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New processor, MB, RAM, video card--new XP install or just drivers?

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April 10, 2008 5:39:45 AM

So I'm swapping out most of the guts of my computer for new ones, but wondering if I'll need to reinstall XP to do so. I know that, at the very least, I'll need to swap drivers for the new ones, but that's all I'm sure of.

I'm replacing...
  • Athlon 64 3000 --> Athlon 64 X2 4000+ (Brisbane)
  • ASUS K8V800 --> GIGABYTE GA-MA770-S3 AM2+ AMD 770 Motherboard
  • 1GB PC3200 RAM --> 2GB PC2-6400 RAM
  • 3DFuzions Geforce 6600 AGP --> EVGA GeForce 8600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16

    Technically, I think my nVidia drivers will work as well for an 8600GT as they will for an old 6600, but I'm not sure.

    Anyone have a link to a good guide for this type of an overhaul? Or is it just a matter of, "download the drivers, put in the new hardware, install the drivers" (not necessarily in that order :)  )? Also, should I use motherboard drivers from Gigabyte or from AMD? (I seem to recall there being some sort of consensus on that when I got my ASUS board over whether I should use their drivers or VIA's.)

    Thanks!!
    April 10, 2008 6:25:18 AM

    Best bet is to reinstall XP.
    April 10, 2008 6:46:15 AM

    Anytime you make major changes (motherboard especially) you need to reinstall your OS. It will either try to boot and install drivers that are not present or you will get the the BSOD.

    To avoid conflicts, just reinstall the OS...
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    April 10, 2008 6:57:37 AM

    The easiest thing to do is go to SAFE Mode and uninstall the old video drivers, transfer the hard disk to the new hardware, install the Gigabyte chipset drivers, then the new video drivers. This should - SHOULD - work. You will have ash and trash (old, unused dll's and sys files, etc.) littering your hard drive, however.

    The safest thing is to start over,especially since the old installation seems to be pretty old.

    April 10, 2008 8:06:52 AM

    You should ALWAYS make a clean OS install when you change your motherboard.

    Considering that you ask this question it seems likely that it's been "a while" since you last did a format, which is further reason to do so now.

    Any OS install degrades over time in any case and beniftt from being reinstalled a few times each year to keep performance up :) 

    A tip is to partition your harddrive into a C drive for your Windows installation and a D drive for everything else. That way you can format C drive without deleting your documents, games etc.
    April 10, 2008 8:32:22 AM

    Definately just re-install XP, it will take less time than sorting out the problems your gonna have with not doing it. Unless you just want to spend time troubleshooting. I always cut the troubleshooting limit off after about 20 minutes, cause it only takes like 30 to reinstall the whole OS.
    April 10, 2008 8:49:00 AM

    Darron said:
    Any OS install degrades over time in any case and beniftt from being reinstalled a few times each year to keep performance up :) 

    I've (obviously) never been a big fan of this concept. I know a lot of people subscribe to it, but I get things how I want them and I really don't want to try to get it all back the way I want it again.

    Darron said:
    A tip is to partition your harddrive into a C drive for your Windows installation and a D drive for everything else. That way you can format C drive without deleting your documents, games etc.

    Well, sorta. Even with everything installed on a partition, I would imagine that Windows won't just be able to pick all that back up again. I still have to reinstall everything—which is a huge pain in the butt when you've moved three times in the last two years and can't remember where you've put everything. Including XP itself, which is one of the big reasons I'm reluctant to bother. :) 
    April 10, 2008 8:53:31 AM

    jsc said:
    The easiest thing to do is go to SAFE Mode and uninstall the old video drivers, transfer the hard disk to the new hardware, install the Gigabyte chipset drivers, then the new video drivers. This should - SHOULD - work. You will have ash and trash (old, unused dll's and sys files, etc.) littering your hard drive, however.

    Okay, so, lemme see if I follow this...

    1. Download all the new drivers. (Let's say I put them on my desktop for easy access or right into C:\ )
    2. Uninstall all my old drivers without rebooting until I'm done.
    3. Take my computer apart and put all the new stuff in.
    4. Boot the computer into safe mode (assuming it can make it there and that Windows will find my SATA hard drive—this was a huge problem when I bought this motherboard).
    5. Install the new drivers and reboot.

    6. ???
    7. Profit? ;) 

    Except for the last two, would that work?

    jsc said:
    The safest thing is to start over,especially since the old installation seems to be pretty old.

    Yeah, but, as I said in the post before this, I'm really reluctant to do that. If I can get through this without doing it, I'd like to.
    April 10, 2008 3:39:54 PM

    If you go to the trouble to completely overhaul your system, you will have to reinstall the OS. That is a given, unless you are putting in the same or almost the same parts which wouldnt be an upgrade but a renewal.

    You will bang your head against the wall trying to do it any other way and I dont think you will be successful. If you dont want to reinstall your OS, dont upgrade or get someone else to do it for you.

    If you are totally against redoing your system everytime, install a second hard drive or store your primary data on an external hard drive and create a restore disk after you get all of your programs reinstalled and the settings the way you want them.

    I never do this but my friend does and hes the same way you are, hes anal about reinstalling windows and reconfiguring his settings the way he had them.

    Bite the bullet, reinstall the OS and create a restore disk after your done. Thats your answer...
    April 10, 2008 3:49:51 PM

    its always better to start with a fresh install because even if you update the drivers windows might still use some of the old drivers that didnt get install.
    April 10, 2008 6:00:13 PM

    Swapping RAM and CPU are fairly transparent. XP may boot into safe-mode the first time. I've seen that about 40% of the time. Usually, it just boots, and you may see the new hardware notifications.

    Swapping Video and Motherboard, That would be a re-install. I have had no luck with that otherwise. But then, I'm a unix dinosaur from the xenix days.

    A new motherboard will reactivate the 'Activate Windows Now' flag, if it boots at all. Not to mention device conflicts. Same Board with the same Exact revision number should be fine. May be able to boot into safe-mode and wipe-out all of the drivers for your old motherboard and video. that may work, but I have never been successful. You may have to call Microsoft to reactivate it, as it may show-up as an entirely new system, invalidating the license. Again, this is assuming it will boot afterwards.

    Best advice is to bite the bullet, and reinstall when you swap vital components. My disk is an old SP1 disk, Microsoft has recently consolidated a number of the updates. My reinstall took about 2 hours, counting the time where I was sidetracked by Sliders and forgot to click a button a couple of times.
    April 10, 2008 7:05:32 PM

    It seems as if all of you are suggesting not only that I reinstall XP, but that I format my entire hard drive. True?
    April 10, 2008 8:08:34 PM

    New motherboard means that your HAL file for windows will no longer work means that you will have to reinstall. CPU, RAM, and vidoecards are all easy to install without re-installing windows, but once you change your motherboard it is your best bet to re-install windows. If you can afford a new hard drive then buy one and install the o/s on that then you can just plug in old hard drive without losing any important files.
    April 10, 2008 8:09:30 PM

    This is what Microsoft says about replacing motherboards and not reinstalling (Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, or Windows 2000)

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/824125

    I have done this successfully

    GL
    April 10, 2008 8:11:13 PM

    San Pedro said:
    New motherboard means that your HAL file for windows will no longer work means that you will have to reinstall. CPU, RAM, and vidoecards are all easy to install without re-installing windows, but once you change your motherboard it is your best bet to re-install windows. If you can afford a new hard drive then buy one and install the o/s on that then you can just plug in old hard drive without losing any important files.

    I have a 120GB external hard drive that I've backed up most of my important files to. It's just the reinstalling of everything that I'm reluctant to do. (And I know that if I formatted my hard drive, I'd be forgetting something important on it--that's just the way these things always go. :)  )

    I've also got an old 80GB EIDE hard drive still in my case unplugged that I might plug back in and copy files to. (I'll probably uninstall all my games and just copy all my important folders right over to it.)
    April 10, 2008 8:12:46 PM

    firemist said:
    This is what Microsoft says about replacing motherboards and not reinstalling (Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, or Windows 2000)

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/824125

    I have done this successfully

    GL

    Awesome! Thanks!

    That seems much more painless than formatting my hard drive. :) 
    April 11, 2008 9:55:49 AM

    Worked great.

    PCMark05 score went from 2927 to 4826. Haven't run 3DMark05 yet, but I would imagine it will also be similarly good.

    And, best of all, all my stuff is still intact! W00t.

    Many thanks!
    April 11, 2008 10:22:16 AM

    Great to hear. Glad that method worked for you...
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