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Can I change MOBO+processor without WinXP reinstall?

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October 9, 2006 7:45:18 PM

The fastest processor my MOBO can have is P4 2.6GHz. I would like to upgrade it to something that can accept Core 2 processors, but I really REALLY do not want to reinstall windows and all drivers and programs. So, is there hope that I can make the upgrade without windows reinstall (WinXP CD is for XP SP1)?
October 9, 2006 10:36:34 PM

A new mobo = Definitely a new XP installation.

If it was only a new processor, and ur mobo supported it, no need for new install of XP.

So, what will happen if you connect old HDD to new mobo?

BSOD - BLUE SCREEN

You can of course connect both new and old HDD's and transfer data.

But, not any software or the XP. And MaxBlast won't work in your scenario.
October 9, 2006 10:58:30 PM

yes, you can install a new mb without re-installing xp. I'm racking my brain to remember what it's called but service shops do it all the time. It's right on the tip of my tongue but can't recall.
Surely there's a technician to remember this....
Related resources
October 9, 2006 11:02:18 PM

My experience is with Nf4/Nf3 and AMD Chips, I use to do it with old XP systems alot too. I have had few problems in the past with moving the HD directly over as long as the chipsets are similar. You are more then likely though to run into problems.
October 9, 2006 11:36:09 PM

I just stripped out a hp m7470n w/ a new MB and vid card so the proc. could be all it could be I did not have to re load win xp mce, just had to install some drivers so the new mb reconized some other hardwar
October 10, 2006 12:25:22 AM

Generally, my rules of thumb are this:

If it requires a new mobo with a different chipset than the one you have now, then yes, new WinXP install.

If it requires a new mobo with same or very similar chipset (basically, a replacement mobo), then no, a simple WinXP repair does fine in MOST cases.

If it requires a new processor, but not a new mobo, then no. However, this is a good time to check for a new bios/cmos update.

If it requires a new processor and a new mobo, then yes.

My 2 cents....
October 10, 2006 1:12:16 AM

Quote:
A new mobo = Definitely a new XP installation.



Totally wrong !
October 10, 2006 1:42:30 AM

Before you swap out the motherboard you must uninstall the HD controller drivers and replace them with "generic" drivers. If not the OS will start to boot up until the point where it swithes to using the drivers to access the HD then, if the controllers are too dissimilar, it will stop and tell you it can't access the HD (pretty funny, since it has already loaded most of windows and suddenly tells you there is no HD).

If you are using a SATA controller you are likely SOL as there is not a ubitquitos "generic" SATA controller driver. You could attempt to "upgrade" the drivers of your current SATA controller to the drivers for the SATA controller on the new Mobo, at which point it will stop working (if you're lucky you will get a propt to restart your computer, at which point you should just turn it off), and then install the new Mobo, but I doubt that will work.

As long as it can access the HD when it boots up it should detect all new hardware, isntall the drivers for it (you may not be able to access your optical drive, put the drivers on the HD before changing the mobo), make you reboot several times, and then run properly, more or less.

I've done it many times, I've had it not work many times also. It's a bit of a crap shoot.

Also be aware that all of your DRM keys will be invalid if you replace your motherboard. Back up your DRM keys and save them to an external media (CD, flash drive, etc) before swapping out the mobo, the import them again when the new system is up and running.
October 10, 2006 2:06:02 AM

Quote:
A new mobo = Definitely a new XP installation.



Totally wrong !
How so? Any links? :roll:


Rarely it works. Trying it won't damage anything, but I wouldn't bet against a fresh XP install.


http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=1755&p...

repair install people ..... repair install.
October 10, 2006 2:10:36 AM

ive had like a 50% success ratio. good luck.
October 10, 2006 2:13:34 AM

I have personally migrated about 40 installations of XP onto new motherboards and CPUs. I have never had aproblem at all.

Mind you, none of them had SATA harddrives.

XP isn't that fussy about what it runs on.
October 10, 2006 2:18:56 AM

Just a friendly piece of advice. If you are going to say something that completely contradicts somebody else, please provide an answer. There's nothing more frustrating then getting sarcastic comments without some substance to back it up.

I'm glad atarione at least provided some helpful advice. Thanks, atarione.
October 10, 2006 2:27:25 AM

I had two WD RE Satas as a ICHR6 RAID 0 install of XP running on an Asus P5GDC-V MB and 530 (P4, 3 gig) CPU. After saving the data, expecting having to do a scratch install, I moved the boot drives over to the Raid ICHR7 ports of a new P5W-DH/E6400. Amazingly, after matching Raid settings, uninstalling default IDE and reinstalling to ICHR7 drivers and several reboots for resource changes and new drivers for the Realtek audio and Wireless Lan, the install worked perfectly in the new system, and still does.
October 10, 2006 2:51:55 AM

I've done this in the past and all I needed was to have Microsoft give me a code when starting the thing up. Big thing that I found was getting the BIOS set up before teh hard drive kicked in. Didn't seem to matter if the hard drive was IDE or SATA, as long as the BIOS knew what to expect.

Only once have I had to reinstall Windows. Maybe I've just been lucky, don't know for sure.
October 10, 2006 3:07:48 AM

There was one very odd case of this scenario I had about five months back. I had just built an NF4 system and was upgrading from my threcherous 845g/865p system.

I had *alot* of problems with my nf4 system, I went through several RMA's just to get the system to post. During one of my waits for an RMA'd part I went back to the 865p system, I had to fresh install. It was torture using that old system while trying to play video games on a mildly competetive level, my system specs were rancid: a celeron D, 512mb ram and a fx5200. For a few short weeks before the first of my nf4 system's death I was playing games at hi-res and no lag whatsoever. Having to go back to the 865p after using the nf4 was like living in a trailer after you lived weeks at a mansion in the promise land.

When I got the part in the mail I was really eager to get back to playing games without dying every five seconds due to my computer running below 20fps. I hooked everything up and booted up expecting to hear either long beeps from a non-post or a message saying no HDD was found with an OS. To my utter shock, I saw neither. There it was, the giant Windows logo and the progress bar. WTF!!! I didn't have to reinstall windows!! My HD went from an Intel system to an AMD system without having to reinstall the OS. I have no clue in hell as to how this could be, I had always had to reinstall after switching.

I switched from the 865p to the nf4 five times or so, the PSU and Mobo died several times and I didn't want to be without a computer for weeks waiting for a part to come in the mail. I was forced to use my old hardware whenever something on my nf4 system died... so I switched often and had to reinstall... except for that one time...
October 10, 2006 3:31:39 AM

Quote:
A new mobo = Definitely a new XP installation.



Totally wrong !

err thanks for the in-depth explanation, you norbert.
October 10, 2006 10:04:13 PM

An XP installation takes only 30 minutes or less.

In 45 minutes max. , your PC will be ready to use.
And believe me, the 45 minutes are better than going around and trying to avoid the reinstallation.

And good thing is your PC will be faster after the clean install. Clean Registry, Just Formated Drive, low fragmentation. And who knows.. even might get rid of your viruses and spyware, if you have any.



* 45 minutes excludes post-SP2 Windows updates
October 11, 2006 12:32:13 AM

fyi: some software will not survive a repair install and will have to be re-installed
October 11, 2006 5:14:27 PM

Quote:
An XP installation takes only 30 minutes or less.

In 45 minutes max. , your PC will be ready to use.
And believe me, the 45 minutes are better than going around and trying to avoid the reinstallation.

And good thing is your PC will be faster after the clean install. Clean Registry, Just Formated Drive, low fragmentation. And who knows.. even might get rid of your viruses and spyware, if you have any.



* 45 minutes excludes post-SP2 Windows updates


1) WinXP SP1 (the installation disks that I have are for SP1) does not support large hard-drives and I have a large hard-drive with information and programs installed on it. So I am afraid that once I install SP1 and upgrade to SP2 to recover the space, I may lose lots of staff
2) It is not WinXP installation itself that I am afraid off. It is nightmare of finding all that software with keys again and installing it. I had a hard drive crash about year ago (this is how I ended up with larger HD than SP 1 can support) and it took me the whole week evenings to put everything back. So I think if I do not have sure way to do this upgrade in one evening, I will better just go and buy new computer, because the prise difference of mobo+processor+memory+video card is not that much from a whole computer without monitor and speakers.
October 11, 2006 7:40:23 PM

You can slipstream SP2.

Well, I have a folder called SETUP FILES neatly arranged with Softwrae and their Serials :) 
October 11, 2006 8:21:29 PM

Open up notepad. List all you software in one column and in the next their serials. Then print it out or save it to a floppy/pen drive/CD whatever.

As the above fellow said, XP can be slip streamed with SP2.

As for the chances of having to reinstall windows, its likely if your going from an older mobo to a new one. Windows does not like devices like HD controllers and APIC/ACPI changing without properly unistalling them first and replacing them with generic drivers. And sometimes its not possible. There will be a high number of essential windows devices that will have to have new/updated drivers. You might be lucky, you might not.

It best just to take the time, backup your files (which you should do anyway for this large hardware change) and make the most of the opportunity to get a clean install. Windows will be a lot happier. You avoid possible conflist, will have a faster system and will save yourself a lot of possible headaches.
October 12, 2006 3:45:34 PM

Use this method, it works. It is not a repair install. All of your programs will work when you are done. I have upgraded motherboard processor and video card three times now and am still on the same install of xp.
Granted it is best to do a fresh install, but I am like you I didn't want to have to reinstall all of my programs, find all of the product keys and so forth.


http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview.aspx?catid=34&t...
October 13, 2006 10:05:13 AM

It's real tricky trying to upgrade to different chipset and rarely works. Using "Repair Windows installation" will not fix this problem, I have tried numerous times and it never works.

The best method is to go into control panel and remove as many drivers as possible before attempting the upgrade.

Personally I would go for a clean install, you could encounter all sorts of problems and glitches later on if you dont.

You can use the files and settings transfer wizard to copy your data and settings before you do a clean install.

Outlook data files are store in C:\Documents and Settings\[user name]\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

Firefox setting are stored in C:\Documents and Settings\[user name]\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox
(make sure you copy then entire folder across.)

Thunderbird settings and data files are stored in C:\Documents and Settings\[user name]\Application Data\Thunderbird
(make sure you copy then entire folder across.)

Hope that helps. :D 
October 13, 2006 11:48:49 AM

Well, being a lazy dude myself, i'v tried avoiding reinstalling windows as much as possible. But i personally think that its always best to reinstall the OS whenever the new hardware is installed. From personal experience, if the gliches wont popup immidatly, they are surely to appear in notime. When installing such major parts as MOBO or CPU, you'll get BSOD right away (at least thats what happened to me when i installed new CPU recently)

However, if you do not want to reinstall all the programs and drivers you'v got, i got an excelent free tool to recommend.

http://www.nliteos.com

Basicly, it lets you create your own windows setup, including all the drivers you'v got, all the tweaks, settings, software etc. check it out.
October 13, 2006 11:56:48 AM

Quote:
The fastest processor my MOBO can have is P4 2.6GHz. I would like to upgrade it to something that can accept Core 2 processors, but I really REALLY do not want to reinstall windows and all drivers and programs. So, is there hope that I can make the upgrade without windows reinstall (WinXP CD is for XP SP1)?


See what you started? :D 

As long as you are not opting for a RAID setup, you might get away with this methoid.
1. Move your disk to the new setup.
2. Safe boot when you start up windows.
3. Try installing the new chipset, video and storage drivers.
4. Then reboot. 50 - 50 chance you might get away with it.
October 13, 2006 1:02:21 PM

well, you can try swapping; WinXP's HAL is sturdy enough to detect when a disk controller has been changed. It is however true that after some time, a few dozen virii and a few hundred spywares including 2-3 rootkits, changing your mobo like that may result in a broken, unbootable (even in safe mode) system.

So, if you don't keep your system spotlessly clean, I'd recommend reinstalling. If on the other hand your system install is up to date, protected by a better firewall than Windows' default, never had any spyware installed on it, with very little stuff usually running in the background, then a swap is more than likely to succeed - provided you remove all installed drivers to prevent conflicts with Windows' basic, default drivers.
October 13, 2006 3:27:17 PM

Quote:
Surely there's a technician to remember this....


I believe the word you were looking for was "sysprep"[/quote]
October 13, 2006 3:42:19 PM

Quote:
Surely there's a technician to remember this....


I believe the word you were looking for was "sysprep"[/quote]


Again here is the link for a quick sysprep tutorial, it works great.
This is NOT a repair install, it basically wipes your existing drivers out and reloads them from scratch. It is used by OEM builders and Corporations that have one disk image and use it between multiple builds or system types. This link will walk you through doing it from an existing windows install. You run the program, shut down, replace your hardware, reboot and follow the directions.

http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview.aspx?catid=34&t...
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