Mother board upgrade

  br8nd4n 12:12 30 Mar 2008


I have an old Pentium 4 2.5Ghz that came from PC World a good few years ago running Windows XP. I've upgraded the PSU and video card since. The motherboard is a Packard Bell Columbia that has a limit of just 512mb RAM.

I've been offered a Packard Bell Columbia 5P board to replace it. The physical form of the new board is exact so shouldn't be a problem there. Could someome kindly tell me though what problems I will encounter when swaping over componets from the old board onto the new one and restarting for the first time? I do not have an Windows XP installation disk as it did not come with the original PC when I bought it.

I've read a few tutorials and walkthroughs about how to actually remove and replace a motherboard, its just the technical problems regarding BIOS etc. that I don't understand.

I am a complete novice regarding computers so please bear this in mind when replying and be gentle with me!

PS. I know I would be better off buying a whole new computer but this is sadly not an option at the moment!

Thanks very much.

  thms 12:24 30 Mar 2008

Your first problem is going to be the lack of an xp instalation disc. Changing a motherboard usually requires a clean install.
If you just change the motherboard and boot up you may be lucky, but I doubt it as there will be conflicts with motherboard drivers.

There is also the problem of activating xp unless you have a retail instalation disc.

  br8nd4n 12:39 30 Mar 2008

Thanks for your reply. If I change the mother board, boot up and it has all gone horribly wrong, can I put everything back on the original motherboard and carry on as usual, or is that too simple?

Thanks again

  thms 12:54 30 Mar 2008

Yes you could do that.
Saying that though computers are funny things.
Do you get a cd with this motherboard because if you don't you will be struggling to get it to work. You would need to go to the manufacturers web site and download the drivers required if you don't have the cd.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 12:58 30 Mar 2008

Drivers to disable BEFORE changing motherboard
click here

  br8nd4n 13:03 30 Mar 2008

I'll have to download the drivers from Packard Bell.
I picked the Columbia Version 5P motherboard as I hoped it would be similar to the Columbia Version 1 I have im my computer so things like physical size are the same and hopefully other things are compatable resulting in less problems. The chip sets aren't the same. Is this why I'm going to have the problem?

I would just swap the boards, fire it up and hope for the bets if I knew that I could also revert back to the original board should all else fail. But as my computer is working at the moment (all be it slower than I'd like) I don't want to risk turning it into a paper weight out of my own curiosity!

Am I right in saying its impossible to change a motherboard without an XP installation CD?

  br8nd4n 13:07 30 Mar 2008

Actually the chip sets for both motherboards are Sis ones.

  br8nd4n 13:19 30 Mar 2008

Fruit bat,
Read the link you kindly posted. Very informative. So if I follow those instructions Windows should boot and I should then be able to reconfigure the correct drivers? Have I got that right?

Thanks all for your help.

  thms 13:25 30 Mar 2008

Have a browse through here

click here=

though if anything goes wrong and you don't have a restore or installation cd you could be in trouble.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 13:55 30 Mar 2008


  Stuartli 14:09 30 Mar 2008


No, normally an XP Repair will be perfectly sufficient - XP doesn't always "take" to a new motherboard.

I've had two or three new motherboards in the past few years and all I've done is undertake an XP/SP2 slipstreamed Repair.

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