Yet another Motherboard Upgrade question RRS feed

  • Question

  • I've read enough horror stories about licensing issues here for what appear to be legitimate copies of Win XP that I am concerned about my group's plans to do motherboard upgrades.  We are a development shop running a variety of Windows versions to test compatibility of our software with other software and hardware products.  Our lab currently has 5 systems, 3 running WinXP Pro, and 2 running Win2K Pro, the latter four of which are installed from our Volume Licensed MSDN Visual Studio Team Edition Software Architect distribution.  One box runing WinXP is a Dell portable built from a standard corporate rollout image.


    We intend to upgrade one of the WinXP Pro boxes to employ a Core 2 Duo processor on an LGA 775 motherboard replacing a single core Intel processor on a socket 478 motherboard.  We have the PKs from the MSDN subscription so I don't think that will be an issue, but what can I expect to have happen when we change out that motherboard? 


    In the past, i.e. pre-WinXP, whne swapping a motherboard in an existing chassis and retaining all other hardware components such as disk drives, video cards, etc., it was usually just an issue of removing the old CPU and chipset parameters in the device manager by coming up in SAFE mode and then rebooting and letting Windows discover the new hardware configuration.  But from what I've read so far that's not going to work with WinXP - any edition.


    Am I wrong about this or should this work quite simply by the same method we've used before for older Windows versions with only the added requirement of re-entering the original product key at some point in the process? 

    Sunday, April 1, 2007 11:19 PM


All replies

  • Changing a Motherboard or Moving a Hard Drive with XP Installed: http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/moving_xp.html 
    Monday, April 2, 2007 2:29 AM
  • Axel Ahlberg,

    Licensing issues aside, usually running a repair reinstallation http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315341/ takes care of major hardware changes such as motherboard (and processor and RAM) upgrades.

    Monday, April 2, 2007 4:41 AM
  • Thanks for the very prompt response.  We haven't even ordered the parts yet for this upgrade because of this issue.  After reading the litany of problems others appeared to be having, although mostly related to OEM versions, I didn't want us to wind up in a situation where it takes a week of software re-installs for all our instrumentation and logging software, to get back to operational status.  If I understood that article you referenced it should be no worse than a reinstall cycle of WinXP and all our current third party software registrations should persist through that.  This particular box  that's getting the new motherboard has gone thru Win98 to Win2K to WinXP upgrades before and we haven't lost a registration yet.  But the economy of doing a simple motherboard swap rather than buying a whole new PC quickly disappears if you have to put out the labor to reinstall everything because of a licensing issue.  I bookmarked the article.  And thanks again for you very prompt response!
    Monday, April 2, 2007 7:16 AM
  • Carey - thank you also for your very prompt response.  The  initial part of the article you refer me to talks about the issues related to OEM installs of XP and had me confused about its relevance until I read the later part with the checklist for performing a motherboard upgrade.  That looks like a pretty complete process for ensuring minimum downtime of the box and should avoid the problems I was most concerned with - that some mistake in the order of events would put us at risk for getting into the kind of battle with Microsoft that people with OEM versions were encountering.  Thanks very much for your contribution to this little exercise.  I was actually holding off on ordering the parts since the potential of having to reinstall all our own and third party software on this box would quickly swamp the cost advantage of doing a motherboard upgrade if the world of WGA were to get in our way.  I'll share any unusual events that turn up when we do this which should be sometime in the next two weeks.
    Monday, April 2, 2007 7:31 AM