Re: Possible to boot Windows after HD swap with Windows already installed on the new
Welcome to CF!
When windows is installed, it creates a hash value based off the motherboard in the machine. If, when booting, the motherboard doesn't match the hash value originally created, then windows (as you have seen) will not boot. You will need to get a new copy of Windows OR you can download an Ubuntu Live CD. This will allow you to boot into Ubuntu and retrieve your files. You will need to mount the drive in Ubuntu and then copy them to an external drive. If you want to explore this avenue, just let us know and someone can point you in the right direction on how to mount drives, etc.
Your other option would be to purchase another copy of Windows, preferably Windows 7 as XP isn't sold anymore and Vista is garbage. When you install 7 it will recognize that there's another copy of Windows on the drive and move all the files into a Windows.old folder so you can retrieve them.
Hope this helps
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