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How to install a new motherboard, Computer Repair, Tips Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, Agoura Hills, and Newbury Park. ABComputer Repair, knows how frustrating it can be for the novice to install a new motherboard in a laptop computer or desktop computer. Our onsite certified computer repair technicians specialize in motherboard replacement for desktop computer and laptop computer in Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills and Newbury Park.

How to install a new motherboard without reinstalling Windows
By Jon Stokes | Published 4 years ago

Ed: The following is a guest post by Ars CPU & Mobo forum guru Hat Monster. The post is based on this excellent thread on the same topic, which everyone who’s contemplating a motherboard swap should check out first.

I call it the ‘Format Fetish’.

Like partitions, extended memory, and BSD, it’s a strange fossil remnant of a more brutal time that, for one reason or another, staunchly refuses to lay down and die. In its essence, it’s the irrational compulsion to format one’s hard disk at the drop of a hat. Changed video card? That’ll be a reformatting. Upgraded CPU? Better reformat to be sure. Turned the speakers on? Well, you never know… Our onsite certified computer repair technicians specialize in motherboard replacement for desktop computer and laptop computer in Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills and Newbury Park.

This article is intended to show you a better way around one of the more common triggers of the reformat fetish—swapping out the motherboard. There’s a lot of pagan mythology about just what to do when swapping the motherboard, starting with “Nuke the site from orbit” and “Just buy another Dell”, to more educated guesses involving repair installs, and (if we’re really technical) the sysprep utility.

How to install a new motherboard, Computer Repair, Tips Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, Agoura Hills, and Newbury Park

The reason all this is necessary is because Windows has to load from a hard disk. That’s obvious, right? However, if the hard disk is supposed to be in one place, and then suddenly moves to another, Windows has no idea what’s going on. The moment it takes control of the disks from BIOS, it crashes. The disk isn’t there anymore. If you have a test PC handy, try it out. Change the SATA channel your system drive is on, or if you drive is (parallel) ATA, swap it from Master to Slave. The system will start booting for about ten seconds, then either instantly reboot, or stop on a blue screen, depending on whether it’s set to automatically reboot on blue screens or not. Like Wile E. Coyote when he realizes there’s no ground beneath him, Windows falls over when it realizes there’s no disk supporting it.

There is a cure for the reformat fetish—a procedure that will let you swap out your motherboard without having to reinstall Windows XP. No, it doesn’t involve the sacrifice of a virgin in the full moon on the seventh night before Samhain, but you do have to follow a few steps. Our onsite certified computer repair technicians specialize in motherboard replacement for desktop computer and laptop computer in Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills and Newbury Park.

As a general rule, the following procedure will work for you regardless of how much hardware you change, on one provision: You must be able to install Windows and successfully boot it from the stock media, without having to provide storage drivers, which may need your SATA controllers to be in Compatibility or Legacy mode. Never AHCI mode. Changing away from AHCI is tricky, and if you’re unsure then Microsoft’s official method to change your motherboard will mean you’re reinstalling every hotfix and service pack, but it’s quite a bit more fault tolerant. There are exceptions to this rule, but they tend to be rather more esoteric (e.g. PCI INT# remapping).

How to install a new motherboard, Computer Repair, Tips Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, Agoura Hills, and Newbury Park

Obligatory disclaimers

There’s also the stock disclaimer to take into mind. While at Ars we take great measures to make sure we’re not spewing drivel, your particular system may not react predictably, and we can’t accept any blame for that. For the love of all you consider holy, at least have an up-to-date backup to rely on. We will also assume you know the ins and outs of installing, changing, and removing device drivers from the Device Manager. And don’t forget to do all the other things you’d normally do when performing a rebuild, such as updating your Knoppix Live CD, in case you need to do emergency diagnostics. If you’re not comfortable with this at any stage, use the Microsoft link above (it’s safer), but remove the platform drivers first, as they have been shown to interrupt an OS reinstall across motherboards on at least VIA systems..

It also should be pointed out that this brief how-to is Windows XP-centric. So Vista users, your mileage may vary.

Making the Windows install platform-agnostic. Our onsite certified computer repair technicians specialize in motherboard replacement for desktop computer and laptop computer in Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills and Newbury Park.

To begin with, we need to move the system to a more generic set of platform drivers. The first place to start is in the XP control panel Add and Remove Programs, or on Vista, Programs and Features, where we’ll remove the relevant motherboard drivers. For example, those on nForce-based boards will be removing “NVIDIA Drivers”, those on ATI, can use ATI’s handy “ATI Software Uninstaller” (which will also try to get rid of anything else with a name starting with ‘ATI’, including third party utilities), while Intel and VIA users get their own platform software entries, assuming the vendor software is installed of course.

How to install a new motherboard, Computer Repair, Tips Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, Agoura Hills, and Newbury Park

Once that reboot is out of the way (oh, you’ll be doing a fair amount of rebooting) launch Device Manager (devmgmt.msc), and replace your onboard storage controller with “Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller,” or similar, as shown in Figure 1 below. If it is not listed with the Show compatible hardware checkbox filled, your system may not survive this process unless the new motherboard is from the same chipset vendor.

If you’re still on an AGP system, you’ll want to knock out your AGP drivers in the same manner, but this time the driver to install is “PCI standard PCI-to-PCI bridge”.

Now if you’re on an Intel board, you’ll need to enable Show Hidden Devices from the menu, and have a look in the new tree which appeared: “Non-Plug and Play Devices”. There are two drivers known to cause problems, ‘IntelIDE’ and ‘IntelPPM’, so you will need to uninstall them.

At this stage you may also want to remove your video drivers, since they’ll likely need reinstalling anyway.

Reboot your system for the driver changes to take effect. Now your system is platform agnostic, you could take the hard disk out and put it pretty much anywhere. The one caveat is that you can’t change where the HD logically is, so if you take a HD from the Primary channel (Yes, SATA can still appear to have Secondary and Primary, so check which one your HD is on) to the Secondary, it still won’t work. Most will have it as SATA0 or Primary Master/ Transfer this placement exactly to the new motherboard. If you get a boot problem after performing your motherboard swap, this is the very first place to look.

How to install a new motherboard, Computer Repair, Tips Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, Agoura Hills, and Newbury Park

Now power down and do what needs doing, namely the hardware installation.

Bringing Windows up on the new hardware

Still with us? System booting into Windows? Good, it should be, but if it isn’t, you should boot your Knoppix Live or whatever you use for hardware diagnostics, and check your CPU and RAM. If it still won’t boot, run the repair from your OS CD. If your problem is specifically with a 0x7B blue screen (and only a 0x7B), then it likely isn’t a hardware fault. Our onsite certified computer repair technicians specialize in motherboard replacement for desktop computer and laptop computer in Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills and Newbury Park.

After logging on, Windows will complain about drivers, and it will install some automatically. Cancel every one you get the opportunity to cancel. There’s no technical reason to, but it will make this next part a bit cleaner and simpler for you. You’ll next need to be in a special mode of Device Manager, where devices that aren’t installed but do have drivers installed can be shown. From a command prompt, enter the text exactly as shown:

set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1
start devmgmt.msc

In Device Manager, enable Show Hidden Devices as before, and have a look in the various trees. You may be surprised at how much stuff is faded or ghosted out. Delete everything you recognize as a hardware device which is either faded or ghosted out, but leave USB devices alone (see note). Don’t touch anything under “Non-Plug and Play Devices.” There are also some media drivers in “Sound, video and game controllers” that you should leave alone in there. Be very sure that all you’re removing is an actual ghosted hardware device, that you either have or have had, and not a Windows internal driver. The same applies to System Devices, though these are usually branded, so very easy to tell apart.

How to install a new motherboard, Computer Repair, Tips Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, Agoura Hills, and Newbury Park

Note: USB devices are reinstalled on a per-root basis, so it is perfectly normal to see them more than once in any list with Device Manager in this mode.

After yet another reboot, start hitting vendor websites for your latest drivers. You may, of course, need to take the Ethernet drivers off the motherboard’s software disc to get online. You know how to install drivers by now; install what you need. Our onsite certified computer repair technicians specialize in motherboard replacement for desktop computer and laptop computer in Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills and Newbury Park.

That’s all you need to do.

In closing, let me stress that with the coming of AHCI based SATA devices, this procedure will become far more system-specific. The reason is that XP doesn’t have generic AHCI drivers, though such drivers are possible. For such systems, we recommend you use the Microsoft method. Though this method will still leave you with all the ghosted items in Device Manager, can still be interrupted by drivers which need to be uninstalled, and will remove all your service packs and hotfixes beyond what is on the OS media, it is quite a bit more reliable, and will tolerate more esoteric system setups. Our onsite certified computer repair technicians specialize in motherboard replacement for desktop computer and laptop computer in Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills and Newbury Park.

How to install a new motherboard, Computer Repair, Tips Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, Agoura Hills, and Newbury Park

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