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Moving XP to a new Motherboard, need help!

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May 5, 2004 11:53:49 PM

I am building a new computer for someone and they want their old XP installation moved to the new computer.

I am moving from a PIII system to an Athlon 64 + Asus K8V SE Deluxe.

So I install XP on the new system (works fine). Then I use norton ghost to copy over the old OS partition. Then I do a In-Place Upgrade (repair install).


However windows will not boot even after the repair install. No matter what option I chose (safe mode, last know good..., start normally ect) the system simply reboots.

This has always worked in the past and its what microsoft recommends, but it just isn't working.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

More about : moving motherboard

May 6, 2004 1:13:47 AM

I did a DVD+RW backup, then restored to the Athlon.

Usually you just start a Windows XP installation, don't format then tell it to repair and it works just fine.

You lose your drivers and have to reinstall all the windows updates, but everything else works fine.

I have a friend who has done one clean install when XP was first released. Everytime he builds a new system he just ghosts then repairs.

I am going to use my unattended install CD to do a clean install, then create an Automated System Recovery floppy. Maybe I can ghost, repair install, then do a Automated System Recovery.

Its worth a shot.
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May 6, 2004 10:05:31 AM

He doesn't want the file saved. He want's to avoid reinstalling all his programs. He has about 45 programs installed.
May 6, 2004 11:48:14 AM

Well, it really is a new system and not a 'new' one using some of his old equipment? In that case, I'd do the following-

1- Do a clean install of XP on the new system
2- Connect the two machines via network or direct cable
3- Run the 'Transfer files and settings' wizard from the new machine

Obviously you don't want to transfer drivers for most stuff. If you've had the hardware for any length of time and it's getting transferred (like a printer), then you'll want to download a more current driver.

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<font color=green>===</font color=green> Never assume <font color=red>ANYTHING</font color=red> <font color=green>====</font color=green>

May 6, 2004 12:11:45 PM

Its a new system, he is sill using the old one so I don't have immediate access to it.

Will the File and Transer Wizzard actually move installed Programs?
May 6, 2004 1:57:47 PM

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like it's going to do that for him. When I replied, I wasn't sure what he was after. The wizard will transfer all kinds of things, including entire folders on the 'old' computer, but it doesn't specifically say that it will transfer the registry, which is the one item he really needs (I think).

One nice thing about the wizard is that it doesn't insist that you have a physical connection to the new system. It will use a cable or a network connection if it exists, but it will settle for just about ANY removable media, including (grin) floppy disks. It will also transfer settings for all of the usual Microsoft programs, including Office.

Microsoft obviously didn't spend a lot of time worrying about this little utility, because they don't provide any real description of what the thing does or does not save. I searched XP Pro's help files and the MS Knowledgebase online without finding anything but the bare instructions on how to find the program in the Start menu and run it.

So, I'll ammend my earlier reply. I think that the best thing to do is to get yourself a copy of a program called Genie Backup Manager 4. It's by Genie_Soft at www.genie-soft.com. This program has a very easy to use interface and it'll go through and allow you to back up the registry as well as all the rest of the stuff that the MS wizard will do. It's shareware, so a one-time use like this won't cost you anything. I think you'll like the program, since it makes backing up a simple thing and has a builtin scheduler to keep you from having to remember to back up. Also, it doesn't insist that you know where things are kept. You just go through and click checkboxes to choose what you want to back up. This may keep him from having to reinstall all that software, but personally, I like to take that opportunity to get rid of all the crud that builds up on my hard drive by doing the clean install. Either way, he'll be in good shape.

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<font color=green>===</font color=green> Never assume <font color=red>ANYTHING</font color=red> <font color=green>====</font color=green>

May 6, 2004 6:27:15 PM

Quote:
I am building a new computer for someone and they want their old XP installation moved to the new computer.

He doesn't want the file saved. He want's to avoid reinstalling all his programs. He has about 45 programs installed.

For what it's worth, IMHO, this is a mistake.

If you are the one who is being paid for building the system, then you should set down some guidelines and explain certain aspects of computing to the user. One ... if you know in advance that a fresh installation of Windows is in order to avoid troubleshooting errors and unnecessary problems, the user will have to accept that if he really wants you to build the system.

Two ... not wanting to reinstall the programs is nothing but laziness on the user's part.

If he wants you to do it ... fine, but I'd charge extra, considering the amount of time involved, which will probably include updating a majority of the applications. Otherwise, install the operating system, and tell him to haul out his disks and start anew.

Certainly, you should back up his data, if he is not capable of it, or has no current method of doing so. Then after the programs are reinstalled, you can replace any saved or stored data that was retrievable. Or you can give him a backup disk with the data, so he can replace it himself, afterwards.

But the point I'm trying to make is that no user should dictate to the system builder how the OS should be applied to the hard drive ... <i>if the instructions are obviously a mistake on the user's part</i>, due to ignorance, incompetence, or sheer laziness.

If that's not acceptable, I'd install the OS, update it, and leave the rest to the user to figure out the hard way. Sometimes experience is the only real teacher. You can't be expected to do something that isn't smart, just because of a user request. Part of being an expert on a subject (or somewhere in that general vicinity) is knowing when to say that something is feasible, and when it's not a good idea ... and why.

If the user can't accept that, you should either refuse to continue to work on the system, or refer him to someone else. I know that the occasional customer can be exasperatingly stubborn about wanting things done a certain way, but that doesn't change the facts about how the situation should be handled, and what is the best methodology.

If this person is your friend, he should at least be willing to participate in a conversation as to why moving an old installation of WinXP to a new system is a bad idea ... despite the added tedium of having to reinstall all the applications. And why it will cost more for you to install 45 additional programs, in addition to the normal time and effort required to bring the OS up to acceptable performance levels + updates.

If you intend on building systems regularly, this won't be the last time that you are faced with user instructions that are not particularly intelligent; but after a diplomatic discussion with the customer (and little forethought on your part), it could be the last time that you attempt to follow them.

That's my two cents. No insults implied, you understand ... I've just been there, done that, and don't intend to do it again. Building a computer is not like throwing a steak on a grill and cooking-to-order; in other words, the customer is not always right. It IS your job to make certain that a customer is satisfied (you agreed to build the system, so that's implied), but not by turning mental cartwheels to work around an uninformed, naive request, however it came about.

Toey

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May 7, 2004 1:54:52 PM

My friend has a DVD-RW and knows how to backup files, and I just taught him how to use Ghost so we got that covered.

I just fixed his old PC and did a clean installation of XP about two weeks ago, then I installed a lot of software for him and he added some of his own.

Actually attempting to this installation to his new PC was my idea!

I usually prefer a clean install and have even created unattended install CDs to completely automate the process. I then use Autopatcher XP to apply all the Windows Updates in one step.

However everytime I update the software on my main PC (KT400)I alway ghost over the installation to my old backup PC (KT133) then do a repair installation, windows update, and driver installation. I have never had a single problem doing this.

I have a friend who has done 1 clean install of Windows XP, and has sinced moved that same installation to 3 PCs. If XP ever gets weird he just does a repair installation.

If you forget to update windows or reinstall ALL the drivers then you will run into problems.

Unfortunately this only seems to work AMD to AMD and INTEL to INTEL. I had a friend who though he successfully moved INTEL to AMD, but it turns out his memory wasn't that great. :( 

Anyway I made it clear that I am charing him to pick the parts, build the system, test the hardware and install the OS and drivers. Anything else is extra.

And I always make it clear that an extra $100-$200 should be budgetted just in case something goes wrong. (I once had a defective floppy kill the floppy controller on a motherboard, another time a CPU was DOA but the retailer refuse to issue an RMA)

So actually if he wants me to reinstall his software for him I can charge him for it and still be within our agreed upon budget.

I was just hoping to be able to save (my) time and (his) money by taking a shortcut.
May 7, 2004 7:11:42 PM

I'm sorry, good sir, but I can't agree with using your method, even when moving to a similar chipset, despite your assurances.

The possibility of system instability is just too high, IMHO.

Basically, running the repair in this instance is forcing setup to update or replace the hardware abstraction layer and detect new devices so that drivers can be installed from the OS database. But the older drivers and the missing hardware will become ghosted devices ... and will still be loaded at the boot, which can result in IRQ and memory space conflicts ... some of which may be difficult to troubleshoot, as the errors <i>may not show up in the Device Manager or the Event Viewer Logs.</i> This kind of thing can cause constant rebooting, difficulties with installing newer hardware later on (such as USB devices), and it can also force Windows to refuse to load certain drivers ... inconsistently, I might add. For example; the system boots a few times and it seems to work just fine, but then a week later, suddenly, for no apparent reason, the video card driver refused to load, and you're stuck in VGA mode. And so, you un-install the card, reload the driver, and then after the reboot, Windows refuses to detect a game controller. Etc, etc, and so forth.

This kind of thing can be a minor nightmare to troubleshoot, unless you are already familiar with how the system was assembled. And have a good idea of what might be wrong in advance.

And ... not all hardware will show up as being ACPI-compliant, which might force the OS to chose APM as the power management, which can seriously restrict the way Windows assigns IRQ addresses, due to the lack of additional virtual addresses being available.

There can also be BIOS issues that cause conflicts, as not all versions and features are completely ACPI-compliant, despite assurances from the manufacturer. This is partially why I normally don't use slipstreamed unattended install disks to get Windows on a hard drive ... and the other reason being that I rarely build two systems that are identical. It's one thing to install Windows on assembly line systems that are alike in most respects, but when building gaming PCs with completely different configurations, conflicts can be the result. And it's time-consuming to find every single driver that could ever be needed to add to the database on the disk. I'd rather just create a custom driver disk for each new system, along with an image, in case of possible future problems (which is usually due to user error, of some sort.)

I also rarely add all updates to Windows, using some kind of automated tool. Really ... the critical updates are the most important, and if Windows Update decides to update a driver, this can be something less than optimal. Which could be considered an understatement ... ask a few people who made the mistake of allowing WU to update a Hercules sound card driver, for instance. Or chipset drivers, for that matter.

I don't mind running a repair on a system that has not switched out components (although this doesn't always correct a problem ... it's about 80/20, in my experience), but I would never use a repair as the method to add a new mainboard/processor to an existing system. It may be nothing but my personal opinion, but I think this is just asking for trouble.

Not to mention that adding an old Registry that's full of references to uninstalled programs/files and non-existent hardware to a new computer just doesn't make good sense ... not to me.

These things may very well be why you are experiencing a rebooting issue with the current system you've built. If you don't see a problem after the clean installation, then I'd advise against adding the ghosted image, just to try and save time.

Your friends might prefer doing things differently, but if you brought that computer to me, and explained what had been done, the very first thing I'd advise would be to format and start over. Wanting to save time and get things finished is understandable, but sometimes Windows isn't flexible enough to avoid problems, and I prefer to minimize such issues, if at all possible. How 'bout you?

Toey

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May 7, 2004 11:59:12 PM

Phantom devices can be made visible and then uninstalled.

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;315539&Product=winxp

I agree with you that a clean install is preferable, but sometimes it is nice to have a new system up and running with everthing installed in under 3 hours.

In my experience Ghosting to a new PC, doing a repair install and installing drivers either results in a system that is 100% stable and stays stable after months of use, or I end up with an unbootable system. I have never come across any of the problems you mentioned.

Unfortunatley this method only works when moving between systems that use the same type of CPU.

However I do disagree with the way you chose to do clean installs.

Am I to take it that when you install Windows XP you instert a pre SP1 install CD, babysit the installation, answering the questions one at a time, followed by an installation of SP1a and repeated trips to windows updates interupted by multiple reboots?

How much are you charging for that?

This is my procedure.
1) Update an existing unattened install answer file (change CD-KEY, computer name, admin password ect) and add it to an XP SP1a CD. I have heavily commented my answer file so that I never have to look anything up.

NOTE: I don't add device drivers and batch files to install software. I made a custom unattended DVD once just once for the expericence.

2) Instert CD and start downloading device drivers while XP installs itself without asking me a single question.

(I can still press F6 and install RAID drivers or set autopartion to 0 if I want it to stop and let me monkey with the partions before continuing.)

3) Create a user account, and then run the latest version of Autopatcher XP with only the critical update selected.

4) Install the device drivers.

5) Backup everthing to DVD+RW with Norton Ghost.

The whole process takes about a half an hour of actual work and the end result is exactly the same as if I did it the hard way.

Then I go ahead and go a bunch of extra work on the PC for which I am not really getting paid. (Installing additional software, runing memtest 86, prime 95, tweaking settings).

I am not a very good businessman but I am efficient.
May 8, 2004 1:58:40 AM

Quote:
Phantom devices can be made visible and then uninstalled.

One ... this doesn't apply during setup when new devices are being detected and installed, and HAL hardware compatibility is being determined. If you are already in the GUI, half the battle is won. Two ... it's not easy to un-install ghosted devices if the machine is stuck in a constant rebooting cycle, even if an attempt is made to enter Safe Mode. Or if it won't boot into Windows at all.

Three ... And while I appreciate the link, I already was aware of how this was done. Personally, though, I find it easiest to simply import the key to the Registry with Notepad, so all hidden devices can be displayed whenever this is clicked in the Device Manager instead of just when using the Command Prompt.

You might enjoy taking a look at some of these VBS scripts, which can be used to quickly make changes to Windows while tweaking a system: <A HREF="http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm" target="_new">Registry Edits for Windows XP</A>

Quote:
I agree with you that a clean install is preferable, but sometimes it is nice to have a new system up and running with everthing installed in under 3 hours.

In my experience Ghosting to a new PC, doing a repair install and installing drivers either results in a system that is 100% stable and stays stable after months of use, or I end up with an unbootable system. I have never come across any of the problems you mentioned.

I mentioned these problems, simply FYI, as I have come across them in the past. If you chose to ignore what I've said, that's completely up to you. After all, you were the one who posted here, and asked for suggestions in this thread ... not me. But I prefer to build stable systems, and none of what I assemble are unbootable, afterwards ... certainly not due to software issues which could be avoided in the first place.

I think I waste <i>less</i> time doing clean installations. I used to do something similar when installing Win9x, but then again, that was a much easier task. Windows 98 was much less likely to run into HAL issues with supported hardware than WinXP (unless you were working with Win98A).

Quote:
Am I to take it that when you install Windows XP you instert a pre SP1 install CD, babysit the installation, answering the questions one at a time, followed by an installation of SP1a and repeated trips to windows updates interupted by multiple reboots?

Uh, no.

I also use an customized, slipstreamed SP1 installation CD with an edited answer file. I used a second disk that contains selected critical hotfixes to bring Windows up-to-date. I prefer to avoid SP1a, as many people still want Microsoft Java as a personal selection in Internet Properties, even if I install Sun's version and have it active.

I do normally make a customized driver CD for each system; however, this really doesn't involve much extra time, as all I have to do is copy the folders off a LAN server, and burn the disk. Different systems ... different hardware; I think adding the disk is a nice touch, and many users have found it useful in the past.

I've had some NTFS issues with Symantec Ghost in the past ... and so, I use Drive Image 7 on desktop systems, and normally install this as a part of the package that comes with my computers, including the bootable PQRE disk. I also usually toss in a customized <A HREF="http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/" target="_new">BartPE</A> disk, which I like to keep on hand for troubleshooting.

What it sounded like you were doing was installing everything on a system that comes up on Windows Update; not just critical updates. Which is why I felt the need to make a comment.

Quote:
The whole process takes about a half an hour of actual work and the end result is exactly the same as if I did it the hard way.

Then I go ahead and go a bunch of extra work on the PC for which I am not really getting paid. (Installing additional software, runing memtest 86, prime 95, tweaking settings).

I am not a very good businessman but I am efficient.

I do a great deal of tweaking (primarily Registry edits) after WinXP is installed, and I do a twenty-four burn-in before turning over the system to the end user.

What we do in this area is probably very similar.

However, I still can't go along with your preference for transferring a previous Registry and OS to a new machine with a repair install in order to save man hours. We'll just have to agree to disagree on this point, Codesmith.

I can't say what you might be like as a businessman, but we definitely have different working methodologies when it comes to what determines efficiency. And possibly what constitutes a 100% stable system. To each his own.

And by the way, if you didn't want any help; why did you post here? Just to have a debate, or did you really want to get that system up-and-running?

Toey

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May 8, 2004 1:11:34 PM

Don't get me wrong I apprecate your suggestions.

Acutally were are pretty much on the same page. I have never done anything but a clean install, I never trust windows Update to update drivers and I keep both slipstreamed SP1 and SP1a XP CDs handy.

With my own PC's I take more risks however. Whenever I reinstall everything from stratch on one PC I move it to the other. It defianely works great between Via KT133 and KT400 motherboards :) 

My friend knew I did this with my own PCs and with good results so he suggested that I give it a try on his.

I would 100% never do this to anyone's PC unless they knew how to reinstall Windows XP and all thier driver in the even of a problem.
!