I have a Dell Dimension 9200 (bought in 2006) with Windows 7 and Windows XP MCE 2005 loaded on it. Though Windows XP MCE 2005 was doing ok, Windows 7 was struggling to get off its foot due to inadequate processing power. Eventually I decided to replace it with a new home built system. For that I went with a motherboard (ASUS Z87 Plus) which supported Windows 8 and the latest Intel Haswell processor. I had a plan to reuse the old hard disk with Windows XP MCE 2005 and Windows 7 on it. Little did I realise that building a new system with an old hard disk with OSes wouldn't work straight off. I desperately needed Windows 7 to work to take advantage of upgrading to Windows 8 and thereafter to Windows 8.1. Though I was distraught in the beginning, I found a way of getting Windows 7 to work within the new built system using the DISM (Deployment Image Service and Management) tool within the Windows 7 installation disk.
This is how to do it with the courtesy of the article I found on the web.
- Load the original DVD with Motherboard drivers for Windows 7 into the DVD drive bay. If you don't have the drivers, you can get it off the Motherboard manufacturer's website. Just load the drivers onto a USB memory stick and put it into a USB slot of the PC. You can also burn it onto a CD or a DVD,
- Load the original Windows 7 installation DVD into the second DVD drive bay. If you have just one DVD/CD drive bay, you are better off copying the Motherboard drivers onto a USB memory stick,
- Boot the system off the Windows 7 DVD,
- Go into Repair your Computer,
- In the Recovery console, go to Command Prompt.
- Identify the drive letter of your CD/DVD drive or your USB memory stick. In my case it was I:
- Next, identify the drive letter of your Windows 7 installation on the hard disk. In my case, it was G:
- Type the following command, dism /image:G:\ /add-driver /Driver:I:\ /recurse.
- You will notice that the drivers being installed on your Windows 7 drive. Be patient as not only the Chipset drivers, but also the LAN, Audio and VGA drivers will be installed.
- Once all the drivers are installed, restart the machine.
There you have the system with Windows 7 working all over again.
However, I will not be able to get back Windows XP the same way. The reason being Intel's Haswell processor doesn't support Windows XP.