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replacing/upgrading motherboard in server. RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have been looking around the forum and have seen plenty of comments about how to replace a bad drive,  but I have not seen any information about how to replace a bad motherboard or how to upgrade the motherboard once the server is running slow because high cpu usage.  Could anyone explain how you should do this?

     

    Thanks

     

    Thursday, March 22, 2007 11:22 PM

Answers

  • In general it is not advised to replace a motherboard on a running system with anything but an identical motherboard as the driver setup and HAL are not keen on things radically changing.

    If you must change motherboards your best bet is to upgrade your existing installation (when booting from the setup media). While not exactly WHS centric, you can find a little information on doing this on a Windows 2003 machine (which WHS is based on) here.

    Friday, March 23, 2007 12:58 AM
    Moderator
  • In the final version there will be a server reinstallation option that would be perfect for this use. What it will do is reformat the C: partition and reinstall the operating system, but leave your data intact. You would shut down, install the new motherboard, configure the BIOS, then reinstall WHS on the new hardware. You'll lose server settings and users, but not your collection of mp3s or whatever. I can't answer for backups; I haven't actually seen the results of a reinstallation yet. Smile
    Friday, April 13, 2007 12:52 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • In general it is not advised to replace a motherboard on a running system with anything but an identical motherboard as the driver setup and HAL are not keen on things radically changing.

    If you must change motherboards your best bet is to upgrade your existing installation (when booting from the setup media). While not exactly WHS centric, you can find a little information on doing this on a Windows 2003 machine (which WHS is based on) here.

    Friday, March 23, 2007 12:58 AM
    Moderator
  • Rodhines,

     

    Did you try this upgrade following the Microsoft process for Windows Server 2003?

     

    I am going to be upgrading my motherboard and this looks like the most expedient path though I am concerned that the data on the drives will be maintained.

     

    The other choice is to remove one of the drives in my exisiting WHS then do a clean install on the new system with that single drive and then continue to remove drives one by one on the old WHS and add them to my new WHS system.

    Thursday, April 12, 2007 11:44 PM
  • In the final version there will be a server reinstallation option that would be perfect for this use. What it will do is reformat the C: partition and reinstall the operating system, but leave your data intact. You would shut down, install the new motherboard, configure the BIOS, then reinstall WHS on the new hardware. You'll lose server settings and users, but not your collection of mp3s or whatever. I can't answer for backups; I haven't actually seen the results of a reinstallation yet. Smile
    Friday, April 13, 2007 12:52 AM
    Moderator
  •  Ken Warren wrote:
    In the final version there will be a server reinstallation option that would be perfect for this use. What it will do is reformat the C: partition and reinstall the operating system, but leave your data intact. You would shut down, install the new motherboard, configure the BIOS, then reinstall WHS on the new hardware. You'll lose server settings and users, but not your collection of mp3s or whatever. I can't answer for backups; I haven't actually seen the results of a reinstallation yet.

     

    Where does this information come from? Every Microsoft OS since Win98 (Including 2003 server) has included included the ability to do an Inline installation that preserves user accounts and settings. the only thing lost is service packs and updates (Unless you slipstream the disk first)

     

    I reinstalled WHS and the option was there but I chose to do a fresh install for other reasons

     

    Rex

    Friday, April 13, 2007 8:47 PM
  •  Rex Geissinger wrote:

    Where does this information come from? Every Microsoft OS since Win98 (Including 2003 server) has included included the ability to do an Inline installation that preserves user accounts and settings. the only thing lost is service packs and updates (Unless you slipstream the disk first)

    See Charlie Kindel's reply in this forum thread.
    Friday, April 13, 2007 8:59 PM
    Moderator
  • He also said that in beta 2 an "upgrade" would invoke a clean primary install, and that would be addressed later, were not doing an Upgrade to a higher versionlike XP to XP Pro, were reinstalling the same system. We did not have a hard drive failure so all user info and profiles are readable from the disk.

     

    I also verified that if you choose new install instead of upgrade setup will detect an existing install and ask you if you want to repair this installation or install clean. Choosing repair will do an inline install and preserve your user accounts and settings as long as there was not such damage to the system disk that the information could no longer be read or used.

     

     Now, since in the case of replacing a motherboard we assume that there is no problen reading the hard drive so we just need the hardware profiles  (and Possibly the HAL depending on Multi Processor or ACPI) updated to reflect the changes and afterwords replace any service packs or updates. but the user accounts and preferances should be preserved, again depending on the new hardware, reactivation may be neccasary. This is how I've been replacing Motherboards on XP Pc's for years and yes, a couple of 2003 servers..

     

    Now, Heres the Caveat, This will work to replace a motherboard. This will work if the underlying win 2003 SBS server install is corrupt like a noboot with ntkernel not found E.T.C... but if your problem is with WHS Programs or services an Inline install may not work as only the operating system is repaired not the "Programs" installed on the server. In Beta 2 it appears that the WHS server is not fully integrated with the OS it more of an application and service package that is installed "on" the OS. Hopefully this will be addressed also so WHS files will be added to the core install files so a proper inline install can be performed.

     

    Rex

    Saturday, April 14, 2007 12:36 AM
  • I just replaced the motherboard and CPU in the server.  The old motherboard (a Gigabyte GA-DX7) used an Athlon 2000 and required both viseo and NIC expansion cards.  The new motherboard (an ASUS A8V-VM) uses a socket 939 Athlon 64 processor and onboard video and LAN.  The only thing common on the two systems were the RAM (1Gb SDRAM), the hard drives (two 250 Gb Maxtor IDE drives, and the chassis (ATX), the floppy drive, and the DVD drive. 

     

    After installing the new MB, WHS booted up from the hard drive but said that it needed to be activated.  I then inserted the installation DVD, choose the repair option used a new CD-Key, , and off it went.  It installed without a hitch and kept all of the old backup files and the files on the shared folders.  I did need to reinstall the user accounts on the WHS console and rerun the connector installation on each of the workstations.  However I was really pleased not to have lost the previous two months of backups and the shared files.

     

    Saturday, July 28, 2007 11:44 PM
  • Can you tell me how you got a new key when you changed out your MB? I need to do a similar operation.
    Thanks
    Jimmy
    Sunday, March 15, 2009 3:53 PM
  • When you are asked for a product key, enter the one you already have. Then when you activate Windows Home Server later, you should be given the option to call for manual activation. Do that.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Sunday, March 15, 2009 5:36 PM
    Moderator