Unfortunately, swapping out the motherboard is not the end of your toils.
Windows really doesn't like having the motherboard changed underneath it, and
will generally refuse to boot at all, unless the new motherboard uses the same
chipset. No problem. Read on.
Doing a Windows Repair install
To accustom Windows XP to your new hardware, you now need to perform a
Windows XP repair install, which redetects all hardware and reinstalls system
files without touching the registry or user data present on the system.
This process adapts your Windows XP install to the new motherboard it is running
To do this insert the Windows CD and restart
Choose the 'press enter to set up Windows XP now' option.
to skip through the EULA.
Now press R to begin a repair installation.
system will go through the entire XP install process, but will not attempt to
replace any of your existing data. It will simply reinstall the system
files and redetect all hardware. Once the process has completed, your
computer will reboot and we can move on to the next step.
As you may know, Windows XP requires an activation code in order to
function. This code is obtained from Microsoft in exchange for a numerical
hash based on the hardware in your computer when you first activate the
operating system. When you make major changes to your computer's hardware,
this number will change and your XP installation will deactivate itself,
requiring you to obtain a new activation code.
As the motherboard is the central nervous system of your computer, it's about
the most major change you can make. Changing the motherboard will almost
certainly require you to reactivate windows.
Fortunately, the procedure is simple, though you will need your license key
from your XP package. Once the system has booted up and prompts you to
reactivate, follow the on-screen prompts to call Microsoft (toll-free) and
obtain a new activation code.
Updating drivers and re-patching
The last phase of the operation is to make sure everything is up to date with
your operating system and device drivers.
Install the motherboard drivers from the provided CD if necessary. If Windows
cannot find the drivers for any devices attached to the new motherboard, you
will be prompted for them.
Double check by opening the device manager window (right click 'my computer,'
select 'manage' then 'device manager') and making sure that there are no devices
with yellow exclamation marks next to them (or at least no new ones).
These indicate a device that does not have drivers correctly installed or is not
working properly. Install drivers if necessary.
The last step is to run your Windows installation
through the Windows update process again, since the repair install will remove any service packs and
security patches that you had previously installed. Connect to the Internet and
run 'Windows update' from 'start menu\all programs.'
Once the update process is complete, your system should
be good to go. Enjoy the new motherboard, and the feeling of a job well done. Feel free to email us with any additional questions you may have
involving this article, or try the forums.
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