Swapping Motherboards - Implications for OS?

  dregn 14:57 04 Feb 2005

I am about to upgrade my system and intend to replace the existing MSI board ( P4 CPU) with another MSI board ( Socket 939 ) with an Athlon 64 chip. What happens to the existing Win XP Pro ( SP2 ) OS ?
I will backup my drives before I start the swop, but I should like to know what I should be aware of and if it is a straightforward procedure ?
Any advice much appreciated.

  BurrWalnut 15:08 04 Feb 2005

As it's from the same manufacturer you may be OK. Make sure you load the mobo drivers from the CD-ROM for the new mobo.

Good luck.

  mattyc_92 15:09 04 Feb 2005

If worst comes to worst, you will have to reactivate windows by phone or format the system...

  dth 15:36 04 Feb 2005

I recently did the same and everything worked out fine. No need to re-activate Win XP.

It does make better sense to do a clean install - just so all the old m/b drivers and settings are not left,

  AndySD 15:41 04 Feb 2005

It would be best to remove the old mobo drivers in add/remove programs then turn off the pc to replace the motherboard. You may well find it still blue screens you as you are changing both the mobo chipset and the make of processor. A repair instalation will sort this though if it happens. click here

  FelixTCat 18:09 04 Feb 2005

If you do a clean reinstall you will have to reactivate XP. When XP runs, it calculates what is effectively a checksum from the major components of your system and stores it in a file on your hard drive. This is used in the first activation.

Each time you start up subsequently, XP compares the system checksum with that stored on the disk. If they are significantly different, XP will tell you to activate and will not run. A fresh installation will not have this file, so will require activation.

If your existing installation will start on the new motherboard, it will do the comparison with your existing checksum and, if the differences are not too great, will run.

If your motherboards both have built-in network chips then the change will require reactivation. Microsoft counts motherboard and processor as 1 unit change each, but the network chip counts as 3. You are not allowed 5 unit changes without reactivation. It is my understanding that reactivation is not a problem.

  Noelg23 18:45 04 Feb 2005

if you have baccked up your drivers and important files, I would format the HDD and then reinstall XP Pro with the new mobo drivers...cos there could be a conflict along the way...

  Giggle n' Bits 19:10 04 Feb 2005

different Motherboard a problem. When activation is done on 1st time the S/n No of the Motherboard is transmitted and recorded. To reactivate XP again has to be clear for 180 days.

  Dorsai 19:21 04 Feb 2005

Msoft do not, in fact, log your board serial number, nor will the change of one or two items nessacarily be a problem. It depend if the copy of Xp is retail or OEM..

If your copy of Xp is OEM (supplied with the PC), it may just refuse to work at all, or it may be fine. the only way to find out is to try. It will probably work, but may be in breach of the EULA.

If a retaail copy, click here Msoft take data from each part of the PC, do some fancy math on it, and end up with a 'hardware hash' (hash = '#' and '#' is the symbol for 'number').

See my link for full details as to how it works.

  BurrWalnut 19:24 04 Feb 2005

A mobo change will not require reactivation but if you're concerned, before reinstalling, you can save C:\Windows\System32\WPA.DBL and WPA.BAK (if it exists) then copy them to the newly installed version.

  dregn 19:31 04 Feb 2005

Many thanks for the advice and suggestions. I will plan the preparation of the disks and hope to do the swap early next week. I will report further.

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