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How to upgrade mobo/proc for WHS? RRS feed

  • Question

  • A few weeks back the PSU in my WHS burned up and took my motherboard with it.  I've RMA'd the motherboard and with it being so old (Socket939) the manufacturer can no longer replace it with a like model. 

    So now I'm stuck having to upgrade the motherboard to a spare LGA775 mobo I have and switching the server to an Intel processor.

    All my data is still intact on my hard drives, but how do I go about replacing the mobo and processor?  Normally I'd never even think about upgrading this type of hardware without doing a complete OS reinstall but there is no way I'm going to lose all my server data.

    How do I go about this?

    (Sorry if this is covered ad nauseum, but I can't seem to get the site searching to work properly.  It's not returning helpful results.)
    Thursday, November 12, 2009 2:32 PM

Answers

  • You will need to perform a server reinstallation; there is no other option, because your previous installation has approximately 0% chance of booting on your new hardware. This is a special installation mode which will preserve your data. In the case of a motherboard/processor change, you should make sure that A) your system drive will be the first one presented by the BIOS for booting, and B) you supply any needed storage drivers during the hardware detection phase at the start of setup and again at the start of text mode setup (if you need drivers for your system drive to be visible to the setup program).

    After installation you will need to activete; since you have already activated once using your product key you will probably have to activate via phone call. Strictly speaking your installation (with product key) is tied to your original hardware, but if you explain your situation Microsoft has been very understanding about allowing an additional activation.

    You'll find some additional information here.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Proposed as answer by Ken WarrenModerator Thursday, November 12, 2009 3:23 PM
    • Marked as answer by idburns Thursday, November 12, 2009 3:37 PM
    Thursday, November 12, 2009 3:23 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • You will need to perform a server reinstallation; there is no other option, because your previous installation has approximately 0% chance of booting on your new hardware. This is a special installation mode which will preserve your data. In the case of a motherboard/processor change, you should make sure that A) your system drive will be the first one presented by the BIOS for booting, and B) you supply any needed storage drivers during the hardware detection phase at the start of setup and again at the start of text mode setup (if you need drivers for your system drive to be visible to the setup program).

    After installation you will need to activete; since you have already activated once using your product key you will probably have to activate via phone call. Strictly speaking your installation (with product key) is tied to your original hardware, but if you explain your situation Microsoft has been very understanding about allowing an additional activation.

    You'll find some additional information here.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Proposed as answer by Ken WarrenModerator Thursday, November 12, 2009 3:23 PM
    • Marked as answer by idburns Thursday, November 12, 2009 3:37 PM
    Thursday, November 12, 2009 3:23 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks a lot Ken.

    I got lucky with the old board that it detected the IDE drive (my preferred boot drive) first.  Hopefully I'll have the same luck this time around.

    Would it work to just not connect the 4 SATA drives and only have my IDE boot drive connected for the installation?
    Thursday, November 12, 2009 3:39 PM
  • In this case you cannot perform a server reinstall, which requires to see all drives during the installation process and will ask for drivers if the SATA controller is using the SATA mode.
    (The second time the drivers will not be asked for, but have to provided on a floppy drive.)
    A new installation would format the DATA volume on the former system drive as well, so any data only stored there will be lost.
    You can check the FAQ How to recover data after server failure to see, how you would have to access your data in this case.

    Btw. it should be not a problem to attempt booting from the old disk. If it works, you can simply install the necessary drivers after that (and hope, that the system remains stable), if not, nothing is lost besides a minute or two.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Thursday, November 12, 2009 4:18 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the info and the link Olaf!
    Thursday, November 12, 2009 4:23 PM
  • ...
    Btw. it should be not a problem to attempt booting from the old disk. If it works, you can simply install the necessary drivers after that (and hope, that the system remains stable), if not, nothing is lost besides a minute or two.
    ...
    I would be stunned if this yielded anything other than a bluescreen. Seriously. Go back and re-read the first post, where the OP is switching from an AMD processor and supporting chipset (Socket 939) to Intel-based hardware (LGA775).

    As for the rest, If the OP disconnects all data drives Olaf is correct. The OP will be unable to perform a server reinstallation. If the OP leaves all data drives connected and supplies drivers as required he should be offered reinstallation or recovery (depending on the age of his installation media) as an option, in addition to performing a new installation.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, November 13, 2009 4:58 PM
    Moderator