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Old 09-14-2005, 09:42 AM   #1
Phoenix86
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Default How to: Upgrade your motherboard without reinstalling Windows.

This article is written for Microsoft Windows XP, the information is still valid for Windows 2000 (all versions) but may vary slightly.

When swapping out motherboards it's common practice to reinstall the OS (windows), because of a chipset incompatibility, this is unnecessary. There is a time and place for OS reinstalls, but if your OS is running like a champ, and your just upgrading to a new mobo/cpu/ram, or just a new mobo you have other options.

There are two methods available, the first involves running a repair on the OS, the other uses a program called Sysprep. I strongly recommend the sysprep method over the repair method because it makes less changes to the OS and gets the job done. In fact, this tool is meant specifically for the job.

There are down sides to the repair method commonly used, other than the fact it takes 10x as long. Here are the potential problems to the repair method (also called an in-place upgrade).
Loss of program settings.
Data loss.
And you must reinstall ALL windows updates and service packs, since the files copied from the CD are not patched.

Sysprep
First let me describe what Sysprep is, and why it's useful to us. Sysprep is a tool used in creating HDD images for mass deployment, where the hardware can vary from machine to machine. The general idea is, you setup a PC, install all the software you want, make all the setting changes to the OS and applications. Then run Sysprep, which will remove all hardware IDs from the OS. At this point, you would want to create an image of the machine, but we are not creating images for mass deployment. I am just outlining what the tool does, we will be using it differently.

The next time the PC boots it will run a Mini-Setup Wizard and re-detect your hardware just like the first time Windows was installed. You can setup the image to have drivers ready for your different hardware, but that ins't necessary for what we are doing. We are only deploying this to a single PC, yours, and you can download the drivers by hand yourself.

Now lets go into the actual process.

1. Download drivers for your motherboard and especially your network card. When you blow away your current setup it's nice to have these ready to install. The network card is essential, you mush have this driver handy in case XP doesn't. Otherwise you will be downloading from another PC just so you can get on the internet.

Also of special note is the mass storage controller. If you are using a non-naitive drive controller on the new motherboard, you will need to add these OEM driver to the sysprep.inf. Anything that requires a floppy driver disk and using F2 during the normal windows setup requires a mass storage controller. See the links below for adding OEM drivers. The section of sysprep.inf you'll need to look at is [SysprepMassStorage] and the -bmsd switch on sysprep.exe.

2. Extract the Sysprep 2.0 files from your XP CD (\support\tools\deploy.cab) to csysprep. The deploy.cab can be downloaded here.
I'm not sure if Sysprep 2.0 works on Windows 2K, I assume so (have not tested this). I know Sysprep 1.1 does work, that can be downloaded here.

3. Run Sysprep.exe

4. Select Mini-Setup, PnP, and then Reseal. Your PC should shut down when complete.

5. Install the new motherboard and or other hardware.

6. Boot the machine, it will show screens similar to when XP was first installed, this is the Mini-Setup Wizard.

7. At this point the instructions will vary depending on your hardware, you will be prompted for drivers that Windows does not already have.

8. Once you have installed the drivers you are ready to go.

Possible issues/advice with Sysprep.
General SysPrep Info.
Adding OEM drivers.
Error in recovery console: The Password Is Not Valid.
BSOD error: STOP 0x0000007B or INACCESSABLE_BOOT_DEVICE
Unsupported Scenarios.

note: This article was originally posted by me on the Hard|Forums in case this looks familiar to anyone.
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Old 09-14-2005, 11:26 AM   #2
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Default How to: Upgrade your motherboard without reinstalling Windows.

Good info, but not forgetting that you must make sure that the storage controller drivers for the newer board are installed before running SysPrep, otherwise initial bootup will fail

(This excludes devices that Windows supports natively)
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Old 09-14-2005, 11:47 AM   #3
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Default How to: Upgrade your motherboard without reinstalling Windows.

Quote:
Originally posted by: Phil
Good info, but not forgetting that you must make sure that the storage controller drivers for the newer board are installed before running SysPrep, otherwise initial bootup will fail

(This excludes devices that Windows supports natively)
That should be covered in the first possible issues link, adding OEM drivers. There is a section in that doc that covers mass-storage drivers. Think that's enough, or should I draw more attention to it? Thanks for taking a look.

If anyone sees errors, let me know. Always willing to correct the document and make it better.
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Old 09-14-2005, 12:01 PM   #4
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Default How to: Upgrade your motherboard without reinstalling Windows.

Quote:
Originally posted by: Phoenix86
Quote:
Originally posted by: Phil
Good info, but not forgetting that you must make sure that the storage controller drivers for the newer board are installed before running SysPrep, otherwise initial bootup will fail

(This excludes devices that Windows supports natively)
That should be covered in the first possible issues link, adding OEM drivers. There is a section in that doc that covers mass-storage drivers. Think that's enough, or should I draw more attention to it? Thanks for taking a look.

If anyone sees errors, let me know. Always willing to correct the document and make it better.
Definitely draw more attention to it, maybe even dedicate a section to "Making sure you have loaded the correct drivers"

Otherwise, top notch
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Old 09-14-2005, 01:08 PM   #5
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Default How to: Upgrade your motherboard without reinstalling Windows.

Done and done.
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Old 09-14-2005, 01:50 PM   #6
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Default How to: Upgrade your motherboard without reinstalling Windows.

this should be stickied
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Old 09-14-2005, 02:00 PM   #7
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Default How to: Upgrade your motherboard without reinstalling Windows.

Great article
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Old 09-14-2005, 02:31 PM   #8
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Default How to: Upgrade your motherboard without reinstalling Windows.

Quote:
Originally posted by: bob4432
this should be stickied
Seconded.
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Old 09-14-2005, 10:14 PM   #9
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Default How to: Upgrade your motherboard without reinstalling Windows.

Since we all do this all time - I would like to see a How To with (a) slip streaming SP2 with XP CD and appended to that this as part (b). And I would like see a part (c) creating a recovery CD/DVD after the install is complete.
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Old 09-14-2005, 10:24 PM   #10
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Default How to: Upgrade your motherboard without reinstalling Windows.

Quote:
Originally posted by: Slowlearner
Since we all do this all time - I would like to see a How To with (a) slip streaming SP2 with XP CD and appended to that this as part (b). And I would like see a part (c) creating a recovery CD/DVD after the install is complete.
as far as slipstreaming xp with sp2 go check out nliteos. you can even take out other languages and put in a key so an install takes you about 15mins without any manual intervention.
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Old 09-15-2005, 12:10 PM   #11
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Default How to: Upgrade your motherboard without reinstalling Windows.

Quote:
Originally posted by: Slowlearner
Since we all do this all time - I would like to see a How To with (a) slip streaming SP2 with XP CD and appended to that this as part (b). And I would like see a part (c) creating a recovery CD/DVD after the install is complete.
Sure, let me know when you have that ready.

Actually I'm doing something similar, but it'll be a bit as it's a collaboration with others.
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Old 09-16-2005, 07:11 AM   #12
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Default How to: Upgrade your motherboard without reinstalling Windows.

Do NOT select PnP during sysprep unless you have ISA slots (and you call that upgrading? ). This is for redetecting ISA PnP cards. Doing so can cause the first autologon to hang for up to 10 minutes as the onboard audio goes through a very painful rediscovery.

Adding OEM drivers... The OemPnPDriversPath is actually the key HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Dev icePath. You can carefully modify this path before shutdown (don't remove!), add it to sysprep with the OemPnpDriversPath, fix sysprep with it before reboot (see notes on Bart's PE), or change the registry using PE and regedt32 by loading the hive on the main disk. If it is an Intel board, I strongly recommend adding the chipset drivers into the PnP path Download from here. I am thinking that you run it with "whatever.exe -A -A -P cmypnp" to extract the full set to a directory.

Make a CD to recover with... See this topic for suggestions on Bart's or other tools. Text

Edit - BTW, this is one of the best techniques I know of for upgrades and I have done it before. Just be careful if you are using RAID0 as it may not go as planned changing chipsets - A drive copy to a new volume might be in order and make sure you can boot from that before you proceed.
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Old 09-16-2005, 10:51 AM   #13
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Default How to: Upgrade your motherboard without reinstalling Windows.

-PNP takes a couple extra minutes, and is there for compatibility reasons. If you don't have ISA slots it can be skipped. Technically you don't have to upgrade, you can downgrade as well.

Honeslty I have *never* run this on a RAID system so I don't know the caveats. YMMV.
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Old 09-16-2005, 01:05 PM   #14
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Default How to: Upgrade your motherboard without reinstalling Windows.

I use sysprep all the time here at work. Love it love it love it.
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Old 09-16-2005, 01:06 PM   #15
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Default How to: Upgrade your motherboard without reinstalling Windows.

i'm lazy for my home system
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Old 09-16-2005, 06:40 PM   #16
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Default How to: Upgrade your motherboard without reinstalling Windows.

Why use Sysprep for a one-off install?
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Old 09-16-2005, 06:51 PM   #17
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Default How to: Upgrade your motherboard without reinstalling Windows.

Quote:
Originally posted by: dclive
Why use Sysprep for a one-off install?
because it is fast and very easy
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Old 09-16-2005, 07:28 PM   #18
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Default How to: Upgrade your motherboard without reinstalling Windows.

Quote:
Originally posted by: bob4432
Quote:
Originally posted by: dclive
Why use Sysprep for a one-off install?
because it is fast and very easy
What advantage does it give over simply changing your IDE controller to "PCI Standard IDE Controller" and putting the HDD into the new PC? It doesn't get past HAL issues, so what does it buy you?
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Old 09-16-2005, 07:33 PM   #19
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Default How to: Upgrade your motherboard without reinstalling Windows.

Quote:
Originally posted by: dclive
Quote:
Originally posted by: bob4432
Quote:
Originally posted by: dclive
Why use Sysprep for a one-off install?
because it is fast and very easy
What advantage does it give over simply changing your IDE controller to "PCI Standard IDE Controller" and putting the HDD into the new PC? It doesn't get past HAL issues, so what does it buy you?
not really sure. all i know is that when i have changed complete systems, everything has worked fine. in the past when i have changed the ide controller and put the hdd in a different setup, bos. for all i know, in the past i could have just had "bad luck" but this way has been repeated by myself and other with good success. maybe somebody else can answer your question better, sorry
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Old 09-16-2005, 07:36 PM   #20
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Default How to: Upgrade your motherboard without reinstalling Windows.

Answer: Sysprep doesn't do much. It strips out unique information about the machine, and does a few other things that most people here don't need to care about, particularly if moving from one PC to another with the same licensed copy of Windows.

I suggest not using Sysprep and simply using the "Standard PCI IDE Controller" trick, and you'll be fine.

Sysprep is awesome for automated deployment - you can put twenty different drivers into the image, and no matter what hardware you deploy the image to, the drivers will PnP and be recognized - you can deploy dozens of different machines from one image easily and quickly. But in one-off situations like this where you're simply moving hard drives from one PC to another, it's not really that useful.
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Old 09-16-2005, 08:14 PM   #21
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Default How to: Upgrade your motherboard without reinstalling Windows.

Quote:
Originally posted by: dclive
...
I suggest not using Sysprep and simply using the "Standard PCI IDE Controller" trick, and you'll be fine. ...
What "Standard PCI IDE Controller" trick are you talking about?
I am not familiar with this.
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Old 09-16-2005, 08:19 PM   #22
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Default How to: Upgrade your motherboard without reinstalling Windows.

Quote:
Originally posted by: birdpup
Quote:
Originally posted by: dclive
...
I suggest not using Sysprep and simply using the "Standard PCI IDE Controller" trick, and you'll be fine. ...
What "Standard PCI IDE Controller" trick are you talking about?
I am not familiar with this.
Put the HDD in the old machine, change the HDD controller to "Standard PCI IDE Controller", and then immediately shut the PC down and move it to the new PC. As long as the HAL is the same, the PC will boot. Be ready with driver CDs or floppies, and you're all set.

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Old 09-17-2005, 03:36 AM   #23
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Default How to: Upgrade your motherboard without reinstalling Windows.

I will try that. Thank you.
And I will add that option to the list.
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Old 09-17-2005, 05:11 PM   #24
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Default How to: Upgrade your motherboard without reinstalling Windows.

dclive - in regards to sysrep and the way you suggest for a motherboard/system upgrade, how would i know if i have the same hal as the new hardware uses?
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Old 09-17-2005, 06:32 PM   #25
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Default How to: Upgrade your motherboard without reinstalling Windows.

Quote:
Originally posted by: bob4432
dclive - in regards to sysrep and the way you suggest for a motherboard/system upgrade, how would i know if i have the same hal as the new hardware uses?
On the installed systems, you can look under Device Manager, Computer. If, under computer, it says exactly the same thing on new and old, you're fine. If not, you may need to do the repair install.

Either way, just try it. Most modern systems these days have the same/compatible HAL.
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