How to change a motherboard without reinstalling Windows and applications.
Although posts here and elsewhere agree that a fresh operating system install is best when changing motherboards, various posts describe how a motherboard is changed without reinstalling Windows and applications. The objective of this thread is to provide a resource clearly detailing the step-by-step procedure for motherboard replacement when the existing installed OS and applications are to be left intact.
(This post is on the MSI forum because I'm currently upgrading several systems from the MSI K7Pro to the MSI K7T266 Pro2. I'll avoid OS and app reinstalls if I can.)
Clips from resources; How to upgrade:
"After imaging well over a thousand systems, here's what works for me.
Create directories for installed hardware under C:\Windows and preload with the drivers you'll need, e.g. C:\Windows\Audio, C:\Windows\Display. Be sure to include drivers for the chipset and the latest BIOS revision for the new mobo.
Delete all entries in the directory C:\Windows\inf\other
Copy all OS cabs from the distribution CD to a directory under C:\Windows (OEMs like to use C:\Windows\Options\Cabs but I like to give the directory the same name as the OS, e.g. C:\Windows\98se)
Uninstall or otherwise disable (you can use msconfig) all device specific TSR's and other crap that loads at startup. This includes AntiVirus Software and firewalls. Remember to reenable later.
Boot into safe mode and remove all devices from device manager. When done you'll be left with two entries, the child devices from the hard drive controller (assuming an IDE based system)
Kill the Enum entry from the registry
Rename autoexec.bat and config.sys
Clear any entries in the load and run lines of win.ini
Shut down, change out the mobo, power up, and go into your BIOS setup. Note the BIOS revision to ensure you have the most current version. Save your settings and reboot.
If your BIOS isn't current, boot into safe mode command prompt only, flash your bios, reboot, recheck your bios settings, and then reboot normally. I always flash from the HDD as I've seen too many people get bit when a floppy disk or floppy drive die or encounter physical errors during a flash sequence. If you must use a floppy, be absolutely certain both the disk and drive are good before you start.
If your BIOS is current, you can boot normally and you'll be presented with an error message about display adapter, at which point you can let Windows go to work and redetect everything.
At this point, many will recommend you reboot every time Windows prompts you to, but I prefer to wait until all devices have been detected, and then before rebooting, open device manager, and delete the NON-SPLATTED entry (that's right I said the non-splatted) for all dupes. Common dupes will be Display Adapters, Keyboards, and DMA controllers. I also delete all Sound Card entries."
"It has been my experience that the deletion of files is unneeded with the improved Plug and Play function of Win98 thru WinME. You may simply install the Harddrive into the new case and start-up. The system will require several restarts as it sequentially installs first system resources, the PCI, then PCI peripherals and ISA, and finally ISA peripherals. The system will show a mix of drivers on the first couple of cycles but should finish with all appropriate drivers. Although the Windows install disks will have most common chipset drivers, you may need to supply uncommon chipset drivers."
"I HAVE SWITCHED MOTHERBOARDS FROM CELERON SYSTEM TO AMD ATHLON SYSTEM AND THE WINDOWS DID EVERYTHING ITSELF. I SWITHCED THE HARD DRIVE FROM ONE SYSTEM TO THE OTHER AND WINDOWS DID THE DRIVERS CHANGES AUTOMATICALLY. JUST 2 TO 3 REBOOTINGS SO TO FIND EVERY CHANGE IN THE MAINBOARD AND THAT WAS IT. MAYBE IF YOU HAVE PROBLEMS INSTALL THE CD WITH THE MAINBOARD DRIVERS FROM THE WINDOWS SYSTEM, AND THAT'S IT!!! VERY EASY!!!"
"I replaced my motherboard. I got a few tips on it. I just deleted everything out of the device manager (while in safe mode), except Plug and Play BIOS (which i wasn't sure about) then turned it off and swapped motherboards. Turning it on again it found everything new, and installed all the drivers and stuff, no hassles."
Do you have a proven procedure that you can describe in detail, step-by-step? Thanks to all who contribute.
Last edited by WildBlue; 12-14-2001 at 09:39 AM.
MB: MSI K7T266 Pro2 (Bios 3.3)
CPU: XP 1800+ (No OC; 32C - 36C)
HSF: Swiftech MCX370-0A w/ ASII
RAM: 2 Crucial 256 MB DDR, Non-ECC
AGP: Colorgraphic Predator Pro 4 AGP (4-port)
Sound: SB Live! Value
NIC: Intel PRO/100+ Mgmt
HDD 1: Maxtor DM+ D740X 40GB (ATA100)
HDD 2: Maxtor DM+40 30GB (ATA66)
Removable HDD Bay: CRU Dataport V+
CD R/W: HP 9100i
Case: A-Top AT900
PS: Antec PP412X (400w)
K/M: Logitech Cordless Desktop Pro
Spkrs: Altec Lansing ACS-48
Monitors: Samsung 950p (Four)
OS: Windows 2000 Pro, SP3 +updates