New moterboard, now what?

By Jinto
Sep 5, 2008
  1. It wasn't too long ago that I was here asking for help concerning my computer and its problem not starting up anymore. After testing everything possible I came to the conclusion that my motherboard was indeed "dead", along with my PSU.

    Since then I have bought a replacement motherboard for my system (A8N-SLI Deluxe) and a new PSU (Silencer 750 Quad). Now, from what I understand you cannot just simply replace the old parts with the new ones and expect your PC to work right away. After searching on Google a little I have seen that you must reinstall Windows on your hard drive so that the motherboard can recognize it or something? The problem is I still have some data I want to access on my hard drive and I don't want to erase it. Is there any thing I can do to back it up first?
  2. ddg4005

    ddg4005 TS Guru Posts: 361   +49

    Actually you can plug the motherboard in and boot to Windows. If the board's resources are identical to the original then you don't have to reinstall Windows. if the chipset is different you can boot to Windows, back up your data, then wipe the hard drive and reinstall the operating system.

    You'll most likely encounter error messages and red exclamation marks for hardware under Device Manager but that shouldn't prevent you from getting your files. Hope this helps.
  3. Jinto

    Jinto TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 49

    Everything else besides the motherboard is the same, also the PSU is different of course. Some people say that it would be simple to just buy another hard drive and install a fresh copy of Windows XP and then use the second hard drive as back up. How would I do this? Something about a secondary slave?
  4. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    Windows will probably complain about the new board (but not the PSU), so fit it and reboot.
    If you get BSoDs, reboot using your XP install CD and follow the instructions to repair the Windows installation (this is the second repair option after install windows), which will replace critical windows files and then ask you to rekey the activation code. This should not disturb your files or apps.
  5. Jinto

    Jinto TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 49

    I think I would like to get a new hard drive, not just for more space but because the old one was kinda wonky. Say, can anyone recommend a quality hard drive that is compatible with my motherboard that is around $100 or less?
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,467   +1,760


    250GB SATA 2 Free shipping.

    If your new motherboard is too different from the old XP might force you to reactivate. XP keeps score of how much hardware changes over time and a new mobo has enough point value attached to it to force the reactivation. XP, I believe, attaches a high point value to the network card, which obviously will be different. No biggie though, XP gives you 3 days to get your act together, before it goes away. Even at that, it would be a simple reinstall and reactivate.

    If your original system was a store bought unit, it might be necessary to purchase a new copy of Windows. If that should happen, I'm going to go out on a limb and reccommend you grab a copy of XP from Newegg, as they still have it in stock.
  7. Jinto

    Jinto TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 49

    My old motherboard was part of an old Alienware rig I bought back in 2004. It came with a Windows XP recovery CD. Are you saying that will not work anymore?
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,467   +1,760

    Some OEM boards are "tatooed" to only work with their respective recovery discs, and not with a different copy of Windows.

    M$ considers a OEM copy of Windows "dead" when the motherboard it came with dies. Only retail versions, (the 200 dollar jobbies), are transferable from machine to machine. Perhaps Alienware provides a full installable version of Windows with their machines, I simply don't have any experience with the brand to say yea or nay, I don't know. But, I suggest you prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
  9. Jinto

    Jinto TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 49

    So what you are saying is that I may have to purchase a new Windows XP CD? What a travesty.
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,467   +1,760

    Sadly yes, that is a possibility.
  11. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

  12. Jinto

    Jinto TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 49

    So all my stuff finally came today from Newegg. I got a copy of Windows XP professional 64-bit as well. My new hard drive is fit into the drive bay and everything is ready to go. Now, do I just place the XP disk into the disk reader and simply load Windows XP? Is it that simple?
  13. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,467   +1,760

    Ready to Go.....!

    Yes and no.... There are a couple of variables to watch out for.

    1. The "CD" reader, (and here I'm guessing you mean the CD or DVD drive), must be first in the boot order. This is set in BIOS from the "Boot Menu"

    2. The HDD must be set to run as IDE for XP to detect it. Different board manufacturers have different names for this. So, as long as the HDD is NOT set as AHCI or SATA and IS set as "combination" or "IDE", the whole thing should should go off without a hitch. Run as IDE is sometimes the default setting, so you may not have to touch anything.

    Just remember to read and reread the motherboard manual, then check, double check, and recheck all your connections before you apply power to the system.

    The most common mistakes are not plugging in the separate CPU power plug, (4 pin plug for Intel LGA775 socket), not seating the heatsink correctly, and last but not least, make sure that motherboard standoffs are in the right places.

    If your old HDD was IDE and your new one is SATA, do not install the old drive until you have gotten Windows installed and working. Then later, you can instal the IDE drive and retrieve your files.
  14. Jinto

    Jinto TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 49

    I want to install my old hard drive as a slave, but I keep reading stuff about how you must set it as slave on the hard drive by switching the jumpers. I have a Hitachi DarkStar hard drive (160GB) Model: HDS722516VLSA80. I don't see any jumpers at all on the thing. Does that mean I can just attach the secondary IDE connector into the old drive?
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