Motherboard replacment first time

Posted on 2008-10-04
Last Modified: 2013-11-09
I think I need to replace the motherboard on my computer.  have already bought a new OEM motherboard.  have replaced power supplies, cards, memory, and drives before, but never a motherboard. How big a job will it be to replace the old one? Is there anything I need to know before attempting this? Also, the O/S software is OEM (Windows XP). Is there a way to avoid having to buy a new copy? My understanding is that a new motherboard is seen as a new computer. And if there is a way, is it possible to do so without losing the data on the boot drive? Please let me know if more details are required. Thanks.
Question by:Ikijibiki
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LVL 15

Assisted Solution

by:Haris Djulic
Haris Djulic earned 50 total points
ID: 22642029
if the motherboard is the same type and brand it shouldnt be any problem with the OS...

im just not sure about the OEM versions, i did that on the non OEM version and it work just fine... same
LVL 32

Accepted Solution

willcomp earned 450 total points
ID: 22642144
You will be able to use existing copy of XP; however you will probably need an OEM XP Pro CD with same SP as installed on PC.

After such a significant hardware change, a repair install of XP is usually required to allow for all the hardware changes.

Author Comment

ID: 22642247

My questions were pretty specific:

1: Is this a difficult task considering my experience?

2: Will I have problem using an OEM CD with a new motherboard? I think the installed version was upgraded to SP3; the version on the CD is probably SP2.

3: Is there a way to keep the data that is on my boot HD?  (I want to avoid reformatting or overwriting existing data.)

Whoever can answer these questions in more detail gets my undying appreciation. And 500 points if the solution works.


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LVL 32

Assisted Solution

willcomp earned 450 total points
ID: 22642291
1. Can't say for sure. CPU HSF and CPU will need to be removed and reinstalled with new thermal compound. If it's not an identical or very similar motherboard, front panel connectors can be tricky. If you feel comfortable trying, we can assist. A motherboard changeout in an OEM case with custom components is often not a simple task. Since I've never even seen a system like yours, I don't know what "gotchas" may be lurking.

2. Already answered.

3. A repair install simply installs XP on top of itself without affecting data or installed programs.

One further note: If you have an HP OEM XP CD with SP2, uninstall SP3 prior to mobo changeout. I've had problems slipstreaming SPs into HP CDs (slipstreaming worked but XP installation does not work properly). If you have a standard MS OEM CD, then slipstream SP3 into CD. More info on slipstreaming:

Author Comment

ID: 22642377
1. Sorry if I wasn't clear -- I have replaced CPUs before and probably even still have some Arctic Silver compound lying around. I was hoping someone might have specific knowledge of this box. I have an OEM motherboard that I want to put into an OEM computer with OEM components. I purchased the computer used (it is out of production) and it came with no OS. I installed XP from a Microsoft OEM CD (not an HP recovery CD or anything like that).

2. The computer will not power up. If there is a way to downgrade XP from SP3 to SP2 from the boot drive I would  be interested in hearing how that is done.

I hate to be so picky, but this is a workstation that is optimized for one task (video editing using Avid Media Composer). There are only a handful of computers and specific configurations (right down to the driver version for the video card) that Avid certifies to ensure the editing program will run the way it is supposed to. So I am just trying to make sure this is doable before I start in on it.
LVL 32

Assisted Solution

willcomp earned 450 total points
ID: 22642419
There's some confusion about OEM here. From question, I gather it's an HP PC that you plan to install an OEM (non HP) motherboard in. What exactly do you have?

Slipstream SP3 onto your XP CD. No need to remove SP3 from existing install.

One caveat --> After changing motherboards, do not reconnect hard disk(s) until you verify that system is working and you can boot from a CD.


Author Closing Comment

ID: 31503092
Thanks for everyone's help, but I had hoped someone would be able to supply me with a bit more definitive information. I said at the beginning that I was using an OEM install CD, so the information based on a full (non-OEM) install disc was irrelevant. And I thought I made it clear that I was replacing an OEM motherboard WITH another OEM motherboard. The HP xw8200 is built to a standard specification, which is readily available online, so not being familiar with the configuration really wasn't an excuse, in my opinion. I even found the service manual online.
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 22646820
It would have been clear if you had ever stated that you were replacing an HP motherboard with an identical HP motherboard. I tried to elicit details needed but you apparently did not understand the questions.

In our world (repair experts), OEM has different connotations.

When you replace a motherboard with a different (OEM) motherboard, familiarity with fit and cable placement is critical.

So, bottom line is that I don't particularly agree with nor appreciate your comments.

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