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March 16, 2004 6:39:33 AM

I was'nt sure where to post so it ended up here. I am replacing my cpu, motherboard, and memory on wednesday and have a important question. Do I need to format my hard drive before I make the switch and then reinstall Windows XP after I have the new parts wired in? I am sure hoping the answer is no because I would have about 50 gigabytes of data I do no not want to lose and, therefore, would have to burn to CDs.

I am switching from a 1ghz Athlon T-bird with a Gigabyte motherboard to a Athlon XP 2500+(that I will be overclocking) and a ABIT NF7-S motherboard if that makes any difference.

As I said I am switching wednesday(as in TOMORROW) and need to know right away. Thanks in advance.
March 16, 2004 9:35:08 AM

You should be able to hook the hard drive right up to the new motherboard, etc., (after you call Microsoft for the new activation key) but you will need to reinstall Windows XP at some point. Windows has never really handled the change of motherboards and drivers for the various internal components very well. Plus I think for SSE to be enabled within Windows you need to reinstall as well. Hope this helps.
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March 16, 2004 9:46:48 AM

There are programs for backing up your data, if you have a burner. One is norton ghost. I've never used them. I usually just format and start over.
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March 16, 2004 10:05:31 AM

Don't reformat, no point in destroying your data. If you boot from your current harddisk, windows will likely crash though. I would just boot from the windows CD, and install over the existing installation. That way, all your installed programs will still work, nothing gets lost, besides perhaps some windows settings. I have never tried it with XP myselve though...

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
March 16, 2004 10:38:21 AM

No offense to all the guys that posted before me, but I think that all answers are wrong. You deffinetely need to do a clean installation after an upgrade like this (actually because of the motherboard), otherwise your next post will be something like "why is my system so slow?" !!!

On the other hand, there are various tricks that can help you avoiding formating 100% of your hard drive. One thing I suggest is using a partition software, such as Powerquest Partition Magic (you'll need ver. 8 for using it with Windows XP). This program will allow you to "split" your hard drive in two "parts". On the first "part" you will be able to do a clean Windows XP installation, while on the second "part" you will keep your data (movies, mp3s, documents, etc). If you keep this arrangement forever, then every time you will need to do a new installation you only need to format the first "part", keeping your data this way on the second "part" intact. If you have a friend that knows a little something more than you about computers, then he would be a great help in this case.

Hope this helps.
March 16, 2004 11:00:58 AM

Formatting is useless either way. At worst, he could/should reinstall windows on the same harddisk, same installation folder or a different one, but formatting is rather pointless.

I'm also not convinced there will be many issues reinstalling windows over the old setup, I have done this many times with win2k without any ill side effects (besides a few hundres kb wasted on motherboard drivers no longer in use), but it might be worth removing all the devices from the devicemanager before swapping the boards.

The argument a new install would be slower is only true because a fresh install is always faster than a 3 year old one loaded with apps, tools, bloated registry etc. But if you are going to add those apps and tools again anyway, I don't think there will be any difference whatsoever, besides a "cleaned" registry.

As to your suggestion of creating 2 partitions; its a good idea indeed. Problem is "program files", where do you put it ? Keeping it on the data partition is no good, because 95% of the apps will not work anyway after you reinstall a fresh copy of windows (missing registry keys). Reinstalling two thousand apps, tools, drivers, and stuff is the most time consuming and tiresome part of the exercise IMHO.

But anyway, still a good idea, especially if you make a habbit of at least backing up the data partition regulary. The other stuff can be reinstalled from the CD or downloaded from the net.

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
March 16, 2004 11:09:25 AM

You DON'T need to format the HDD.

OPTION 1 :
If you are a lucky guy... Your HDD is formatted with FAT32. If it's your case, you can boot with an "old Win98" diskette and delete the windows directory on your C drive. I hope you haven't put any important files in this directory!

OPTION 2 :
If you have 2 HDD backup all your important data on your second HDD, then format your main HDD. I find if vry handy to have 2 HDD on my system. It's the best to keep your data safe. I use my main HDD for all my programs/games and documents, my second HDD is my multimedia HDD with MP3, movies, D/L stuff and I backup my important document on this drive once in a while, so even if 1 of my HDD crash I never loose important data.

OPTION 3 :
Install partition magic, and split your HDD in 2 parts and put all your important document in your second partition. Then format the first partition without worrying.

--
Would you buy a GPS enabled soap bar?
March 16, 2004 11:22:52 AM

Quote:
As to your suggestion of creating 2 partitions; its a good idea indeed. Problem is "program files", where do you put it ? Keeping it on the data partition is no good, because 95% of the apps will not work anyway after you reinstall a fresh copy of windows (missing registry keys). Reinstalling two thousand apps, tools, drivers, and stuff is the most time consuming and tiresome part of the exercise IMHO.

The problem with apps. are the developers who tends to install [-peep-] anywhere on HDD and in the registry. Because it's easy to code a program that will not spread itself anywhere on the HDD. A well written apps. can be moved from any machine to another without a glitch! I love that programs, when I only need to ZIP the directory to keep all my config/settings...

--
Would you buy a GPS enabled soap bar?
March 16, 2004 11:43:18 AM

Yep, I agree 200%. Firefox is a nice example, doesnt even need an installer, just unzip and run. The idea of a central registry was pretty bad IMHO. It might have had a use when harddisks where severly capacity limited, but these days, I would just wish every program used their own damn DLL"s, and not try to share 14 different incompatible versions with 27 apps, and all the headaches that come with them. And store preferences in frigging .INI file like in the good old Win 3.11 days. Death to the registry !

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
March 16, 2004 4:25:30 PM

You can try using the option to do a repair install.
Your motherboard being changed will make your OS virtually unusable. Not only are the chipset drivers probably different, but the MS KEY is based on you hardware. Anyone that has 50 GB of data that they need an has no backup system is a bit daft. That would take a lot of CDROMs.YOu could just buy a new hard drive and copy it. Depends how important the data is to you.

when you see smoke is that a good sign?
March 17, 2004 5:58:34 AM

All you need to do is load in Aida32 it has an option under Windows system tab to see your current CD-KEY Code and your CD product Key code. You can use any copy of Windows XP that you own as long as you do not lose your prior KEY-CODE just print the Aida32 tab out on your printer.

Now for installing the new Motherboard that is easy. You need to go into the Hardware configuration tab by right clicking on the My Computer Icon.

Under the System Devices tab in the Hardware profile delete all reference to your old motherboard drivers then shut the PC OFF.

After you put the new board in and CPU the first time you boot the computer will ask for the new Motherboard drivers simply use the new Motherboard CD and install them as you move back to the desktop 1 at a time.

By the time you get back tot eh desktop on the first boot of the new system your new Motherboard drivers will be installed and your XP install wont care what MoB is running your old applications.

When you are done getting back to the desktop go into the computer registry and remove any old Registry Keys that had to do with the prior Motherboard drivers.

I have switched Intel installs to AMD and visversa and from 1 VIA chipset to another newer VIA chipset.

In fact I swapped my VIA 4 in one drivers out for the new AN78X Deluxe motherboard that uses a totally different set of drivers as it is an nForce2 chipset.

The hard drive worked perfectly. It had better my wife would have shot me for sure :) 

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