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Beginners Guides: Upgrading A Motherboard Without Reinstalling

Beginners Guides: Upgrading A Motherboard Without Reinstalling - PCSTATS
Abstract: You can upgrade a processor or add a new memory module without causing so much as a blip from Windows XP, but a new motherboard can and will cause XP to stop booting.
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCstats Mar 12 2005   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCstats

Installing the Motherboard

Now that your motherboard is ready for installation, prepare the case. Remove any wires that may be obstructing the area where the board will be attached.

It's time to test how the new board will fit. Lower the board gently into the bottom of the case. First check to see if the risers (metal screw attachments that give the motherboard separation from the body of the case) are in the right configuration for the screw holes on your new motherboard. It's not essential that every screw hole on the board should be matched to a riser in the case, but it's a good idea. Move or add any necessary risers. If you do not have any extra, any local computer store will be able to provide them. If there are extra risers which do not line up with screw holes, remove them first, they will probably cause an electrical short if you don't.

Now we need to find out whether you must replace the I/O shield at the back of your case. This is the metal bracket which frames your motherboard's external ports and connectors like USB ports, mouse and keyboard plugs, etc.

Attempt to slot the board into place. If it fits snugly and all the connectors at the edge of the motherboard have a corresponding hole in the I/O bracket, you're fine.

If some of the connectors do not have an appropriate hole for them in the case, you will need to replace the bracket.

Every new motherboard should come with an I/O bracket included. To remove the old bracket, apply force to the outside of the bracket (with the motherboard removed) to pop it out. Some cases may have the bracket actually attached to the body of the case with thin metal joiners. In this situation you will need to give the bracket a good whack with the back of a screwdriver to break some of the joiners before you can twist it loose. Pop the new bracket into place and make sure the motherboard fits correctly.

Now that the motherboard is fitted in, screw the motherboard to the risers to secure it in place.

Now plug in your video card (if necessary) and other expansion cards. Reconnect all cables, and take some time to ensure that everything is installed correctly. Here's a quick checklist:

1. ATX power cable from power supply plugged in
2. Heatsink fan power cord plugged in.
3. No cables obstructing heatsink fan
4. IDE cables for drives plugged into the correct ports.
5. Case connectors for power switch, reset, LEDs, etc. plugged in properly. Consult your motherboard manual for the correct configuration.
6. Video card seated properly in AGP slot
7. Audio cable for CD drive plugged into soundcard or board (if necessary
8. Mouse, keyboard, video and network cables connected at the back.

Now boot your system for the first time with the new board. You may be prompted to enter the BIOS setup screen, depending on the make of your motherboard. This can be accomplished by pressing 'DEL' immediately after booting the computer. The BIOS setup screen will appear shortly. If your new motherboard comes with integrated peripherals such as sound, video or network capabilities, but you do not wish to use these devices, disable them in the BIOS setup.

Navigate to the 'integrated peripherals' section of the BIOS, locate the devices you want to disable and set them to 'disabled' (generally this is accomplished by highlighting the item and pressing 'ENTER' to change its state. Instructions will be available on the BIOS screen).

Once everything is setup to your liking, it's time to proceed to the second part of this article, the '...without breaking Windows' part.

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Contents of Article: PCstats
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guides: Upgrading A Motherboard Without Reinstalling
 Pg 2.  Pulling out the Old Hardware
 Pg 3.  Part 2: Installing the new motherboard
 Pg 4.  — Installing the Motherboard
 Pg 5.  Making windows XP work with new hardware

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