Thanks in advance for everyone's time in helping me out. I have an old AMD Barton 2500+ (socket A) with a 6800 card that I use for light gaming (no Oblivion, or running games at 16xAA) that I want to upgrade to a Athlon 64 3000+. I do some video encoding (DVDs to AVI) and some DVD copying, but only about once a week. My wife has a old socket A Shuttle system that I built for her and I will want to use my old 2500+ to replace her 2200+.
1. Will I need to reinstall windows (and lose everything on my hard drive) if I switch motherboards, or can I just swap the motherboards and install the new drivers? (Current mobo is Abit NFS-7 Nforce 2, new mobo will be ASRock 939 Dual SATA).
2. Do I need to do anything special when I put my old processor in my wife's system? Do i need to clean all the thermal grease off the CPU and her CPU Fan and reapply it?
as for formatting the hard drive and installing the os again, i've had succes with just doing a windows repair install (that keeps all your files and settings) when switching processors and motherboards.
for the processor itself, you are going to have to clean it and re apply new thermal paste like prozac26 said
You could take the Abit NFS-7 with the 2500+ already on it and just put it into your wife's case that way you'll save a step ( won't have to reapply thermal paste ) and avoid any compatibility problems between her board and the CPU, unfortunately you will probably have to reinstall windoze.
If her board is worse than the Abit NFS-7 you should definitely give her the nicer board of the two.
Actually you could just give her your boot drive, that way you only have to reinstall the OS on your machine.
As always backup any important files before you start breaking stuff ;-) :-D
If you have any interest in Linux or BSD now would be a good time to put them on or leave some free space for them :-D
1. You should definitely load a fresh copy of windows if you are upgrading your CPU and Motherboard. Just back up all your important data before proceeding with the load. There nothing like a fresh Windows XP...
2. You should definitely reapply the thermal grease once you remove your barton this goes with out question. Especially since you are going to be putting it into a shuttle system. Make sure you get a good thermal compound like arctic silver 5.