Can I swap out the motherboard and CPU and keep the rest

I’m emotionally attached to all the material on my hard drive, but I really want to change my mother board in order to get a better cpu. Can I switch out the mother board and CPU without reformatting the HD and losing everything?


I think you’re looking at it from the wrong angle: it sounds like you want to buy a new PC, and then put your old HD into the new PC. If you go somewhere like Nova in Taipei and buy from one of the vendors there, they’ll probably even do this for you for free …

Yes you can, if you use XP you have to do a repair install.
Because you are reinstalling Windows you will have to re-update all your patches. If you have installed a service pack, print this out before you install so you won’t have problems with your internet when you downgrade, or have your service pack on a CD: … -us;329441

I thought XP was fine with anything up to the fourth detected hardware change, and on the fourth you were forced to go through that fun process of reinstalling Windows.

But to get to the answer - yes you can. I’ve even switched my HD over to entirely new computers before without losing any data. Whether XP will still work without needing a reinstall is apparently looking unlikely, but as long as you back up your My Documents, Favorites, and Desktop folders, that’s nothing too serious.

What is your motherboard and how old is it?

You may need to change your memory if you change your motherboard.

By the time you get a new motherboard, CPU, and memory,
you’re more than half way on cost, I’d consider just getting a whole
new machine.

If you don’t want to do that, you may be able to simply upgrade the CPU
in your existing motherboard. Sometimes a BIOS firmware upgrade
is needed first. Check the support web page for your motherboard.
If you’re uncomfortable upgrading the BIOS, you’ll probably be
uncomfortable re-installing windows.

BTW, Linux would simply wake up in its new home,
look around at the new hardware, and you’d be up and running.

Bullshit. I’m paranoid as hell about upgrading my BIOS, but I’ve installed and reinstalled Windows so many times I can just about do it in my sleep.

Assuming you were able to get it actually working properly in the first place.

Like Shenme Niao, I also would recommend Linux. If you’re comfortable with getting a new motherboard, memory, etc. Why not get a second hard drive as well? They’re cheap!!!

I have been using Linux since the mid '90s, and I’m very happy with it. If you’re interested we can help you out, but confirm this before you mess with anything.

Linux doesn’t “crash”
It’s as easy to use as Windows.
The setup program will recognize your hardware
You can plug in your Windows hard drive and access your files (with minor tweaking).
You’ve got me and maybe Shenme Niao to walk you through the trouble spots.

You may have to tweak it to make it see your flash drive, webcam, scanner, digital camera, or other devices. (May be hard the first time)
You’ll still have to reboot in Windows to play video games.
There is, of course, a slight learning curve if you’re not familiar.
Setting up your network can be a potential problem, but should work fine.

It really depends on your habits. If you live for browsing, email, playing with your digital camera, netconference, instant messaging, etc. I would recommend Linux. If you live for video games, I would recommend Windows.

Dual-boot is very possible between your Linux and Windows drives, but ask a veteran before you go trying this yourself. Windows has a strong, intentional tendency to want to erase Linux or other non-Windows partitions. Proceed with caution.

Need to know:
How your Windows drive is partitioned: “C:” and “D:”, NTFS, FAT-32, etc.
What type of Internet connection you use
Any other peripherals you may have.

Hope I can help you out.

It’s as easy to use as Windows.[/quote]
Myth. Maybe you think so 'cause you’re used to it, but installing anything on Linux can quickly lead you into Dependency Hell.

Most of the time, but not all.

You may have to tweak it to make it see your flash drive, webcam, scanner, digital camera, or other devices. (May be hard the first time)[/quote]
And “tweak” may even be an understatement in some cases.

Depending on the distro, “slight” can be anything from mostly accurate to miles off.

And another thing to add - Linux can be a royal mongrel if you work in multiple languages simultaneously. It’s doable, but it’s a pain in the arse.

NOTE: It’s not that I’m anti-Linux in the least; if there weren’t select programs with no Linux equivalent that I needed to get my work done, I’d switch in a flash. But I don’t much like people painting Linux as the Universal Solution. Too many Linux users fall under the category of Linux Zealot and tend to gloss over the real difficulties of using it. For the average user, Linux still has a long way to go. There are still too many aspects that require varying levels of geekery, and with kids these days totally unfamiliar with command lines, that might actually work against it.

Not that I’m saying you’re a Linux Zealot, because you don’t seem to be at all. This is just a general statement.

With this big Tetsuo slap-in-the-face, I realize I might have been a little Linux Zealot in my last poat–sorry about that.

I was just trying to help Okarni research options. I have no idea what Okarni wants or needs, just asking. Let Okarni choose.

I was just offering help.

OK, I’LL admit it!!! I was “being nice” by saying “slight”, OK. Please don’t take this too seriously.

It’s all good - I was just making sure things get balanced out from both sides. Actually a nice compromise that I tried for a while was Linspire (The OS Formerly Known As Lindows). A snap to install and use, especially if you could get by with the apps they offer with their subscription-based delivery system, and if you want you can easily tweak it to basically become a Debian variant. Unfortunately I didn’t want the subscription and managed to bollocks up the tweaking, plus I have one of those nice pieces of hardware that are a bastard to run.

Back on the topic of hardware…

If your power supply isn’t a top brand and is more than a couple of years old you may want to toss that as well. I’ve seen many a motherboard fried when the (usually cheapo) PSU failed. That usually takes out the CPU and memory at the same time.

Would it be possible to install the harddisc with the data (and OS) as secondary HDD?
I.e. get a brandnew PC including new harddisc and OS installed, then add the old harddisc to the configuration and wipe out the old OS (but not the data).

I think you should back up all your data (pictures, MP3s, Documents, etc.) and do a clean install (whether you buy and new computer or not). When you reinstall make 2 (or more) partitions with one being your system partition.

On the primary partition install Windows and all your programs. Put your data on the other partition/s. This makes backing up an easier process (I think).

I like the new computer idea best (you could sell me your old one :smiley:). If you need help with anything let me know.

I agree with Miltownkid and Rascal, first thing back up your data. I don’t believe in running the same XP install on a different system. Too much trash from the old system (driver, Registry entries etc. ) will slow down your computer. So a clean install on new hardware would be the best. In the matter of getting a whole new machine, I would say that depends on your budget and the current setup.

Actually I’d go one further than MK and say 3+ partitions - 1 for Windows, 1 for Programs, 1 or more for other crap. I keep meaning to do this and forgetting, but that way if any programs store important data in their home directory, that’ll be safe during the reinstall process, and then after saving it (just in case you’ve forgotten something before the reinstall) elsewhere after reinstalling, you can reformat that partition seperately.

Or he could get a new system and spend another 1000NT and slip his old HD into a USB HD enclosure. I personally have 2 120GB USB HD enclosures. 1 primary backup that I carry around all the time. And the 2nd one in case I drop the first which I’ve done before but luckily it was saved by landing on my foot. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve been meaning to do that too… and finally did yesterday. I made a 10gig system partition and I’m in the process of getting all the programs I like on it. Then, I’m making an image of that drive so in the event of a disk crash, virus or whatnot I can reload the image.

Looks like I’m also going to get it setup so I dual boot with Linux

I admit that Linux is no panacea. Wireless drivers are an issue e.g.

My point was more that the greed heads at Microsoft don’t make it easy
to move your hard disk to another computer. I got some very nasty
looking BSODs last time I tried it. Linux and FreeBSD move around
all day long with far fewer hassles. The key thing is to protect your data.
To that end, getting a second hard disk on a second computer and
setting up a small network and backing up across it is advisable.
Additional disks are more protection than additional partitions.

If you want to experiment with Linux, you can try one of these live boot
CDs; they don’t even touch your hard disk.

(duplicate post)

I want to be able to plug in a new motherboard and a new CPU and go back to playing World of Warcraft with the minimum of hassles, problems and with my HD still intact with all the various things collected on it over the time I’ve had it.

I have Windows 2000, a Asus A7S333 mother board and a 1.6 gig AMD Athlon? CPU.


PS. I won’t be using Linux or anything but windows as I have neither the time nor patience to learn or bother with them at this time. Maybe in another year or two.