How mcuh can the computer change and the old harddrives stilll work?

Giganews Newsgroups
Subject: How mcuh can the computer change and the old harddrives stilll work?
Posted by:  micky (NONONOmisc…
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2014

How much can the computer change and the old harddrives stilll work?

All 3 computers are running XP Home, SP3.

I have a friend who has a friend who has a fairly old computer that
she's happy with, except it no longer works.  It doesn't even display
the bootup screen or the logo.  Let's assume it can't be fixed.    I
checked, by connecting each to my laptop via USB, and both harddrives
are good.          Ooops.  I only displayed the folder structure,
didn't actually dispaly any text files.  I figured as long as there was
no clicking and the directories displayed okay, everything was okay.  Do
I have to do it again more thoroughly?

She can't afford to buy anything for 2 months at least, and increased
taxes and food costs are really hurting her, so no matter when, the
money will hurt.  Our common friend is going to pay the 50 dollars
below.  .

Please correct any mistaken notions I have.

Ebay has not far from here the same make and model she has for only 50
dollars.  IIUC, I can just put the two harddrives in this new computer
and everything will be for her as it was, and it won't take me much
time.  (Okay, I confess, it's a Dell Dimension 4400, it's 10 years old,
and running XP,)

If, say, the video card has been changed and is wrong, I can take the
video card from the old computer, and then it will be right again.
(Though even without doing that, I can get enough picture out the new
video card to install the right driver for it, right?)

AIUI, OTOH if I go to a diffrerent model even of Dell, it's likely
important different drivers will be needed.  Dell has its drivers
available online (and I have another computer with which to download
them and copy them to a flashdrive) but some drivers are so important
the computer won't even run enough to accept new drivers, and without
some chart from Dell that doesn't even exist online, I won't be able to
know in advance which models have these changes, and the only way to be
sure it will work is to use the very same make and model.

(What are the things for which the wrong driver will prevent the
computer from working well enough to replace the drivers?)

(I have software, that I've never used, both from Paragon and Acronis
that is designed to get around this problem, but I just don't want to
spend the time for the friend of a friend.  (It's also crowded and
inconveniet to work there.) )    I'm figuring changing the harddrives
will be 30 minutes to an hour, and anything more complicated will take
me 4 to 8 hours.

There is also for sale, about 30 miles farther away, another Dell 4400,
reconditioned,  but this one has a 2.4 gig cpu instead of 1.5.  That
would be nice I guess, though all she does is read email, write email,
look at webpages, and sometimes print pictures.  ( Does a faster cpu
mean much?  I think the only thing slowing her down most of the time is
her DSL connection, not the cpu speed????)  Most importantly IIRC,
there are no drivers for the CPU so she could go to a faster one and if
that were the only change, her two old harddrives would work fine,

Thanks a lot.