Does installing a new motherboard and CPU running Windows XP PRO always necessitate "re-installing all applications software"?

I have a PIII 933 with 512MB of RAM, running Win XP Professional.
I have an ADAPTEC RAID CARD, and two 80 GB WDC Hard Drives.

I want/need either to:

1)  Upgrade my motherboard and CPU to a faster chip, because I want to do more video editing of AVI's and SWF's.

OR:

2)  Buy new machine altogether.

Problem;

I have TONS of "niche-type" software.......that I don't want to have to "re-install" or mess with, if it can be avoided...

My question is this:

If I have a shop install a new, faster CPU and motherboard, I've been told conflicting tales...some people say I "WILL" have to re-install a lot of my existing software....others have said that all that's necessary is for the new motherboard/CPU to be installed, and then a "REPAIR INSTALL" of WinXP Professional would get the machine "back up just like it was".

My main concern is NOT LOSING ANY PRODUCTIVITY TIME......

I'm interested in learning if I should UPGRADE...or if buying a new machine would be "safer" and then I just move the specific video applications over to the new machine...

Also, my 80GB mirrored WDC drives are partitioned, 10GB in "C:" and 70 GB in "E"...and I'm running out of space in "C:" and Partition Magic 7.0 won't allow me to RE-PARTITION a "MIRRORED DRIVE"...that's also why I need to do something...only have 1.6GB of space left on "C:".
mlsvzAsked:
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CallandorCommented:
Statistically speaking, the repair install should work, but is not 100% guaranteed.  In that case, you should back up anything important before doing it.  Performance-wise, a clean install is better, because there is less chance of conflicting drivers and you don't load any of the old stuff that you don't use but forgot about.  Since your main concern is not losing productivity, I would normally say do the backup and go for the repair install.  The catch is, you have a RAID setup, and unless your new motherboard has the same RAID chipset (or you are using a PCI RAID card), you are not going to get your RAID working in the new system.  That means a new install.
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mlsvzAuthor Commented:
Ok, I do have an Adaptec PCI Raid Card....
A "clean" install "would" require all of my software to be "re-installed", correct?

Would a better solution be to buy a new machine, and have the data from the existing hard drives "copied/moved" to new hard drives? Would that save me from having to reinstall dozens of programs, some of which I'm sure I cannot find my "license keys" etc...since I purchased many of them via ESD (electronic software download)...?

I just want to minimize the "hassles" of the upgrade.....lol...but I guess everyone does.
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CallandorCommented:
> A "clean" install "would" require all of my software to be "re-installed",
> correct?

Yes.

>Would a better solution be to buy a new machine, and have the data from the existing hard drives >"copied/moved" to new hard drives? Would that save me from having to reinstall dozens of >programs, some of which I'm sure I cannot find my "license keys" etc...since I purchased many of >them via ESD (electronic software download)...?

This would not work.  Most programs have registry entries, and those would need to be inserted on the new machine as well.  The paths may be different, so you would need to reinstall all programs.

Without the license keys, a repair install is the only option.  Make sure you have a backup.
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mlsvzAuthor Commented:
Thank you.

I should upgrade my initial "GOOD" rating to "EXCELLENT" because I can see that the quality of the initial answer exceeded my "non-technical" ability to grasp the implications of my questions......

I will ponder this before proceeding.

Thanks again! This forum is excellent. I was lucky to stumble upon it.
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CallandorCommented:
Glad I could help.  If you want to revise the grade, post a note in Community Support with a link to this question.
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