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Windows XP Upgrade  1 CPU --> CPUs

Posted on 2003-11-07
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Hi all,
I am offering up                                                                                                                                                                                     500 points + 500 bonus points to the person or persons that can best lead me thru an upgrade from an Abit BE-6 single 600mhz P3 to an Abit VP-6 dual 1gig P3, without a clean install. I should preface this by noting I have tried to "R" the found installation, only to have it loop at 34 min remaining, in the next cycle after the hardware detection of the video card. Configuration as follows below:

BE-6, not using HPT-366
Intel P3 600EB 512k Slot 1
512mb CAS3 non parity
AGP NumberNine 8meg (installs as a S3 Graphics Savage4)
Slot 1 -
Slot 2 Realtek RTL8139 NIC
Slot 3 Esoniq Sound
Slot 4 -
Slot 5 Lucent WinModem 56k
Pri Master: Seagate ST320413A 20gig 5400rpm Bootpartition/Linux partition/Linux Swap. Has SuSE 8.2 installed.
Pri Slave: Western Digital WD0600AB-00CDB0 60 gig 5400prm. This drive is partitioned in 6 drives.
F:\Cache (including windows pagefile of 1.2 gig + IE temp folder)
G:\ & H:\ both free space (Photoshop scratch disks, MP3 storage etc.)
I:\  30gig storage

Sec Master:
Yamaha CRW2100E burner

VP-6, using HPT370 at ATA100
Dual 1gig P3 Socket 370 256k
512mb CAS3 non parity
Pri Master LG CDROM 33UDMA
Pri Slave LG CDRW PIO4
Same HD configuration,
Pri Master Seagate, Pri Slave WD, only using the HPT370 controller, and with a WD800 80gig 7200rpm 8mb buffer replacing the 60gig 5400rpm drive which I will eventually mirror with a 2nd WD800. I drive imaged the 60gig, and expanded the partitions to use the free space left.
AGP Same AGP video
Slot 1 - (shares with AGP)
Slot 2 3Com 3C905B-TX NIC
Slot 3 - (poss. Esoniq Sound)
Slot 4 - (poss. Lucent WinModem 56k)
Slot 5 - (shares with HPT370)

I've heard something about resetting the HAL to accept 2 processors before upgrading ?

Other than that; about it - everything else seems normal, so I don't know what it's trying to detect after the video blinks (it checks out ) that would cause it to loop. Ive had the Original system for over 3 years, 1.5 with XP installed. Norton AV and ZoneAlarm are my AV & firewall.
I am using a SP1 slipstreamed version of XP Pro, Original and New sytems.
Please help ease my pain, and for me to not have to install and configure 3 years worth of software and associated data.
Email me with any questions, & thanks in advance.
Question by:crws
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 9700306

Expert Comment

ID: 9701545

you bay have to flash the BIOS but more importantly i think XP may have trouble accepting this new CPU, M$ have made XP so secure that if there was a major hardware change it simply wont start, and the BIOS set back to default may over come this.

LVL 32

Accepted Solution

jhance earned 100 total points
ID: 9701654
Adding a 2nd CPU is NOT a major hardware change.  It simply required the multi-processor HAL as I already noted.  No BIOS flash is likely to be needed here.   Further, the "security" in XP (if you can call it that) has NOTHING to do with accepting hardware.  It's due to limitations in the way PnP and hardware detection works.  This issue is NOT unique to XP.  NT4 and W2K suffer from the same issues.
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Author Comment

ID: 9704668
with your answer, my first dig on Google turned up this article: http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=299340 .
I'm with you on the hardware story, the last thing I want to risk at this point is a bad flash, and add that to the current issues. Is upgrading from a single to a multiprocessor machine something you have sucessfully completed? This is my first attempt, so I'm a learner at this point. Any more info you can pass along is appreciated.


Expert Comment

ID: 9719593
I think that adding a new CPU may change the HAL to such an extent that just porting over the system may not be possible.  SMP (multi-CPU support) is quite a change, kernel-wise, even though most of the rest of the hardware may be unchenged.

Nine times out of ten, if you are changing motherboards to new chipsets, you'll not end up with comparable HALs.

Author Comment

ID: 9720135
Well, I've tried a variety of ways, including forcing the HAL ( F5 ), and other tricks using mirroring to my original installation, but still get the loop reboot at 34 minutes into hardware detection, right after the video card test, to no avail. I too am beggining to think that upgrading to 2 CPU's will require a fresh install, although I would think XP would support an upgrade. I did a successful fresh install of Server 2003, and noticed that HPT 370/372 drivers are now integrated into the installation package. So I'm gonna dig more and see what I can delete and possibly still keep my installed progs. Input is welcome.

Expert Comment

ID: 9933520
This old question needs to be finalized -- accept an answer, split points, or get a refund.  For information on your options, please click here-> http:/help/closing.jsp#1 
Post your closing recommendations!  No comment means you don't care.

Author Comment

ID: 9933730
Unfortuneately there was no definitive answer to this question, even though jhance was in the ballpark. I ended up digging on Microsoft's site over the course of a week or so, and found this article that solved the repair/reinstall of my XP installation, added support for my dual processor upgrade, and left me with my desktop and program links fully intact.
It is very valuable information, Even though it was written in the NT4 days, it worked so well for me that I will be using it again next week when I add a second processor to a Win 2000 installation.
I will be submitting a request to send jhance 100 points in appreciation for his efforts, and request the remainder be refunded. Thanks.

Expert Comment

ID: 11866848
[NOTE:  To anyone needing help on this topic... I’ve fought this problem “the hard way” in the past with solutions similar to those mentioned above.  I stumbled upon this post when I ran into the problem again today and decided to reply with a simplified process.]

I realize that it's been a while since there has been any activity on this subject.  I would like to submit a workable solution to help anyone else out there who wants to quickly enable MP support on XP (for a second CPU or a situation similar to the one I describe below).

In my case, Dell shipped an Inspiron to my company last year with an early revision BIOS that did not correctly recognize the Intel P4 HT processor installed in the system (believe it or not).  This laptop recently came into my possession and I was highly annoyed at the fact that Windows XP was installed with the ACPI PC HAL (halacpi.dll).  I intend to use this laptop for software development and multiprocessor support speeds up my compilations by a significant amount.  (BTW, it is possible to do SMP compilation with the standard Visual Studio CL.EXE compiler.)  Updating the BIOS to the latest revision fixed the hardware-level problem; unfortunately, XP was installed with the wrong HAL, which complicates the remaining process.

The standard solution is to go into Device Manager, select 'Computer' and pick 'Update Driver...'.  Then, you basically select the appropriate multiprocessor HAL (typically, the ACPI version).  Unfortunately, in my case (and for many others out there), the multiprocessor HALs were not installed by Dell at the factory.  All is not lost, however...

First, find the appropriate kernel for your situation.  In my case, I wanted to upgrade to ‘halmacpi.dll’.  Here’s a good Microsoft reference document if you need help selecting the appropriate one:

HAL Options After Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 Setup

You _must_ match the HAL up with the version of Windows XP you’re running.  On this particular laptop, the system had Windows XP SP1a installed.  Fortunately, the driver for the original installation and SP1 were still in “C:\WINDOWS\Driver Cache\I386\”.  I extracted the files I needed from SP1.CAB into “C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32” and proceeded to update my “C:\boot.ini” boot loader file to reboot with the appropriate HAL.  I frequently modify my boot settings for various reasons, so rather than go into gory details here, Mark Russinovich has an excellent reference document at this link:


Once you’ve extracted the source files listed below, just open a command window and run these commands:

> copy ntkrnlmp.exe ntoschk.exe
> copy ntkrpamp.exe ntoschkpa.exe
> copy halmacpi.dll halchk.dll

Copy your existing boot entry in ‘boot.ini’, rename the new entry to something like “Windows XP Multiprocessor”, then append the following commands (matching Mark’s document above):  “/KERNEL=NTOSCHK.EXE /HAL= HALCHK.DLL”.  Save the file, reboot, hit the F8 key, select the SMP boot entry and you’re off…

Windows XP should boot up and begin detecting the new setup when you log in.  When you’re satisfied with system stability and performance, go back to the Device Manager and upgrade the ‘Computer’ driver (as described above).  The multiprocessor HALs should now appear.  Select the appropriate HAL and reboot when prompted.  The additional ‘boot.ini’ entry is no longer necessary and can be deleted.  With any luck, everything should work happily from there.

I’ve used a variation of this approach on various dual P3 and P4 HT motherboards.  I hope this saves someone out there a lot of time and agony.

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