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upgrading motherboard without reinstalling

Posted on 2004-10-28
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Last Modified: 2010-04-14
I was given a dual processor amd motherboard.

Currently I am running an amd single processor athlon system.
Windows 2000 advanced server is my OS.
The hard drive is a 100 gb IDE drive connected to the motherboard (not connected to an ATA card).

I would like to be able to setup my system on the dual processor motherboard without reinstalling windows.

Is there a cut and dry fool-proof (99% fool proof at least) method of going about the transition to the new motherboard?
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Question by:toedrag
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16 Comments
 
LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 12437382
Not really - doing that tends to create problems with your OS - IF it boots (the HAL should work on a dual board), then you can upgrade it to support dual cpus in Device manager by updating the computer driver.
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Author Comment

by:toedrag
ID: 12437473
Yeah - I've tried it in the past and usually just get a BSOD. I was thinking maybe if I got the current single processor system to boot off of an ATA 100 card instead of the motherboard, the OS would be using the driver for the ATA 100 card. Then when I move it to the dual processor system, it will have a common driver from which to boot the OS and *maybe* I could get it to boot and have something to work with.
Will this work?
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 12437496
I think you summarized it well - *maybe* you could get it to boot.  The change in driver sets for all the motherboard hardware - not just the ATA controller - could be causing the BSOD - I just wouldn't do it that way.  I would reinstall.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:tonkajeep34
ID: 12438048
Based on the HAL that leew mentioned above windows creates a unique key and if the HAL changes too much you will get the BSOD. If the motherboard is the same brand/model, just dual CPU you should be able to get away with it... then the tricky part would be getting the SMP driver loaded without killing windows.

I did it once with an old Dual Pentium pro IBM machine... it had been running with a single processor, I added the second and it would boot into windows and worked fine, it only recognized one CPU though. where I ended up killing windows was by trying to add the SMP kernel.

I know this isn't want you want to hear, but you'll have fewer headaches if you backup and do a clean install.

Good luck
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Author Comment

by:toedrag
ID: 12438131
I have IIS and .net framework setup, terminal services, etc. This stuff is pain to configure as well as all the settings for my apps and all the apps that are installed. How well does MS backup do as far as restoring goes? Would I be able to backup everything (system state, program files, etc) and do restore? or would this be asking for big problems also?

How would you go about it? I'm sure myself, and everyone else included, that no one likes to have to setup their system again, after they are really happy with how it is currently setup.

I would really like to take advantage of the dual processor.
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Expert Comment

by:tonkajeep34
ID: 12438269
I've only chosen to restore sytem state etc. a few time, i've found that for most of my servers i can rebuild it quicker than i can get the tapes back from Iron Mountain.... that said I use Veritas Backup Exec and it lays the system state and nessesary file down onto the same server pretty well. The key difference is what'll happen when you backup a single processor machine and restore to a dual processor machine... I don't know i've never tried it.

I've used NT backup on my home pc running XP pro a couple times and it seems to work ok but i've not tried it on server.

IF the main issue is reconfiguring IIS, you can backup the directories and also create a backup of the IIS metabase. After you've rebuilt you can copy the files back and restore the IIS metabase file and you'll be running again. Your other apps may be more involved.

As far as rebuilding i agree, i've got a file server at home running software raid that i'd like to put the new hardware raid card in, but i don't want to take the time/energy to do it right now...



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LVL 96

Accepted Solution

by:
Lee W, MVP earned 252 total points
ID: 12438332
Sorry, system state is going to restore everything you want - AND everything you don't want that would cause the BSOD.  Though I disagree with tonkajeep's HAL comment - I have personally upgraded NT4 by switching HALs per articles on the internet without problems - if I'm not mistaken, there are a few HALs based on core hardware architecture, and that's it.  You need the right one for the hardware.  There are a few other support files - ASSUMING things haven't changed TOO much from NT 4 (though I know they have changed alot).
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Expert Comment

by:tonkajeep34
ID: 12438371
yes my comment only applies to windows 2000 and newer, you are correct NT,98, etc. you can do no problem...
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Author Comment

by:toedrag
ID: 12443374
So there is no utility (MS or 3rd party) that can "prepare" my system for getting new hardware? Or like was mentioned above, load a basic HAL that will be compatible with most hardware. This seems like it shouldn't be that hard. I just can't imagine large companies that go to upgrade their servers and have to completely reinstall, especially when they would have way more setup on their boxes than I do on mine. We have taken our unix server here at work and just plugged in the scsi controller to a quad opteron box and it just came right up and kept on working.
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Assisted Solution

by:tonkajeep34
tonkajeep34 earned 248 total points
ID: 12443910
I don't know of any utilities, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

You might look into trying to remove all the system devices from device manage, Make a backup first that way if you need to go back to the old board you can. then shutdown before it re-detects anything and put in the new motherboard, when you boot it back up hopefully it would find all the new devices on the new motherboard.
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Author Comment

by:toedrag
ID: 12443962
Yeah thats sort of risky, but if I ghosted it to a new drive and tried it with that drive, if it failed, that wouldn't be a big deal.
I will give that a go sometime this weekend.
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LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 14447615
I don't know... I'd think a split... but I leave it up to the mods... tonkajeep34 did contribute more...
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Expert Comment

by:tonkajeep34
ID: 14452126
I think a split would be Fair also...
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