I am SO totally confused now after reading SO much about how to use PE Builder that I don't even know WHERE to start from here and I figured it was time I asked the dumb questions. Am I to understand that I must have an installation CD in order to use PE Builder? My problem is that I don't HAVE a CD and I can't start Win XP from a HD enclosure. My old computer ran XP and when I bought my new one, I purchased the enclosure so I wouldn't lose ten years worth of 'stuff'. It's not that I can't boot it from BIOS per say -- I get the black screen with the XP logo on it, but then it goes to a blue screen for about two seconds (not even long enough to pause the screen) and then it 'cuts out' and reverts to loading my new computer's Win 7.
I thought the idea behind this was to get a bootable XP to work from, but it seems every time I try to point PE to my Win XP files it tells me that the source file is the 'wrong version'. Is there a specific source it wants from me? Specific folders or files maybe? When XP was still running, it had SP3 and all the updates until I replaced it with my new computer earlier this year. The only reason I'm trying so hard to do this in the first place is because I promised to keep all the 'old' stuff separate from the new and thought the external enclosure was the way to keep EVERYbody happy. My plan was to purchase a new internal HD for the enclosure and start over with a clean XP install, transfer the old folders/files on to it and erase the old internal HD completely to use as a slave internally to store backups on. I was also planning to use the fresh HD in the enclosure to store backups from my new computer (Windows 7) as well as partition it so I can play around with some Linux stuff I've been working on recently.
If this is no longer possible, does anyone know how else I can get a copy of XP? I have my original product key -- I'm not trying to rip off Microsoft or anything, it's just that I didn't know how to make OS disks back then even though I bugged and bugged the store I bought it from to supply me with a set. They must have thought I was crazy as I now know how simple it is to not only make a set of Win 7, but a fresh HP factory set as well. Unfortunately, it's too late to do either for XP, so where do I go from here? I went to the Microsoft website to consider purchasing a replacement set, but I can't even find that unless they mean for me to pay an outrageous amount of money as if I was buying an OS for the first time. Everything was about Win 7, nothing about XP except to upgrade from it. So, is this futile or what? I am that lost at this point, so I can only hope for a better answer. Surely there MUST be a way to extract the files needed to make a CD copy of XP because, after all, if I had a CD copy, I'd use that, right? Or is THAT the dumbest question I've asked?
Thank you, in advance, for any help you can provide and please accept my apology for making you read this very long post to begin with. I truly do appreciate it when I get ANY answer, let alone the one I really want to know. BTW, this is my first time in the forum, so be kind, won't you?