Advice wanted re major PC upgrade

  Nosmas 12:44 17 Jan 2010

My present system is XPSP2 (fully up to date with MS Updates), 80GB WD Caviar PATA HDD, 10GB Fujitsu PATA HDD, CD-ROM and DVD-ROM drives. The Caviar HDD is connected to the Primary IDE port as master and the CD-ROM as slave; the Fujitsu drive is connected to the Secondary IDE port as master and the DVD-ROM as slave. The Caviar drive is partitioned, with my Main XP, a second XP (for testing), W98SE, and my Data files each on a separate partition.

I am about to undertake a major upgrade - replacing the present Matsonic MS8147C mobo (with 500MB memory) with a Foxconn M61PMV (from Novatech - click here - plus additional 2GB of memory) and the 80GB HDD with a WD Caviar Green (500GB 32MB cache) SATA HDD. I may eventually wipe the 80GB and use it for backups or extra storage but I no longer need the 10GB drive nor the CD-ROM drive. I have bought a retail copy of Windows 7 Home Premium to install but wish to retain my Main XP to dual boot with W7 until I have W7 setup to my satisfaction, and as a backup system if I have problems with W7. I use Acronis True Image for backups to an external HDD, and will backup my Main XP and Data partitions before commencing the upgrade.

I realise that a straight restore of my Main XP to the new HDD would almost certainly fail to boot due to the major changes in hardware, so after much research, my planned strategy is as follows: -

1. Remove the 10GB drive and CD-ROM drive and transfer the DVD-ROM drive to the Primary IDE as slave. (The new mobo has only one IDE port).
2. Generally 'clean up' the Main XP removing unwanted files etc. then reboot and backup XP Main and Data partitions before closing XP.
3. Remove old mobo and install new mobo then connect the old HDD and DVD-ROM drives to the (only) IDE port. Perform a 'repair' install of Main XP from the XP CD (NOT using Recovery Console) in order for it to recognise the new hardware, and hopefully eventually boot into Main XP. This will almost certainly require a re-activation of XP via the Microsoft phone in.
4. Once XP is working normally I would again backup XP before removing the old HDD and installing the new HDD, partition and format it (NTFS) from the W7 CD, restore XP to one partition, install W7 in another partition, and Data in a third partition.

I would appreciate any suggestions which might improve my chances of success, or warnings of pitfalls to avoid a calamity, (perhaps from someone who has actually done this) and also answers to the following questions: -

(a) After the Repair Install, SP2 will need to be reinstalled, but does this also mean going into Windows Updates and downloading all the security updates and 'fixes' that have been applied since I initially installed XP? In C:\Windows I have about 250 folders with names all beginning $NtUninstall which I believe are for uninstalling all those 'fixes'. I also have about 200 entries for Security Updates etc. listed in the 'Add or Remove Programs' window so it would be quite a formidable task to re-download and install those 'fixes'.

(b) With three OS's on the system I have used Boot Magic (which came with Partition Magic) as a boot manager. Not sure if this needs to be disabled / uninstalled BEFORE commencing the upgrade and if so how to do it.

(c) Not sure if I need to uninstall any drivers before taking out the old mobo.

  Pamy 13:07 17 Jan 2010

I would run the MS check to see if your current setup will run Win 7 OK or if there is likely to be any probs with graphics card etc

  Pamy 13:08 17 Jan 2010
  Nosmas 15:19 17 Jan 2010

Pamy, thanks for your response. I have already run W7 Upgrade Advisor which didn't have any real surprises. I obviously needed more memory, and I will have more than sufficient free space on the new HDD. Apparently Windows Aero Support would be a no go with my present graphics adapter but hopefully the chipset on the new mobo (Nvidia GeForce 6100/ nForce 430) will be OK. Most of my application software should be OK, but one or two may have issues and may need later versions to work with W7.

Since writing my first post I have discovered that because my XP CD only came with SP1 included and I installed SP2 from a separate CD (which I now cannot find!) I will not be able to do the Repair Install from the XP CD. I have downloaded SP2 and will run AutoStreamer to slipstream SP2 with the original XP CD and burn this to a CD which should be bootable and allow the Repair Install.

  retep888 23:27 17 Jan 2010

Leave your DVD & CD-Rom alone and get a SATA DVD-RW drive instead,plug it into the say 4th SATA connector(there are 4 SATA connections on that motherboard) click here

Then make the 80 GB HDD as master(for XP) while the 10 GB as slave(by changing jumper pins)and connect them to the only IDE channel.Connect the new 500 GB to the 1st SATA connector.

Repair installation or not,you still have to reactivate Windows and reinstall windows updates,so I'd suggest a fresh installation instead(after backing up all your datas first).Forget SP2 and get SP3 click here it'll include loads of other updates already.

I wouldn't recommend Win98 on the new system,it either won't work or even if it will,you may have driver problems or it only supports single core.
Just a bit of advice,while you finally decided to install Win7 on the new HDD(partitioned?),unplug both IDE HDD to avoid mistakes and possible problems.

You don't need to uninstall any drivers before changing the motherboard or use boot magic for choosing OS,either the BIOS can take care of that or you can use Boot Menu(by pressing F8 while booting?)

  Nosmas 10:21 18 Jan 2010

retep888, thanks for your reply. As I rarely do any CD burning I don't really need to move to a later type of DVD drive so am content with what I already have. Also I have no need for the 10GB HDD.

As regards SP3 I have not previously installed it as I read accounts of people having problems with it. However as SP3 has been out for quite some time, there must have been many updates and fixes issued by Microsoft since then, so they would still have to be downloaded even if I slipstreamed SP3 instead of SP2. I do not want to do a clean install of XP as that would wipe out all my applications which would then need to be re-installed, and I wish to have access to my XP setup as I currently know it. I will in all probability install many of the applications to run on W7 and it will be useful to have XP as a reminder of them and any settings used.

I never intended to install W98 and thought that was clear from point 4 of my strategy - install W7 and Repair Install XP.

  citadel 21:55 18 Jan 2010

I would just get a new base unit with w7, then copy anything you want to save onto the pc, I give the old pcs away to freecycle.

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