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copying the data files won't work with different Oracle releases and also don't work on different OS platforms. The recommended way would either be an upgrade (but not for your case that skips several major releases) or a migration to the current (target) release.
Depending on what kind of features you use in your 8i you may or may not be able to migrate to XE 11.2, as XE comes with several [url http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E17781_01/install.112/e18803/toc.htm#BABIECJA]restrictions and a [url http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E17781_01/license.112/e18068/toc.htm#BABJIJCJ]limited feature set. For a quick overview, you can also take a look at the [url http://www.oracle.com/us/products/database/enterprise-edition/comparisons/index.html]Edition Comparison, though the limitations for XE named there are still on the 10.2 level (you can now have 11 GB of user data and 64bit is partially supported [Linux]).
So before you start with any further tasks, see if your source database uses anything you can't do with XE.
If you think XE is suitable, I'd recommend to create a plan on which schemas with wich amounts of data and what kinds of other schema objects you need to transfer to your new XE instance. Usually old databases also contain lots of stuff that doesn't need a migration anymore... As soon as you can provide some details on that plan, we can discuss what means would be best to perform the migration.