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|How to change a
motherboard or move a hard drive with Windows XP installed.
Unlike many windows 98, 98se and ME
machines, moving a hard drive to a new machine or changing a dead
motherboard with an installation of windows XP on the drive has not been
an easy thing to do without formatting the drive and reloading windows.
Untill recently I would have told most people that moving a hard drive
with XP, or replacing the mainboard on a XP machine will not work since
my luck at doing this had been marginal at best. Sometimes it still does
not work but if you want to try it heres what I have found that seems to
work the best. Its not as good as a fresh install but it has worked for
me many times.
UPDATE: If you have had a motherboard failure and have not tried to boot
to Windows yet then this article should help you. If you have not had a
system failure and are going to upgrade your machine, then
click here to go to OPTION #2 or
click here to go to OPTION #3 of this
|1: you will need a XP disk that is compatible
with your version of XP.
2: you need to make sure that your system is set to boot to the
CD rom first. (VERY VERY Important)
If you don't know how to do
this check out the first part of this article
"System restore in recovery console"
for the basics.
I leave the hard drive unhooked and boot the machine from CD rom
to make sure that the first thing it goes to is the CD so I know
that A: the drive reads the disk Im using and B: it boots to
If you accidently boot to the hard drive
windows will set itself to not allow you to use the drive with
the new hardware so its critical to "NOT" let the system go to
the hard drive.
Once you know that the system will go to your CD connect the
hard drive and boot the system. When you see:
Press any Key to boot from CD
Click a key and wait for the system to go to the setup
screen that asks if you want to recover by pressing "R" or
"Enter" to continue loading windows. Press enter. The system
will come up with the End User License Agreement. If you agree
to the terms, press the F8 button and wait. The system will now
look for versions of windows installed on the drive. When it
sees your windows installation it will again give you a choice
of "R" to repair the windows installation or "Enter" to continue
loading a new installation of windows on the hard drive. Press
"R" and the system should go through a reinstallation
of windows on your old hard drive. Keep an eye on
the system because it will ask a couple of installation
questions and may ask for your product key code. After the
installation has completed the system will reboot and if
everything went as it should your system will be up and going
again minus your new drivers and some MS updates. You will also
no longer have any restore points to go back to except for one
or two that the system created during the new boot.
Very helpful hint!!!
Make a Duplicate of your hard drive!!! So if the process doesn't
work right, you can try again.
If you have XP service pack 2 and your disk was originally SP 1
you may have some additional issues but it doesn't hurt to try.
The reason for this is that if you reinstall with service pack 1
when you already have service pack 2 you will end up reverting
back to the service pack 1 and have to reinstall the service
pack 2. Some software and drivers may only work correctly with
service pack 2 and will not work correctly till you have the SP2
back in. I would just try to find a disk with the most current
service pack in it but if windows asks for your product key
it may not work with a SP 1 key and an XP 2 disk. No matter what
you do this may toast the OS so what I like to do is duplicate
the drive first and use the copy to try it, not the original.
Even if you mess up windows you will still have your information
on your hard drive like pictures and documents. The reason I
like to get the drive from an old system working with a new
system is the fact that this process described above takes about
an hour or less (depending on your system speed) and if you have
a lot of programs to reinstall and get updated and bring your
whole system back to the way you like it, can take a whole
I don't know about you, but that's just too
time consuming for me if I can avoid it.
|If this helped click here
and give a couple of dollars.
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