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First add yourself (or have an admin add you) as a user on the 2nd computer. Login into your account and start Mavis Beacon. Create a name and do an activity or two. Exit Mavis Beacon and open your My Computer icon Navigate to the following folder: C:\Documents and Settings\YourUserName\Application
Now delete the existing prefs.dat file and copy your prefs.dat file into the "Mavis" folder. Restart Mavis Beacon and you're ready to go.
Assuming you have not switched to Windows Vista with the new hardrive - as Mavis Beacon 17 does not work in that platform - then- it sounds as though the file is corrupted. I would uninstall and reinstall the product. Unfortunately, difficult to do with out a cd or good original disk to start from. If you have your order number or purchase numbers when you bought your download, then customer support should help you get a clean download.
Here is some information on system configuration- it is similar for the setup of Mavis beacon 17