Nice choice of hardware. What mobo? if you retain your current mobo - no problems using the old OS drive. The new machine's mobo (if different) will likely support your old HDD (likely a PATA-IDE), however your OS installation on that drive from the old box is pretty much toast on any other build.
If you can, save out all your data that you wish to keep (address book, desktop items, my docs, Offiice PST files, email dbx files, iaf, media files,
favorites, etc. - anything you value) to a physical media like optical disk or another HDD, preferably both. Backup the old system to a system image
file too (eg. ghost or tape), if possible.
Do your clean-build on the new box and make a system image backup copy (use a fresh drive if possible) and then you could try networking the two (new
and old) together and use the "File Settings And Transfer Wizard" to import the data (works most often but not always). Some third-party import
softwares do the same... had trouble with them too.
Should that fail, copy the data from the optical or HDD physical copy made from the stuff on your old box to the appropriate spots on the new OS and
import the address book and PST files and other app data using the utilities for that in the application. Don't forget about "other" devices such
as PDA's, many have backup utilities and/or methods to "save-out" the user files.
Just plugging in the old HDD to the new box spells disaster on XP (it might be "doable" but it would be neither pretty nor clean and without
registry work)... on old WIN 95/98 systems you could do that most times, OK-ish, after removing all hardware within the Device Manager and doing a
WINXP installs are bound (via product and and user unique identifiers) at the hardware level and pick up procs, hdd, controllers, chipsets, asset
numbers, slot occupancy, etc and changing any combination of more than two or three items will require the MS re-activation process (which depending
on your circumstance MS could choose to deny or grant at their discretion). For more specifics hunt around for one of the MS bulletin boards or news
groups populated by MCSE-types. What precisely can be changed? That's a bit fuzzy and I've had no satisfactory comprehensive explanation of "the
rule" by any MS folks that I trust or MSCE's that we employ.
Also don't just plug the old drive in as a slave to copy to master (new OS drive) - Big corruption troubles with recycle bins and surprisingly
"ini" files. Dates and timestamps were a problem too as I recall. You can actually "do" this but is risky as the new WINXP on the boot drive will
write a new recycle bin to the old machine and mess with the "system volume information" files.
Best of luck with the new build! For the $60 or so bucks pop for a new SATA drive as newer mobo's have SATA OB as pretty much standard now. Oh yeah
and remember quad-core stuff is coming Nov-Jan. and waiting might save you some coin just around the week between Xmas and New Year's, Duo stuff will
be softer in price then (it is already a reasonable price but EE chips are always overpriced and very, very good).
[edit on 13-8-2006 by V Kaminski]