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  1. #1
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    I recently decided to upgrade my motherboard and CPU. First time I'd done it but it all went pretty well until I tried to boot up Windows (XP, SP3 32 bit). It would not boot up. In the end I found some advice which said to reinstall Windows. I did this and it's worked fine since.

    The question is WHY? Why did I have to reinstall Windows? What difference does it make to the boot sector and the system files/tasks what CPU they are running on?

    This isn't a problem, I'm just interested in WHY.

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    You probably did not have to reinstall XP. A repair of your current installation would probably have worked.

    You need to do this because when you install XP, a file called hal.dll is selected based on the hardware information about your CPU & disk. HAL stands for Hardware Abstraction Layer. See Microsoft Windows library files - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia for more information.

    When you install a new CPU or disk Windows may need to change the hal.dll being used.

    Joe

    Joe

  3. #3
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Upgrading just the CPU and/or a disk would not necessitate a reinstall although it could trigger the need to do a windows validation.. A new motherboard will usually require a reinstall because of all the new device drivers needed (USB, disk controllers, and other chipset drivers). As joep mentioned, a repair install will sometimes work but a clean install is the safest option.

    Jerry

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I recently decided to upgrade my motherboard and CPU

    You could have probably gotten away with some sort of repair install and then undertaken the laborious task of clearing out all the old drivers and setting up of the new ones. Then there is the potential of unforeseen software related issues within your current os set up that can crop up with the kind of extensive hardware changes you've made. It's certainly not behond the realm of possibility.
    It's always a good idea to do a clean install after a major hardware upgrade where the motherboard is concerned. You can circumvent many of the above issues.
    From a manufacturer's/retailers perspective, it also cuts down on alot of support calls that rightfully shouldn't have to be addressed.

    I've never had to do a clean install after a processor upgrade though, at least not in XP. A bios update maybe, but not a clean install of the os.
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  5. #5
    5 Star Lounger
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    I use a utility contained in the UBCD4Win CD to replace the IDE controller driver with a generic one, which gets it to boot (with a SATA mobo, IDE emulation has to be on) and then its just a matter of installing the drivers for everything else. Acronis and Shadow Protect can also accomplish a bare metal restore and in those cases its not dependent on the controller being IDE, but its not free either.

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    Thanks for the replies.

    I did try a repair before I went for the full install. That didn't help at all. I can see how drivers might be a problem. Must have been something pretty basic. The boot process didn't get very far. The only real pain with a clean install is catching up with all the fixes Microsoft put out since SP3!

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    2 Star Lounger Katz's Avatar
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    Byron, I'm changing the mobo on mine this week. Which utility did you use? And I've never used UBCD4Win. Do you just boot from it?
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    Yes, make a boot disc and choose to start the full UBCD4Win program and I believe the name of the utility is FixHDC. HDC stands for hard drive controller. WGA will come into effect probably when changing a mobo so be prepared to reactivate with Microsoft.

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    2 Star Lounger Katz's Avatar
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    By "make a boot disc," you mean the one containing ntldr, ntdetect, and boot.ini? Could you please tell me the steps in order? I'm not very good doing anything outside the Windows GUI.
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  10. #10
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    There are very good instructions on how to build a UBCD4Win boot disc on the UBCD4Win website. http://www.ubcd4win.com/howto.htm

    The download and a XP install disc are combined to create a very Windows-like working environment.

  11. #11
    2 Star Lounger Katz's Avatar
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    Omigoddess! It doesn't sound like a shortcut. What do I do if I succeed in making the disk? Reset the BIOS boot sequence, just put it in and run HDC? Does that fix just one controller, and then I can update all the other drivers in Windows?





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  12. #12
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    It's too late now that you've reinstalled your operating system, but it is always a good idea to save your drivers before doing a Windows update. I keep a folder on each machine where I keep downloaded drivers so that I have them should I have to reinstall the system. But, as said above, a new CPU should not have required a re-install. You might have had to call windows to re-activate the system but even that is not difficult.

    Another good practice is to make an image backup before making any major updates.

  13. #13
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sherry G View Post
    It's too late now that you've reinstalled your operating system, but it is always a good idea to save your drivers before doing a Windows update. I keep a folder on each machine where I keep downloaded drivers so that I have them should I have to reinstall the system. But, as said above, a new CPU should not have required a re-install. You might have had to call windows to re-activate the system but even that is not difficult.

    Another good practice is to make an image backup before making any major updates.
    I use the free program DriverMax to keep a backup folder of all my drivers, for just this sort of reason. Reinstalling the drivers is a one-step process with DriverMax.

    In answer to the original post:

    With the new CPU causing your particular level of difficulty, merely reactivating Windows XP would probably not have solved the problem. I think the clean reinstall may have been the best and safest choice, in spite of the pain and bother involved.
    -- Bob Primak --

  14. #14
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    Omigoddess! It doesn't sound like a shortcut. What do I do if I succeed in making the disk? Reset the BIOS boot sequence, just put it in and run HDC? Does that fix just one controller, and then I can update all the other drivers in Windows?
    Its pretty automated if I remember correctly, you have to copy off the contents of an XP install disc to the hard drive but then using the downloaded app, you just follow instructions and mainly just point to where the XP disc copy is and it makes the image file for you. Then you burn the newly created image file back to a disc (using something like ImgBurn) and its ready to go.

    If you get a replacement mobo that is very similar (same chipset family) there is always a decent chance the computer will boot without the need to run any utility. If it does you don't need the UBCD4Win CD at all, just be prepared to possibly reactivate over the phone (cuz the NIC won't be working and it probably won't let you log into Windows to install the NIC drivers so that you could activate over the Internet) and after a flurry of driver request for this and that and installing the ones that came with/for the mobo, it'll be right as rain again. I've done it perhaps a dozen times now and I'm running about 50/50 on successful boots withoug fixing (replacing) the hard drive controller.

  15. #15
    2 Star Lounger Katz's Avatar
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    Win XP activation isn't an issue.

    What I meant was: if I have to use the UBCD+Win CD combo, and it then lets me into the Windows GUI, do I then just put in the mobo drivers CD, and that's it? ALL DONE? And yes, the chipset and all the drivers will be different. I couldn't get a duplicate of the old mobo any more.

    Thanks, Byron, I'm setting aside all of Sunday for this. If they find my dead body with a gun on Monday morning, I bequeath you my Pentium D 830 CPU, which you can use to toast marshmallows....
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