Swapping out Dell motherboards

By Ghostrocket
Feb 5, 2010
  1. Guys

    My first post so be gentle :)

    Tad confused and wondered if someone can put me straight.
    Customer of mine has a Dell Dimension 4600, Windows XP, I am 99.9999999% they have a dodgy motherboard.


    If i can get a like for like Dell mobo, will XP work straight off, will i need to reactivate using their current key, will i need to do a repair or will they need to buy a new retail or oem xp ?

    And what if i put a Dell mobo in that is different?
    But I am fairly certain that a non Dell mobo will need a new XP licence... correct ?

    Sorry for all the questions, it would be lovely to get a better idea.

  2. mica3speedy

    mica3speedy TS Rookie Posts: 89

    If you replace the motherboard with the exact same type, you should have no issues with windows. I would check all of the other components first, hard drive, ram, ect. first, and then consider replacing the motherboard.
  3. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,258

    I've done a few swap-outs of mobo's for Dimension 4600's over the last couple of years. From memory the bad boards are usually (0)2Y832 and I've replaced them with one of the later (but same) replacement boards, either F4491 or N2828.
    Like of like should be good but if the model number is different (as in my case) then it's a re-install of the OEM. I didn't have to re-activate the product code- Just re-install and add SP3 and hotfixes, as I don't think you can slipstream the OEM OS disc, and you're good to go.

    The 865PE boards from Dell are prone to failure, as are the bs 250w PSU's. I don't think the phrase "If it ain't broke don't fix it" has ever been applied to this system.
  4. Ghostrocket

    Ghostrocket TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks Mica and Divide, so in essence if i have my windows disk swap the mobo like for like its just a case of doing a repair on the OS. Its just i have read in some forums of people swapping out Dell Mobo's and having to install Windows with a different Key.
    It was suggested that the bios is linked to the OS in some way?????
  5. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,258

    Aye, If you are using the Dell recovery/install disc then there is a utility or two that gets installed with the OS that automatically authenticates the install against the hardware fit. Part of the utlity is the "Dell Support" tab that's permanently attached to the Start menu, which is why you shouldn't have to re-input the product key. If you are swapping out the Dell 865PE mobo and replacing it with another Dell mobo of another chipset then you'll need to contact MS and they'll either provide a new key or re-activate from their end- you won't need to buy a new license.
    A repair install should do the trick if it's a like-for-like swapout.
  6. Ghostrocket

    Ghostrocket TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks Divide
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