New Motherboard, RAM, CPU, but why will Windows refuse to install?

By cspencer@unitedconsulting ·
Hi, we just installed a new motherboard, RAM, and the CPU, but Windows will not install because it thinks that the motherboard is not existent in the computer. We need to keep the programs on the computer there as well as the data that is currently there as well. What would be the best course of action?

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Answers

Collapse -

More info

by markp24 In reply to New Motherboard, RAM, CPU ...


So you basically used a prior machines hard drive (and kep the exisitng windows installtion from the old machin on it) and upgraded the Motherboard, ram and CPU.
if thats the case then, Microsoft requires you to reactivate the product. You also may be required to reinstall the OS (i would recommend doing a clean install after backing up the drive and its data)(you most likly will need to reinstall all the applications as well, so make sure you have the original CD or installtion files), and you can restore the user data from you backup.
you may want to read these for clarification on Windows activation rules:

Collapse -

Reponse To Answer

by cspencer@unitedconsulting In reply to More info

Uh, well, we can't even boot up XP, so we can't activate it unless we contact Microsoft. So how would we boot up the system?

Collapse -

Reponse To Answer

by cspencer@unitedconsulting In reply to More info

Would you know how to start XP so we can activate it?

Collapse -

Clean Install with new hardware

by PittDaddy In reply to New Motherboard, RAM, CPU ...

You will most likely have to do a clean install from the CD. This means you may have to set your BIOS to boot from the CD. When booting from the CD, you might be able to do a Recover of the existing system, but that is not likely. As the first answer said, this means you will probably have to reinstall every application once you get the operating system reinstalled. If you need to reactivate and do not have internet access, you can call Microsoft with the information from your original license. They will then give you the activation codes. My suggestion would be, if you are going through all this trouble, you should upgrade to Windows 7 now. As long as you don't reformat the drive, you should be able to retain all your data files.

Collapse -

Reponse To Answer

by ExEC135CrewDog In reply to Clean Install with new ha ...

Not directly to 7 from XP

Collapse -

OEM Version?

by oldbaritone In reply to New Motherboard, RAM, CPU ...

If the Windows was OEM to one brand, and you put a generic Mobo in, it probably doesn't have the drivers it needs. You need to boot from the OEM CD (did you make one?) and let it install drivers for the new hardware. You may also need to "Press F6 to install additional drivers" during boot. Then repair the installation.

And if it still doesn't want to boot, try putting the disk controllers on the new mobo into IDE mode in BIOS. Sometimes that works, and then you can d/l the manufacturer's drivers and install them to improve performance after Windows is up and running.


Just bite the bullet and buy a retail-box edition

Collapse -

Hardware changes...

by trenton.wilkins In reply to New Motherboard, RAM, CPU ...

Windows uses a setup called a HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) to identify the PC's hardware. If you make more than a couple of changes at a time the HAL freaks out. Microsoft requires you to do a 'Repair Install':

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Repair Install to SET XP to New Motherboard
1. Do Not BOOT into Windows XP on first boot after Motherboard or Hard Drive
change! If booting from CD is not an option, return to BIOS and make sure
booting from CD is the first boot option. Booting into Windows is only an
option when you do a direct replacement of the Motherboard.
2. If your computer does not support booting from the CD, check your OEM or
Motherboard makers web site for updated BIOS.
3. Perform a Repair Install by following the step by step below.
When you see the "Welcome To Setup" screen, you will see the options below
This portion of the Setup program prepares Microsoft
Windows XP to run on your computer:

To setup Windows XP now, press ENTER.

To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R.

To quit Setup without installing Windows XP, press F3.
Press Enter to start the Windows Setup.
Accept the License Agreement and Windows will search for existing Windows
Select the XP installation you want to repair from the list and press R to
start the repair.
Setup will copy the necessary files to the hard drive and reboot. Do not
press any key to boot from CD when the message appears. Setup will continue
as if it were doing a clean install, but your applications and settings will
remain intact.

Collapse -

What are you using to attempt to install from?

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to New Motherboard, RAM, CPU ...

If it's a System Makers OEM Recovery Disc most do not support the Option of what M$ call a Up Grade/In Place Install. The full details for performing one of these installs is here

Most system Makers Recovery Disc's are bound to the Original Hardware and if it is not found you will get screwy Error Messages like M'Board not Found.

The way around this is to use a M$ branded OEM Install Disc or a M$ Retail Disc but not a System Makers Recovery Disc.

If you do not have a M$ Branded Disc with a Suitable Product Key you can not perform a In Place/Up Grade Install and you will not be able to use this HDD with this hardware as a working system.


Related Discussions

Related Forums