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Old May 16th, 2002, 08:53 PM   #1
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New PC Hardware - Reinstall OS?

Hello PC people! I have a PC running Windows 2000 Professional (the only Windows OS that's good, IMO) and have a kind of wimpy hardware setup (I'm running an awesome AMD K6 500Mhz). However I am going to replace the mainboard, add DDR RAM and put in a new 1.4Ghz Ass-a-lon processor. The graphics card (ATI Radeon 7500), soundcard (Yamaha full duplex something-or-other) and everything else will remain the same.

Here's my question. Can I just take my current hard drive which doesn't have very many things installed on it and just drop it in with the new mainboard, RAM and processor and just turn it on and expect it to boot up just fine and normally? Of course first I would deal with the new BIOS of the mainboard, but is Windows 2000 Professional smart enough to deal with such changes without me having to reinstall the OS? I would think it could, but since it is Windows I have no idea what could go wrong.

Wow, for the time being my PC will be faster than my G4 Mac!
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Old May 16th, 2002, 09:40 PM   #2
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In theory, it should detect the new hardware, and then install the drivers. Of course, it will have a fit when it can't find the old stuff. It would be best to reinstall the OS, but not necessary. It just depends on how much hair you are willing to pull out before it is right.
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Old May 17th, 2002, 02:03 AM   #3
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Win2k will migrate between hardware just fine. It might detect some of your boards (video, ethernet, etc) as new, but it should de-activate the old ones. Migrating between motherboards is fairly easy compared to complete system changes, but even then, it's usually pretty easy. Depending on your new motherboard you'll probably want to install the latest drivers off the net.

I just finished putting together a new system with a SolTek motherboard and Athlon XP 1800+, and once I got all the jumpers set, it came up like a dream. Spunky, too! I downloaded the via 4-in-1 drivers for the motherboard off the net and installed them. You don't have to, but they can make some things more stable, depending on your configuration.
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Old July 14th, 2002, 01:58 PM   #4
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do a clean install

The biggest problem I see here are the motherboard drivers.. the system may work if you just drop in a new mobo, but it will probably not work as well as if you do a clean install of the OS.. That's just how it has to be.
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Old July 14th, 2002, 02:13 PM   #5
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In my mind definitely a clean install.

Your registeries are probably are choc o' bloc.

You might...might not get away with it....why chance it for that critical moment when you may crash on a deadline.

I may well be paranoid but every 8 odd months I do a complete reinstall of my OS drive. Starting with the format to reinstalling all the software. It can be a tedioius process but cetainly gives the machine new life. Like a major service on a car.

There are no shortcuts in life, MHO, good luck with the new setup..........ain't it great to have toys!!!!

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Old July 14th, 2002, 02:14 PM   #6
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Why not just try and if it doesn't work well, do a clean install. :)
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Old July 15th, 2002, 01:52 AM   #7
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I agree with slas_swe here... just see how it goes and how
stable the system is. If it does not work or the system is unstable
do a clean install... Make sure (if possible) that you have ALL
of the drivers you need before upgrading!!

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Old July 15th, 2002, 02:15 AM   #8
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WIN 2K is much better than NT with accepting a new mother board, but you really need to do a fresh load. You did state that there was not much on it so back the data up, wipe it slick and reload the OS.

If you choose not to reload:
Yes, you will have problems with motherboard drivers (as someone mentioned). Yes, you will end up with registry problems (how good are you at editing the registry? If you have no expertise along these lines, reload.)

It is always good to do a fresh load once a year. And by that I mean FDISK the drive and recreate the partitions, reformat and reload. (someone else mentioned this also)

The small little tick marks that indicate where sectors and blocks begin are the only thing not rewritten in normal use of a drive. As you defragment files and data get moved around and rewritten but tose little marks do not. If you loose a mark then you may or may not be able to recover the data (usually not).

A fresh load covers up a multitude of past sins.
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Old July 15th, 2002, 05:34 AM   #9
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Hello Joe - here's another vote for a clean install. True, I am curious how it may go, and so you might try the upgrade before reinstalling as slas_swe first suggested, but you should eventually reinstall no matter what.

Also, about how old is that hard drive you have, did you get it back when you got the 500MHz AMD? I'd consider a hard drive upgrade too, which of course will mean a reinstall, but its often overlooked as a great way to improve performance. And they're getting cheap nowadays!
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Old July 15th, 2002, 09:21 AM   #10
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Clean Install Too.

I agree. A clean install is the best way to go. However, get an imaging program like Ghost or Drive Image Pro, first and image your drive. Put one on CDs and the other to video drive.

You can use you video drive to quickly rebuild your system back to the original configuration.

Nathan Gifford
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Old July 15th, 2002, 10:59 AM   #11
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Did the clean install. The 500 Mhz AMD was the first build of the 'puter. I didn't delete anything so most of my stuff is still there, but the OS has been completely re-installed. Everything was working fine for a few months but now Windows will occasionally log me off after awhile (couple days or so) of non-use. Annoying.

The other thing I really hate is the super loud CPU fan! This is just absurd. This is one reason I like Macs better... they are much quieter. Can someone prove me wrong and tell me of a super quiet CPU fan I can get that will cool a 1.4 Ghz Athlon at full load at great durations? Thanks.
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Old July 15th, 2002, 12:26 PM   #12
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CPU fan

If you live in a cool enough area you can use the stock fan that comes with the AMD processor and not run into much trouble. Otherwise a third party CPU fan is a good idea and there are several good places to read reviews and research CPU fans. My favorite PC hardware sites are,,,, and a few other stragglers. They will give you decibel levels for various fans as well as cubic feet of air it moves per second.
There are definitely some quiet fans and definitely some loud ones and if you want a quiet PC you have to do your research. I have a loaded PC with an Athlon XP and 3 80GB 7200rpm Hard drives. Add on a CD burner and the computer could sound like a rocket taking off. But I chose all of my components with consideration for the amount of noise they produce and found that Seagate Barracuda IV 80GB 7200rpm drives are the quietest of the big IDE drives and can barely heard even if you put your ear up to it while it is running.
Good luck getting your PC to quiet down.

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