Replacing a dead motherboard

Posted on 2007-10-18
Last Modified: 2013-11-09
ok so a colleague of mine brought in her bf's emachine desktop which doesnt power on.  He had replaced the power supply but still no sign of life.  Anyways there's def power to the board as indicated by a green led on the board. but i just cant get it to start.  The old power supply has definitely died.  So i am going to suggest replacing the Motherboard CPU and Memory with a motherboard bundle which will prob cost less than £100.  Once i've replaced all the parts will i be able to boot the machine using the existing XP install or am i going to have to reinstall the OS too?

I have considered replacing the motherboard with an exact same model but i fear that if i do that theirs a good chance the CPU will be dead too and i dont have a way to test the CPU.  I've tested the memory in another system and that works but its a pitiful 256MB.

Thanks for any advice?
Question by:JCSUK
    LVL 70

    Accepted Solution

    With a different motherboard & CPU you'll have to do a Repair Install of XP on the current installation; which will require an XP CD ==> the system may not have come with one (many low cost machines only come with "restore disks" ... essentially an image that can be restored; but not an actual OS installation disk).

    Otherwise, you'll have to reinstall the OS & all applications from scratch.

    The exception to this is that IF you get a new motherboard with the same chipset as the current one, the old disk MAY boot okay.   It will almost certainly require re-activation of XP, but that shouldn't be a problem (with one caveat which I'll describe next).

    There's one potential complication that may require you to buy a new copy of XP ==>  If E-Machines uses a BIOS-tied version of XP (i.e. it's linked to the e-machines BIOS) then the current OS will NOT work on a new motherboard.   I don't know if E-Machines uses BIOS-linked versions of XP or not.

    Author Comment

    Thanks for the advice how do i do a repair install?
    LVL 70

    Expert Comment

    LVL 32

    Expert Comment

    As per Gary's comment on the Bios lnked XP. Emachines use SLP. The SLP(System Locked Preinstallation) version that Emachine uses is tied to the bios of the original motherboard an cannot be installed on another .
    LVL 70

    Expert Comment

    I couldn't remember the formal term --  SLP (thanks spark).

    ... but clearly that means you'll have to buy a new copy of XP to install on the new motherboard.   A repair install won't work, because the re-activation will fail.


    Assisted Solution

    I had exactly the same problem with an e-machine.
    I also thought that the mobo was OK because of the green light but I was wrong.
    I replaced the PSU first with no success.
    I then replaced the mobo and nothing else which resolved the problem.

    1st problem; I had great difficulty sourcing a mobo which was compatible with the e-machines case.

    1st good thing: I re-installed XP from a standard XP installation disk from my laptop and it installed OK using the serial number from my e-machines case and it also validated no problem with windows genuine advantage.

    If you have access to another desktop I suggest you test your PSU before replacing it as mine turned out to be OK.
    If you have the technical ability required you could also test the PSU out of the machine as described here:
    LVL 32

    Expert Comment

    As a follow up to 27alan27's method.
     I had a dead E-Machine T2642 on the bench and pulled the hard drive. I successfully did a repair install on the E-Machine hard drive to a totally unrelated motherboard, using a retail version of XP Home, and the E-Machine XP Home Product key. The validation also worked flawlessly.
    Good info 27alan27.

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