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Computing 101 Re-installing Windows XP...do I need to do it?

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December 8, 2006 1:29:57 PM

I know enough just to get myself in trouble.

I'm upgrading my motherboard and CPU. Moving up to a Asus p5W DH Deluxe and a Core 2 Duo 6600 from a Asus P5AD2 and a 3.4 ghz Pentium 4, I believe. I'm using 2 gigs of Corsair 522 RAM.

Anyway, after getting everything swapped out, tweeking the bios, etc., I can't get Windows XP to fire up. I'm using a legacy 250 gb Western Digital HD with XP installed on that drive.

I was told by a salesman that I could just drop in the new mobo and CPU and wouldn't need to re-install XP.

Anyway, it won't fire up. The BIOs sees the HD and recognizes it. However the Window XP screen comes on, fades and the machine reboots.

I contacted ASUS support. The first tech told me I needed to flash the bios. I did everything he said, but the machine won't read the new .ROM file. The second ASUS tech told me I needed to re-install Windows XP.

Is there any other way of doing this? I've backed up everything I need on the drive. I'm just wondering if there's an easier way.

As you can tell I'm a noob. Thanks in advance.
December 8, 2006 2:20:46 PM

Yup, when you change the mobo, you'll need to reinstall xp. If you want to save your docs, put your drive as a slave in a friend's computer & drop a bunch of folders on theirs while you install and then get them back the same way.

To install xp, go into the bios (hit delete when the mobo manufacturer's logo comes up when you power on) to make sure that the CD is the 1st boot device. Reboot with xp cd in the cdrom and it will take you through the installation. There are rundowns of all the steps on the internet, but effectively if you have no sata drives, there should be nothing to it. XP will load things for a few minutes and then ask which drive to install on. Since you only have 1, pick it and delete all the partitions, then create one partition, which will take your whole drive minus 8MB (this will all be calculated for you). Pick that partition to install on, and xp will ask you to format it, so agree and do a regular (not quick) format. This will take most of an hour and at the end will allow install onto that partition. It will then do what it has to do, sometimes asking you questions like your name & time zone. Also remember that when it reboots if the xp cd is still in the drive, you will see a "press any key to boot from cd" prompt on screen - don't do it or this will restart the whole install.

Jo
December 8, 2006 2:36:48 PM

The system will not work correctly until XP has detected and installed the drivers for the new hardware on the MB. I have forced this by doing an 'Repair' install from the XP install disks (this is different than the recovery console). Start the install process from the disk and proceed with the install until you reach the screen that asks if you want a new install or repair an existing installation. Select the repair here.

It will go through the whole process and you will need to install the chipset drivers, windows updates, etc as you would a new install but it does not wipe out the installed apps. I have used this on several upgrades.

If you have a pre-SP2 install disk you may have issues with the large disk (>137 Gig) and may want to slipstream the SP2 pack on to an install disk.

Good luck

PS - there are reasons to do a full clean install (and I do this at times) but it is possible to do a MB upgrade without loosing all your apps.
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December 8, 2006 3:11:57 PM

One other thing I failed to mention. The 250 gig drive is a Western Digital SATA drive. Does that make any difference in all of this?

Also I suppose I should de-authorize the computer for I-tunes so it doesn't count it as one of my five machines. Backing up I-tunes is a pain.

Thanks for the help. I appreciate it.
December 8, 2006 3:52:48 PM

It does not matter that the drive is a SATA. That is all handled in the BIOS and hardware layer.

Don't know how I-tunes authorizes / de-authorizes systems but I would guess that if the repair install works and the I-tunes app is there it will work just fine. You should check this though.
December 8, 2006 3:55:01 PM

Quote:
One other thing I failed to mention. The 250 gig drive is a Western Digital SATA drive. Does that make any difference in all of this?


Yes - at the start of xp install, right after boot from cd it will ask for F6 to install raid drivers. Do this even if not using raid as it will install AHCI drivers for sata. XP will load a bunch of things after you hit this and only after that does it actually allow you to load drivers. You have to load these from a floppy that you make from the mobo's cd according to the mobo manual.

Jo
December 8, 2006 4:15:27 PM

Yes...de-authorize any time you make hardware changes. And just back up the My Music folder (using any backup software) and restore it to your new installation. When you reinstall iTunes everything should be the same way as you left it before. Then re-authorize.
December 8, 2006 4:24:58 PM

Also, if you decide to do a clean install you can use the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard to back up all your files and settings. Then use it to restore them to your new installation. You should do this regardless, so if your repair installation fails you can then do a clean install.
December 8, 2006 4:59:32 PM

I have a dual layer DVD burner. Can I backup my Files and Settings onto my current desktop and then burn those onto a DVD?

After the clean install can I then use the DVD to install my old settings?

Thanks for the help.
December 8, 2006 5:28:56 PM

Yes, but if you have lots of files it might take up quite a few discs. You can also partition the hard disk and back up to one partition. For instance, you can create a D partition for the backup, install XP on the C partition and then restore your data from D. Or you could use a spare hard drive you might have sitting around somewhere. :) 
December 8, 2006 6:04:26 PM

Okay, now my turn.


I have done *at least* 20 motherboard swaps in the last 10 years, and only ONCE have I been forced to reinstall from scratch. Generally, I do the following:

1) swap MB/CPU.
2) as the system boots, go into bios and disable all of the onboard stuff that yo wont need immediately... like modem, audio, lan (if you are wireless), etc.
3) as a previous poster said... if you have an sata system drive, install raid/sata drivers.
4) as the system boots, go into safe mode. If you DONT go into safemode, you can sometimes get in a catch 22 with USB keyboard and mouse. That is, the Motherboard drivers have not been loaded as you go into windows so the keyboard and mouse cease to work. put your CD containing motherboard drivers (or copy them to disk BEFORE you start the upgrade) into the drive and boot into safemode.
5) in safe mode, install the motherboard drivers and everything else new that it finds (hint: sometimes the things that you are trying to install have been installed before, and you just need to point the install to the windows32 or drivers directory. you dont always need to get out all of the disks). Reboot when it says to reboot.
6) during the reboot, go ahead and enable all the stuff you disabled on first boot. You can install that stuff now. Go ahead and reboot into full windows (not safe mode). Finish installing all devices, including ide/sata.



Though the years, there have been variations of this procedure. For example, in windows98 you would not have CD rom support until you loaded the motherboard drivers... which were on CD, so you would need to place those drivers on disk before the upgrade.

The current catch22 is the USB keyboard/mouse problem. I dont have an old ps2 k/m hanging around, so that one stumped me for a bit before I figured out that I could install the MB drivers in safe mode with usb km.


Have at it. Some people like to reinstall everytime they get a new motherboard. I dont. It would take *many* hours to install dozens of software programs, and I prefer to stick on my old install.

Sometimes... but not every time... you will have to reactivate windows.


AFTER intstall, I will usually go and cleanup... remove software for old/nonused devices and run a registry cleanup utility. I am on my third motherboard for each of two windows XP installs that I originally installed in 2003.
December 10, 2006 7:32:48 PM

So how do you know Win is creating a new HAL rather than just reusing the old one? Or are you just banking on the hardware being similar enough that the old HAL works well enough even if not specifically designed for the newer hardware? (like running something in 386 mode on a pentium)
!