Windows XP Hard Drive Transplant

After being pestered for months by my son to get his Call of Duty 4 game working, I was finally able to do that by moving him to another PC, but it was not a simple procedure. I started trying to get the game working by getting the latest game patches, then the latest video and sound drivers, ghosting his hard drive to a new, larger one, even removing his SB Live card and putting him on built-in sound, but to no avail. The only other option left was to move his hard drive to another, better computer. I didn’t want to have to reload everything because he has quite a few games and such on there. I figured I’d try to transplant his hard drive, video card, and sound card to a new PC.

Not a brand new PC, but as I said, one better than he had and one that I thought could run COD4. The PC is an HP with 512MB RAM and an AMD Athlon 64 3200+ processor. I downloaded the drivers I needed for the HP system and copied them to his current hard drive. I then uninstalled as much major hardware as I could from device manager like video, sound, network, etc. I then moved his video card, 1 GB of RAM (PC2700, the same as the RAM in the HP), hard drive, and sound card to the HP system. I powered on and everything looked good, but instead of booting, the system rebooted, and rebooted, and rebooted. Thus, the troubleshooting began.

I did basic things like remove a memory stick, remove extra cards, but it didn’t help. The weird thing was that, before rebooting, a message came up saying Windows had not previously started successfully, even on the first boot in the HP. I kept trying to start in normal mode, but obviously it wasn’t working. So I tried starting in Safe Mode and kept noticing the boot would stop with the file mup.sys. A little Internet research indicated I wasn’t alone with this problem. I tried some suggested fixes, all involving Recovery Mode. There was a chkdsk command, which seemed to do nothing, and a command to disable muy.sys from starting. That worked, but then the boot stuck on the AGP driver. I disabled that; finally the boot stuck on the NTFS driver. I decided this tactic wasn’t working, so I tried something I never tried before and didn’t like – Windows repair install. Basically, Windows will install over the existing Windows load, keeping all programs (and reg settings I assume) intact. I have always been a firm believer in wiping the slate clean when reinstalling, but I figured this was my son’s computer, it was used primarily for gaming and my only other alternative was a clean reload, so what could it hurt.

Luckily, things went smoothly. The reload went through without any hiccups. I logged on to the PC and then loaded the missing drivers. Everything looked good. Then came the last test, the whole reason for this little adventure – a successful start of COD4. I fired the game up, and everything ran perfectly. I started the first mission, and it went fine. I then breathed a sigh of relief.

It’s been about a month, and everything is still working just fine. My son has not complained at all about games not working. Now if I could get the stinking XBox 360 to quit overheating so he could play Guitar Hero III and I could get all his Oblivion mods working, all would be right with the world…

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