new motherboard/cpu/memory on XP Pro SP2 but didn't prepare

We didn't prepare the machine to change out the motherboard,cpu,memory, but after much hair pullling on the part of my husband's expert work, we've gotten XP to load all the way up screen with white mouse pointer. CTRL+ALT+DEL does not bring up anything so that avenue's out for adjusting the video driver.

USB's also, the external combo drives, were dropped along with the video.

We loaded the XP from our hard drives, by installing one and then deleting the other. There were two installing kind of simultaneously, and then hanging, but we figured that out, got this far so far.

We cannot wipe the drives, it is not an option. We must succeed at this. Life threatening stuff, for real, if we lose that data. Can't back it up because of the nature of the data being saved and saved over 15 years of technology. We've held onto the drives and upgraded the system over and over, but it can't be saved off and reloaded.

I'm not an expert but my husband can understand the most technical geeky explanations and instructions you have, and is well equipped to handle whatever help you can offer.

We're considering putting the old hardware back in, re-authenticating it again and then preparing it for switching out the hardware. But, hubs has had this much success so far by manipulating the files from DOS so I'd like to continue without moving the hardware again.

This might be the most difficult problem we've had in upgrading a system so far, in many years of being at this. Would appreciate some real knowledge of file systems, hacks, technical details. Yes, should have prepared differently, but it didn't

It is quite urgent, we are dealing with a spinal cord injury with intractable pain, impending further surgeries and hospitalization, major legal meetings coming up, malpractice suits, and this machine is the key.

We need to get that XP loaded and working on the new hardware, whatever it takes. We'd order an original set of disks to solve it that way, but we live in Costa Rica, and it takes 3 weeks for them to get here. Don't have the time. Seems that if we can get the device drivers taken care of, we have a good chance. We do not have another XP machine to hook up to, and load up through a network.

I apologize if I'm spacey, but I will be right here to see if you guys can help us get this done. We will not log off and sleep either, promise.

Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Have you tried booting it up in safe mode with network drivers?  This way you might be able to get to the Internet and download the correct drivers.  
Erik BjersPrincipal Systems AdministratorCommented:
We're considering putting the old hardware back in --- may not work as your drivers may be messed up

Run a repair install of Windows
Boot from the XP CD

When prompted select r to do a repair install, DO NOT GO TO RECOVERY CONSOL

if you swapped the mobo, look here what to do :      move XP to other mobo;nl;314070                       "     "     "    "      "   
CompTIA Network+

Prepare for the CompTIA Network+ exam by learning how to troubleshoot, configure, and manage both wired and wireless networks.

cstrcstamystAuthor Commented:
We did try the repair install, did not work, would freeze up.

And nobus, i read that help file on moving xp to another mobo, and my main concern was that that help file was 3 years old. Does it make a difference?

We are headed in this direction........we haven't messed up the data on the drives, and have backed down and removed what we've done, will put the other hardware back in, start anew. After we get back from the hospital tomorrow, if they let us go.

I will be back.

i never heard it makes a difference
Erik BjersPrincipal Systems AdministratorCommented:
When you make a major hardware change including MOBO and CPU all the drivers you had are now invalid (unless you use the exact same modle as before)

I am in 100% concurrance with ebjers, a new MOBO means that the drivers you had before are now basically useless.  Windows has drivers for just about everything on the MB.

Swapping out a MOBO (with a different model) without doing a re-install is not an easy task.   In fact even if it is the same model, typically it must be the same PCB revision level also.  Sometimes with new revision levels some of the chipsets have have changed and need different drivers also.

If you can get the PC back to booting and can access the files, you best bet is to leave as is if you can.  If you really need a MOBO upgrade, then backup/copy all of the files you need to another harddrive or some other external device.  Then wipe and restall the OS after the MOBO replacement, then restore/copy the files back.  This assumes that you have the install materials for all software you have.
cstrcstamystAuthor Commented:
we are getting a new hard drive today, and will clean install xp on it, then slave the other hard drive with all the data on it. should work, will letcha know pretty soon.

Amy you need to get the drivers for your new MOBO,

hopefully they came in a disk with the board, but if not, you need to look on the board for large white lettering (about equivalent 16-18pt font) that has the motherboard model number.  Then google the number to find the manufacturer page (or if manufacturer name is on the mobo just find their website).  From there you can download the essential drivers.  Once you install them you should get functionality, audio, video drivers etc.,

dognamedmoses: She can't get to the device manager to install the drivers.

It's unfortunate that the repair installation isn't working. Generally, that IS the answer when switching to a new motherboard but retaining all the programs and settings.

But if it's actually just DATA files that are the most important, then... yeah, you can definitely try doing a fresh install with another drive and slaving the existing one to get the data off.
Either put the hard drives in another box, as secondary to the other box's drive and Operating System, or, buy a completely new hard drive and put only that drive in your current machine.

Install to this new hard drive, get it running right, and then add the old hard drives, one at a time.  Make sure you jumper correctly.  Do not change or write anything to those hard drives, they should remain basically as read only hard drives.

When you can see them, and their directories, one way or another you should be able to read all of the files, and/or make a disk image, just as a precaution.  This means, however, you will need a new drive large enough to partition into spaces large enough to hold each of the old hard drives separately.  And, make sure when you first install a new hard drive that you partition it; don't just put 300 gig on one gargantuan paritition.

The idea is to preserve and have a backup copy in case something further goes wrong.

Because you switched motherboards as you did, you've confused the repair process.

Don't follow any advice to use fdisk, or try to fix the mbr.  Don't try any more installs or repairs on the old drive(s).  You must first make up for the preparation you missed the first time by capturing the data somewhere where it won't get wiped out by either install or repair process.

And read up on pre setup here:
and here:

Adjust to your own system, and you don't have to consider the part about DOS and other versions of Windows, just follow the suggestions for partitioning size, perhaps the pagefile [but even this is not necessary, just the split partitioning is really suggested].

Even if you already installed the new XP, I would suggest uninstalling it on the new hard drive, reformatting, and starting over using a better partitioning scheme so that this doesn't happen again in the future.

Had you previously partitioned such that the Operating System was on one disk or partition, user and applications on a second, and databases on a third, you wouldn't have lost all of your data.  This is what pre planning and pre setup is all about, saving data before you lose it.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Erik BjersPrincipal Systems AdministratorCommented:
What ever you do to get it working, once you get it working you should copy all the critical data to a second hard drive (Physical disk and not a partition), use this drive for only your data.  This way if you have to rebuild or upgrade again, you will not loose the data.

cstrcstamystAuthor Commented:
okay, we bought a new hard drive, clean installed XP, and so far so good.........but it's asking for a password to get into windoze, is booting off the mobo disk and won't boot off HD yet.

we've not tried everything yet, and at least we're out of frustration mode and into progress mode.

cstrcstamystAuthor Commented:
hte hard drive we bought by the way was Seagate 160G. detected it, installed XP, on our way, still confused though, but a lot happier than before. thanks for hanging in there with us.

cstrcstamystAuthor Commented:
okay, i was unclear. no matter how we boot, it wants a password to log in. no matter what we put, get a little error popup and we click okay, then it reverts to the user selection window and wants a password.
cstrcstamystAuthor Commented:
"The system cannot log you on due to the following error: the specified domain could not exist or could not be contacted."

That's what it says in response to trying to put in a password at the user selection window.

When you installed it did you set it up for DOMAIN or Workgroup?  It sounds like you have it on a domain.
cstrcstamystAuthor Commented:
responds the same in safe mode. amy
Erik BjersPrincipal Systems AdministratorCommented:
When loging in do you see a line that says log into (if not click the options button)

Make sure that line says (local Computer) when you are trying to log in.

cstrcstamystAuthor Commented:
i guess we can reinstall it, but it only took 19 minutes to install and it didn't ask for workgroup or domain. fishy. it won't take that long to reinstall it, is that the thing to do?
cstrcstamystAuthor Commented:
WE'RE IN, good to go. installed fine this time. thank you very much for all your help.

It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Operating Systems

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.