Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Reinstall of windows for new board & chip???

Last response: in Motherboards
Share
May 17, 2009 2:27:39 AM

I know this is in the FAQ, but is there any way to preserve my system and applications when upgrading to a new board and chip?

I tried this recently between two laptops...my Acer (a great machine for the buck by the way) finally gave up the ghost, and I had to buy a Dell Inspiron. When I went to clone the old drive to the new one, it just would not take. Even a windows repair would not work?

Is there some kind of reason for this? Why, with all of the PnP stuff and whatnot, why in the world is this the case? I dont understand why it is so hard for windows to simply detect a new processor or hardware when it boots and make the necessarry adjustments. Why isnt there some kind of bootable program that will modify the necesarry windows files on the hard drive? It just doesnt seem like it would be all that tough?

Is it a software piracy issue?

My problem is that I am a photographer, and I have all kinds of settings and whatnot in Photoshop and other programs that will not transfer. I have plug-ins that can be reinstalled, but the settings all reset. There are also actions that have some dll files associated with them that will not transfer either. Yes, most of them I can install again, but they reset everything. Its a huge pain in the but, and honestly I am not likely to ever get it back to where I like it again. Same goes for other apps as well.

I tried a laplink product, and it didnt work. I don't see why they make that program where you have to have two bootable windows installs to transfer one to the other. What the heck is the value of that when you have a machine go out on you?

Ultimately, other than a hard disk failure, what good is backing up system and application files? If you cant apply them to a different computer (one that you replace a major part in) then it is futile.

Not to mention that I have about 80 different apps installed, and most of them are not exactly new, and once you install them, you have to update them all online. It would take me literally an entire week of work to get the everything installed, and it still would not be the same.

Does anyone have a plan for me? My current machine is woroking, but I heard an electrical kind of "pop" sound the other night, and now it is only seeing 2GB of my 4GB of RAM (yes I know windows only sees 3, but my BIOS is only seeing 2 as well. I played with the sticks and switched them around, and it appears to be the slot on the mobo, so I know the mobo is compromised now and need to replace it)

The only thing I can think of is to build a whole new machine. That sucks.

So how could I do this with just buying a new mobo chip and ram? Can anyone think of a procedure using any kind of software that would preserve my system?

I cant beleive this is so hard and PITA. Like my grandfather would say "We can put a man on the moon, but we cant seem to make a decent __________(insert whatever...)"

Please help!

Thanks

Scott
a c 234 V Motherboard
May 17, 2009 4:06:23 AM

What are the old and new motherboards? The chipset basically determines if it will work or not.
May 17, 2009 4:36:37 AM

I have not bought the new one yet. I really dont have the time to jack with the whole reinstall mess right now. But...

I am running an Asus A8N-SLI Premium with an AMD Athlon 64 3700+. With the new CS4 suite and all the multil core stuff out there being so affordable, I need to upgrade now. So with the funny behavior of my current mobo, I think I have to before it craps, while there is still some chance of migrating the way I want.

So...I think I have arrived at one of two options for my budget

MSI K9N2 SLI Platinum Motherboard - nForce 750a, Socket AM2+, ATX, Audio, Video, DVI, PCI Express 2.0, USB 2.0, SATA, RAID, SLI for 119 bucks

or

ASUS M3N72-D AM2+/AM2 NVIDIA nForce 750a SLI HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard 129 bucks

Both have the same chipset.

I tend to prefer Asus boards. Always had good experiences with them. But I am told the quality is pretty good accross the market these days and its rare to get a bad board with any of them. The MSI board has an edge because it has ESATA ports. So I am leaning in that direction, but have no experience with MSI.

Anyway, there you go. Thanks for the help.

I like mutil Video Card capability, and it seems those boards are getting less common. I am running some older cards right now (Dualk 7600 GS 512) but will upgrade a little bit later.

Maybe that is TMI, but I appreciate your help.

I really hope there is a way to do this...

SRM
Related resources
a b V Motherboard
May 17, 2009 6:18:38 AM

If you stick with the same chipset for your new mobo, it should be no problem, as GhislainG has stated. A different chipset MAY work, but you won't know if it worked until you try (which is a very bad time to find out!).

If you must go with a different chipset, go to the device manager and delete all motherboard- specific drivers before the last shutdown, then install the HD in the new build. If all goes well (but it probably won't), Windows will detect the new hardware correctly and you'll be good to go.

The New Number 2
May 17, 2009 6:20:57 AM

When you say the same chipset...do you mean exactly. Because I cant see the chipset on a new board being the same as one that is 3 years old...

Or do you mean the same brand of chipset (nvidia vs intel...etc.)

SRM
May 17, 2009 6:23:09 AM

thenewnumber2 said:
If you stick with the same chipset for your new mobo, it should be no problem, as GhislainG has stated. A different chipset MAY work, but you won't know if it worked until you try (which is a very bad time to find out!).

If you must go with a different chipset, go to the device manager and delete all motherboard- specific drivers before the last shutdown, then install the HD in the new build. If all goes well (but it probably won't), Windows will detect the new hardware correctly and you'll be good to go.

The New Number 2


My current board is nVidia nforce 4 SLI and the new boards I am looking at are nVidia n750 SLI...

So llike I said...did you mean the same manufacturer or the same...exactly?

SRM
a b V Motherboard
May 17, 2009 6:28:34 AM

You should stick with the NForce 4 to be safe: the n750 is a different chipset, although both are from Nvidia.

The New Number 2
May 17, 2009 6:35:24 AM

OK...

What I am trying to get at too is that the Laplink software (which is supposed to migrate all of my apps and such) requires two bootable windows machines to migrate apps and such. OR...it needs to have one machine in which two drives will both boot in that machine....so...thinking this through...

So basically, I might as well build a whole new machine and use Laplink between them while this one still works, and then sell the old case or keep it in the garage.

OK...so related question is...when I move to windows 7 when it gets released later this year, will I end up having to reinstall everything anyway? Or does it keep all your apps intact? It has been forever since I "upgraded" an OS. I think the last time I did that was from win98 to XP a long time ago. I cant even remember if the apps carried over.

Because if I am going to lose it all later anyway, I dont want to go through all this crap twice in one year.
a b V Motherboard
May 17, 2009 6:47:47 AM

If you replace your mobo with an exact duplicate, your computer will never know anything has changed. You shouldn't have to "migrate" anything: a) take computer apart b) replace mobo with duplicate c) put back together. Perhaps I'm missing something? (But certainly back up your important files before any operation of this kind : "stuff happens").

If you're running XP, you'll have to do a clean install to run Windows 7. Vista can be upgraded in place to Windows 7.

The New Number 2
May 17, 2009 6:53:08 AM

Ok...you seemed to miss the previous. The mobo in there now is old. It is three years old (two for me...I bought it on clearance) so there would be no reason to put the same one in there even if i could get one. It worked great and would probably last me until windows 7 comes out...except I think I lost a ram slot, which means other problems are probably on the way...

So yeah...you missed that part.

I know if you replace a mobo with the same one, then you are fine.

I still dont see why they have to make it a pain though. One would think there would be a bootable program that would modify the windows files (on the existing HDD that will be transferred...or a cloned drive even) before starting windows. it just doesnt seem like it would be that tough to do.

All they would need is a catalogue of the registry entries and drivers from the manufacturers. The bootable disc could simply delete what was there and write the ones it needs for the new hardware.

I just dont understand why it is such a pain. There must be a reason...
a b V Motherboard
May 17, 2009 7:02:23 AM

Ok, so you want an upgrade. Well, your previous plan is sounding good, namely:

"So basically, I might as well build a whole new machine and use Laplink between them while this one still works, and then sell the old case or keep it in the garage.:

Yep, if you're going to change chipsets (NForce 4 to n750), this is the only reliable path I know of. Yes, it's a PITA.

The New Number 2
May 17, 2009 7:42:56 AM

shutterspeed said:
I have not bought the new one yet. I really dont have the time to jack with the whole reinstall mess right now. But...

I am running an Asus A8N-SLI Premium with an AMD Athlon 64 3700+. With the new CS4 suite and all the multil core stuff out there being so affordable, I need to upgrade now. So with the funny behavior of my current mobo, I think I have to before it craps, while there is still some chance of migrating the way I want.

So...I think I have arrived at one of two options for my budget

MSI K9N2 SLI Platinum Motherboard - nForce 750a, Socket AM2+, ATX, Audio, Video, DVI, PCI Express 2.0, USB 2.0, SATA, RAID, SLI for 119 bucks

or

ASUS M3N72-D AM2+/AM2 NVIDIA nForce 750a SLI HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard 129 bucks

Both have the same chipset.

I tend to prefer Asus boards. Always had good experiences with them. But I am told the quality is pretty good accross the market these days and its rare to get a bad board with any of them. The MSI board has an edge because it has ESATA ports. So I am leaning in that direction, but have no experience with MSI.

Anyway, there you go. Thanks for the help.

I like mutil Video Card capability, and it seems those boards are getting less common. I am running some older cards right now (Dualk 7600 GS 512) but will upgrade a little bit later.

Maybe that is TMI, but I appreciate your help.

I really hope there is a way to do this...

SRM


You are going from a different chipset and a different socket... Your data will xfer, but most (if not all) of your apps will not. Your OS, same thing. Sorry, but some things are just hard, no easy path. I don't lmow enough about your current programs (nor do you list them all) to know what settings migration options they may have, but I hold out no real hopes of an easy path forward.
a c 234 V Motherboard
May 17, 2009 1:51:56 PM

I rarely used NVidia chipsets, but I know that newer Intel chipsets are compatible with their older chipsets. Isn't it the case with NVidia?
May 17, 2009 7:43:58 PM

It looks like building more or less a whole new machine is the way I have to go and then use Laplink.

I really am wanting to know from anyone who might have the inside line...why this is the case.

Why has someone not come up with a bootable program that will modify the windows files to the new hardware before starting windows? I dont understand why that can't be done...or even done manually for that matter with some kind of DOS boot disk or windows repair mode...etc.

Or even accessing the new drive by plugging it into another computer and then manually opening the registry and other pertinent files and changing them before installing the drive into the new machine.

What exactly is it that makes it such a pain? Does anyone know? And why dont the manufacturers each have a program that does this for their hardware perhaps?

SRM
a c 234 V Motherboard
May 17, 2009 8:04:36 PM

It can be done if you know how to copy drivers and edit the registry. Microsoft even provided several registry entries (for IDE controllers) for XP and it's relatively easy to add more entries if need be: http://support.microsoft.com/?scid=kb%3Ben-us%3B314082&...

http://www.solriche.co.uk/files/misc/move_xp

I don't understand why it should be so difficult going from a NVidia chipset to another NVidia chipset. You can go from an old Intel chipset like the 865 to a 965, 975 or P45 without having to reinstall XP. You have to reinstall drivers that are specific to the chipset, video, LAN and audio, but that's it. What's important is the IO controller and Intel kept them compatible (ICH5 is compatible with all of them up to ICH10).
May 17, 2009 8:12:41 PM

more specifically guys...

What is it on the hard drive that makes it incompatible with a new mobo/chipset/CPU? Is it registry entries? Drivers? what?

Sinc you can write anything on a hard disk, why can't you just modify those files with what needs to go in there and the the hard drive and the OS will just pickup where it left off like nothing ever happened.

What is it exactly that keeps this from being possible?

It cannot be a software licensing/piracy issue. Because if you installed it before, you could just install it again...license or not. I dont see how this is a revenue protector.

I am really obsessed over this now. For all that computers are supposed to make our lives easier, I tend to think we waste more time dikkin with them than if we didnt have them at all.
May 17, 2009 8:32:10 PM

OK...you replied the same time I did.

Editing registry files manually? Well, I have never done it, but how hard can it be? I would imagine you need to know the location of the registry file(s) and then unlock, unhide them etc...and then use some kind of text editor to edit them accordingly. If they have the entrie somewhere, wouldnt it just be a simple process of cut and paste?

Especially if you had the drive plugged into another machine (externally or as a slave...etc)

So maybe with a couple of you guys we can come up with a process, and maybe we could all create a batch file that someone could drop in the root directory of that hard disk and then run it. We could start compiling batch files for all of the manufacturers, and we could host them on some open download page.

I haven't done any batch file stuff since windows 3.11 years ago.
a c 234 V Motherboard
May 17, 2009 8:52:50 PM

Why don't you simply perform a complete backup, then connect the hard disk to the new motherboard and see if you really need to reinstall? You seem to assume that the worst will happen, but I'm pretty sure that it will work. I mean NVidia can't be that bad and Intel that good.

You don't need to know where the registry files are located as you can't modify them directly. You have to use regedit or regedt32 to modify the registry. If you don't know what you're doing, then that's another reason to make a complete backup. There are no risks in running MergeIDE.reg and it might help. You could also check what entries already exist in the registry and remove them from MergeIDE.reg.

Running batch files in a Windows XP environment isn't the way to go. You should use Windows scripting as it can access the registry while DOS batch files can't.
May 17, 2009 9:04:20 PM

I guess I just assume that the registry is just another file.

When my Acer laptop died, I went from and AMD chip based unit to a Dell-Intel, so I am sure that was the issue. You really don't get more different than that. It purely sucked and my laptop is still not where I like it.

So you are thinking there is a better than 50-50 chance that since I am going nVidia to Nvidia, I will probably be fine?

I think I will give Asus or MSI a call and ask them too. I am sure they will know...

I can call nVidia too and ask them. Since it is their chipset that you guys say is the major factor, then they should know what the challenges are.

I want to learn more about this though...

Why can't you access the registry like any other file on the hard drive?
May 17, 2009 9:10:47 PM

Hey guys...check this out...

http://www.raymond.cc/blog/archives/2008/07/02/how-to-e...

This allows you to edit the registry outside of windows!

So correct me if i wrong in thinking that if you know the right things to change, then you could easily "morph" your windows install from any old machine to any new one, and reatain everyhting you had before.

So you could even clone a hard drive, and install it in any machine, and then use this program to adapt the registry to make it all good to go.

It seems like this would work...

What do you think?
a b V Motherboard
May 17, 2009 9:30:52 PM

Your best bet is laplink, but I wouldn't hold my breath on anyhting.

Be prepared for trouble and be happy if it works.
a c 234 V Motherboard
May 17, 2009 9:36:54 PM

Quote:
I think I will give Asus or MSI a call and ask them too. I am sure they will know...
I'm not as sure as you are that the people you can talk to can answer that type of question.

Quote:
When my Acer laptop died, I went from and AMD chip based unit to a Dell-Intel, so I am sure that was the issue.
It probably would have worked if you used MergeIDE before the laptop died, but you didn't. Several drivers would still have to be installed, but the goal is to boot without getting a 0x0000007B error.

Quote:
http://www.raymond.cc/blog/archive [...] n-windows/
It won't help you if your get a 0x0000007B error at boot. It allows you to add entries to the registry or modify them, not to copy drivers, etc.

Quote:
So you could even clone a hard drive, and install it in any machine, and then use this program to adapt the registry to make it all good to go.
I often use that procedure. I simply clone an existing hard disk to a new one and then install it in the new system. That way you don't lose anything, the old system still is operational and stress is at a minimum.

One solution that you haven't considered is Windows XP recovery. That sometimes works when migrating to a new platform.
a b V Motherboard
May 17, 2009 9:56:36 PM

I left you a private message, please respond.
May 17, 2009 10:11:05 PM

daship said:
I left you a private message, please respond.


Where? I dont see any private message area in my profile for this forum...

SRM
a b V Motherboard
May 17, 2009 10:27:19 PM

At the top of the page where it says show right click colum, there is a messages tab.
a b V Motherboard
May 18, 2009 1:34:18 AM

thenewnumber2 said:
Ok, so you want an upgrade. Well, your previous plan is sounding good, namely:

"So basically, I might as well build a whole new machine and use Laplink between them while this one still works, and then sell the old case or keep it in the garage.:

Yep, if you're going to change chipsets (NForce 4 to n750), this is the only reliable path I know of. Yes, it's a PITA.

The New Number 2


No it's not a PITA

You can usually do a "repair install" when replacing hardware, even the motherboard/cpu including one with a different chipset. I have a friend that did it countless times on his. And I've performed it on a few new builds/upgrades as well.

Here is a site that explains it and some warnings, and work-arounds if the Repair option is not listed(it will enable the repair option if its not present).

Repair Install Instructions

Anyway, this is very trivial, I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Repair Install method.
May 18, 2009 3:02:17 AM

I did that with the hard disc from my Acer laptop to my Dell and kept getting various errors on boot.

So nope...didnt work. The Acer was an AMD and the Dell is an Intel Core Duo. so very different, which might be the issue. But I am past it on the laptop, and dont want ot go through it again in the desktop.

So from my experience, that doesnt always work either. I have no idea why. It should.

SRM
a b V Motherboard
May 18, 2009 5:56:12 AM

cliffro said:


Anyway, this is very trivial, I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Repair Install method.


Because it rarely works... you've been more fortunate than most.

The New Number 2
May 18, 2009 6:33:12 AM

Agreed. I think it might work, like someone here said...when you have two chipsets from the same manufacturer that are maybe one version apart. Beyond that, I think you are stuck.
May 18, 2009 6:52:42 AM

Shutterspeed, open up a console window and type in 'regedit'. Now look for your favourite app (control-f works well, keep looking until you run out of entries...)

That's one app. You mentioned, what ~70 some apps? Tedious, long slow and scary proposition for someone who doesn't know what the registry entries really do, or what the binary keys really mean. I've done it several times, the last to switch from an asus socket 939 MB to a dfi socket 939 in XP when the repair option didn't work. Frankly, took longer than just doing a fresh install... (and I am supposed to know what I'm doing)

a b V Motherboard
May 18, 2009 7:18:37 AM

Reinstalls are good for your system and should be done ever year or so depending on usage - keeps the system running fresh!
a b V Motherboard
May 18, 2009 7:22:24 AM

All I know is that Ive gone from an A7S333(Athlon XP/SiS chipset) to an A8V-Deluxe(Athlon64/Via) to a Gigabyte Nforce 4 SLI(A64 X2) using the Repair Install/Dirty Install method.
May 18, 2009 7:36:02 AM

croc said:
Shutterspeed, open up a console window and type in 'regedit'. Now look for your favourite app (control-f works well, keep looking until you run out of entries...)

That's one app. You mentioned, what ~70 some apps? Tedious, long slow and scary proposition for someone who doesn't know what the registry entries really do, or what the binary keys really mean. I've done it several times, the last to switch from an asus socket 939 MB to a dfi socket 939 in XP when the repair option didn't work. Frankly, took longer than just doing a fresh install... (and I am supposed to know what I'm doing)


I dont think you have read the thread. This isnt what we are talking about.

Are you saying that each app has registry parameters and their own drivers and such that address the chipset and specific CPU? Are you saying that when they are installed, that they install files and such that are specific to a given chipset and/or CPU? If so, and if that is the case, then it makes a lot more sense.

I do not think that it works that way however, as to me, that would seem to be the point of having and operating system to begin with; to create a common environment and interface for all the apps to function within.

However, it seems to be the belief of most here (and not that that means a whole lot because we don't really know the knowledge and experience level of those chiming in...) that the files that are specfic to the chipset are OS based only.

If that is the case, then it stand to reason that one could change those regsitry files that are specific to the chipset.

Boy, it sure would be nice to have someone who is a high level programmer who could at least explain the situation here and why this migration thing is such a pain, and why it cannot be rectified or simplified.

Is there anyone here on that level???
May 18, 2009 7:50:15 AM

shutterspeed said:
I dont think you have read the thread. This isnt what we are talking about.

Are you saying that each app has registry parameters and their own drivers and such that address the chipset and specific CPU? Are you saying that when they are installed, that they install files and such that are specific to a given chipset and/or CPU? If so, and if that is the case, then it makes a lot more sense.

I do not think that it works that way however, as to me, that would seem to be the point of having and operating system to begin with; to create a common environment and interface for all the apps to function within.

However, it seems to be the belief of most here (and not that that means a whole lot because we don't really know the knowledge and experience level of those chiming in...) that the files that are specfic to the chipset are OS based only.

If that is the case, then it stand to reason that one could change those regsitry files that are specific to the chipset.

Boy, it sure would be nice to have someone who is a high level programmer who could at least explain the situation here and why this migration thing is such a pain, and why it cannot be rectified or simplified.

Is there anyone here on that level???


I don't program to that level any more, but I do know some that still do. Many apps install different registry keys based on what hardware they are running on. Photoshop and Acad are two such apps, they will search the local_machine registries, then write their own entries based on what they find. So, CS4 for instance, will install differently based on the number of cores it finds, as well as the amount of physical memory. Acad is more concerned with graphics and pointing devices, but you get the point. Many games also load differently based on the platform that they find as well. Want easy? try Unix... (Croc makes joke)
May 18, 2009 4:00:38 PM

I would think that those programs verify those settings when they start up not on boot-up, and then make corrections as needed. Even so, reinstalling one or two programs instead of all of them is still better.

Secondly, whatever the apps are doing would have nothing to do with windows booting/startup...would it? Why would something photoshop does give a hal.dll error?

Beyond that, Pshop is the one I am most concerned about because I have so many actions and plug ins for my photography business. Each has their own settings that I have tweaked to get just right for my signature look and style. There appears to be no way to retain that on migration. I image my drives regularly, in case of an HDD failure, but this is entirely different.

The Pshop migration is not as simple as to copy the actions folder over, because some of them have their own dll files, and plug-ins are like their own mini-program anyway.

So it is more than simply the reinstall process. Eve nreinstalling will set me back dramatically.
a b V Motherboard
May 18, 2009 7:19:54 PM

Windows "could have been" designed to be migrated between systems with little difficulty. It wasn't. This was completely intentional... think about things like "security" and "anti-piracy", and stuff like that. Microsoft (and other app developers) have no interest in giving you an easy path to perform this operation.

You aren't on to anything novel here, Shutterspeed. The seamless migration tool that you desire would have existed for years if such a thing were possible. A high level programmer could give you a more erudite answer, but it will not help you resolve your situation.

I think Laplink is the closest you're going to find, and it's not nearly perfect. You should also check and see if the specific apps you are concerned about have any tools to make the migration less painful.

The New Number 2
!