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MOBO/CPU/RAM I need to reinstall XP all over??

Last response: in Windows XP
December 22, 2006 3:39:53 AM


I have a perfectly good fresh install of XP. All works super...drivers, hardware, all software.
You know that things not always work after a re-install.

I like to upgrade my oldish mobo/cpu and then of course newer DDR2 RAM.

Is there a way to make these upgrades without having to reinstall XP.
I tried this before and of course XP doesn't load all new drivers automatically.

I heard I can go into the XP bootup screen and do a repair.....????

Anyone has experience with this?

Appreciate step by step instructions.

Thanks a million
December 22, 2006 5:08:40 PM

Find out if the new mobo supports non-ACPI operation.

If so, print this out - and good luck!

Remove and uninstall all the current drivers (video, sound, chipset, ide) from Control Panel - Add/Remove.

Find Device Manager (Start - Run - (type in)devmgmt.msc - Enter). Expand the Computer value - double-click ACPI Uniprocessor PC - driver tab - Update driver.
Choose to "Install from a list or specific location (Advanced) - Don't Search. UNCHECK THE BOX "Show compatible hardware". Select "Standard PC". Click Next & OK. You will get a Restart prompt. NO! "DO NOT RESTART".
While still in D/M, delete the rest of the hardware, whose drivers you didn't find in C/P relating to the above list only.
Shut down and do not turn it on until you've completed ALL the hardware swapping with the hd now installed (or in a completely new box).

Turn on and bootup. XP will load & redetect the entire hardware config. Probably will reboot a couple of times.

After you get a quiet desktop, Start - Run - (type in)cmd.exe - Enter

Type this in: set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1

Type: devmgmt.msc

View tab - Show hidden devices. The old stuff will have transparent icons.
Select, right-click and Uninstall all of these EXCEPT the ones inside "Non-Plug and Play Drivers" and "Sound, video and game controllers". Reboot.

Back into D/M - expand the Computer value. Double-click the first Standard PC - driver tab - Update driver. Choose "Install from a list...." - "Don't search....". Uncheck "Show compatible hardware - Select "Advanced....(ACPI) PC". Next - OK - Restart.

XP will now detect again. When done, reboot. Back into D/M - expand Computer - right-click Standard PC - uninstall. Reboot.

Back into D/M and get rid of the transparent icons again, as per three paragraphs above. Reboot.

Check the new mobo cd documentation. You may want to install all the NEW drivers again if that is part of their instruction for XP operating system.

I know it's a lot of steps, but I feel it's much quicker than a clean install with all its' updating & setting stuff up. With one of my customers, it took 8 hours to get him back to where he was.
December 22, 2006 5:13:58 PM

I don't mean to thread jack here, but I see this same topic posted once in a while and nobody posts their results.

pscowboy, does there seem to be any noticeable performance difference doing this compared to just reinstalling? One of the arguments against doing this is performance problems, but it seems that the people arguing this point have not actually tried this themselves.

I guess I was just curious to hear from someone that has actually done it.
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December 22, 2006 5:25:42 PM

I've done the technique three times (of three tries) successfully for XP. All office related; all strictly to save boatloads of time; none of which I saw any noticeable performance degradation. It's not that the fresh install of XP itself is lengthy, it's all the apps, and the tweaking, and the dynamic data reinstallation, and the myriad of updates - especially if the guy has pre-SP1/2 XP.

I performed a similar upgrade for W98 comps dozens of times with the ACPI trick.

I cannot vouch for what may happen to a high-end gaming rig.
December 22, 2006 9:14:17 PM

Thank you I really appreciate the tip and I AGREE that eventhough this procedure looks daunting at first, it will be faster.

I have 2 scanners, fax, printer, USB devices galore.....and I always have issues with at least 1 software application after a fresh install.

I also noticed that it makes a difference in which order you install certain devices.

So I will give your approach a shot....worst thing that can happen that I have to do a .....guess what....fresh install......mine also takes a good 8-10 hours before I have the system where it was before.

Cheers !!
December 27, 2006 5:55:47 AM

I really appreciate that you took the time to write this.
I will try this method, it makes me nervous but I will try.

Tell me why the BIOS needs to support NON-ACPI operation, I don't understand that.

The rest seems pretty straight least I think I can follow it.
The control panel add/remove makes me a bit nervous as some drivers are somewhat hidden within the software one installs....i.e Bluetooth.

Did you figure this all out by yourself?
December 27, 2006 2:21:46 PM

The whole technique fails if you can't change the mode of XP's Device Manager to "Standard PC". The BIOS and D/M kind of work together to set up all the hardware (that's putting it very simply). So, if the BIOS is not following what you're attempting in XP, you fail.

Almost all mobos support non-ACPI; just make sure. Make a phone call; go to the web site and look at specs?

I picked this method up about a year or so ago, while I was vigorously posting here at Tom's, that one COULD'NT DO THIS. Some techie, better than me obviously, "Replied" that I was mistaken, and it could be done and layed it out for everyone to share. I just wish I could remember his name so I could give him the credit due.

Please post back about your success when you complete the task. And, please don't be nervous. Print out the procedure, and carefully go a step at a time. I know it works, and you will too. Why, I bet you'll be doing it for some friends soon and become a hero (or heroine.)