrade happens to the drive you expect. I
might even go so far as to remove the second drive, perform the upgrade, make
sure it’s all working and then re-install the new drive, and make sure that
you’re still booting form the old one with the properly upgraded operating