New Motherboard and Processer - now windows won't start

Posted on 2009-04-23
Last Modified: 2013-11-09
I am trying to upgrade a computer that has a ton of information and programs on it. I bought and installed a new motherboard and processor, new ram, and new power supply. When I turn the computer on, it goes to the "Biostar" (motherboard) screen, then to the windows welcome screen, but the progress bar only goes across 1 /12 times-it stops halfway on the second pass every time, and then restarts and goes back to the Biostar welcome screen and then the whole screen message about "Windows did not start successfully" and it gives the option to start in safe mode and all that. If I try and start in safe mode, it displays the screen with all the info like it's going to start up, but then it just restarts the whole thing over again.

I took it to a computer repair shop and they charged me $50 and told me that when you change the motherboard and processor that you have to reinstall Windows and all of your programs and then reinstall everything on your hard drive. I have never heard this before. I have upgraded computers before and as long as I did not put in a new hard drive I did not have to install windows again. In fact I completely built a computer from the ground up and just used an old hard drive with Windows installed and all I had to do was register the licence and everything was intact.

What should I do? Is there a way to get this working and not lose anything on the hard drive?
Question by:JustDuckyDesigns
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    During the installation process of Windows, it installs a variety of low level drivers that help it work on the hardware on which it is installed.

    If at some point afterwards, you change that hardware drastically, as you have done, and especially if it deals with the processor and motherboard, the drivers Windows currently has are no longer correct.

    Theoretically, it might be possible to get the old operating system to boot on the new system, but in practice, it is almost always easier and faster to reinstall windows.

    On the bright side, you have not lost any DATA.  Your data is still all intact.

    You should be able to put a Windows CD in and install Windows again being very careful not to let it format or erase anything.  When Windows boots up, your data should be on the hard drive.

    To be extra careful, I would get a new hard drive and install Windows on that one and then access all your old data on your old drive and copy or move it over as necessary (or leave it in place as a new data drive.)

    You will likely have to reinstall all your programs though, as a new installation means new registry and that means many programs will no longer work correctly until you reinstall it.
    LVL 95

    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    The key NOT having to re-install is a matched motherboard chipset.  If you changed the chipset, then you will almost certainly have to reinstall.  Changed CPUs, Changed RAM, Changed Graphics Cards, Changed Network Cards, Changed Audio Devices, etc don't really matter - they are not CRITICAL to windows booting up.  But the chipset is and it's linked to the hard disk controller (one of the reasons it's critical).  MAYBE, if you spend hours and hours trying to get it working, MAYBE you'll have some luck.  You can TRY a repair install... You can TRY an Upgrade to Vista.  But as lkraven suggests, your best option (in my opinion) is a compete reinstall.
    LVL 70

    Expert Comment

    "... that has a ton of information and programs on it ..." ==> Clearly your primary goal here is to (a) not lose any of the information on the drive; and (b) keep the installed programs (if possible).

    You should, of course, already have a good backup of all your data -- but many folks don't;  so if you're in that situation, I'd simply remove the drive;  buy a new drive; and install Windows on the new drive before you do ANYTHING with the old drive.   Otherwise you risk losing your data.

    After you have Windows installed on the new drive, connect the old drive as a 2nd drive and copy all of your data to the new drive.   If you have the installation media for your programs, the best thing to do at that pont is simply install the programs on the new install and all will be well.

    But if you don't have the installation media for the programs, but DO have an XP CD, you can try a "Repair Install" of XP on the old drive [But don't do this before you have your data backed up].   There are several keys to a successful repair install => the primary one is that the XP CD must be at the same (or later) service pack level as the version on the disk.   So if you've updated to SP3, but your install CD is an older one (pre-SP, SP1, or SP2) it won't work --> you'll have to slipstream the service packs and create an updated installation CD before you can do a repair installation.

    The best approach ... as already noted ... is to do a complete new install.   But if you don't have backups of your data, be sure to use a different hard drive => that's by far the "safest" way to approach this.
    LVL 26

    Expert Comment

    See this article:

    Changing a Motherboard or Moving a Hard Drive with XP Installed

    If still no go, the previous experts have already provided your best option.

    Author Comment

    I didn't want to lose the data OR the programs that are installed. They are recording software programs that are very picky about file placement and they also have a lot of plugins and add in's that would be a nightmare to have to re-install. What are my best options for keeping the data and programs in place.

    The repair shop that I took it to said that the only thing I could do is to put the old motherboard and processor back. Which I just did. Now the computer will not turn on at all - nothing - no beeps - no fans spin up anywhere, not even in the power supply. All of these things worked before! What have I done?
    LVL 95

    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    Small chance you shorted something out and fried the board or power supply.  More likely, something isn't connected properly.  Reseat everything.  IF that doesn't work, start from scratch, leave nothing but the power supply and CPU connected to the board (probably RAM too since it should have problems posting without it and if your onboard speaker isn't connected properly or the mainboard doesn't have the appropriate components, you might not get beeps.  Then start adding one item at a time back to the system.

    Actually, first, I'd reseat the video card.
    LVL 26

    Expert Comment

    Also, if you do go with leew's last suggestion, I'd recommend that you start with only one stick of RAM and then add more as the system comes back up.
    LVL 70

    Accepted Solution

    You have two issues here:

    (1)  Getting the original system working again.


    (2)  Moving your program and data in the least "painful" way in terms of reinstalling everything.

    First you need to get the original system working.   I suspect leew's correct in that you've simply failed to connect something; or have shorted the motherboard.   Assemble the system outside the case and see if it works okay there.   Also, be sure you are VERY "static-sensitive" when handling the motherboard and CPU (all of the internals are sensitive to static discharges; but the CPU and motherboard chipset are especially sensitive).   It's a good idea to wear a well-grounded anti-static wrist strap when handling these components ... but if you can't be sure you've grounded yourself for a few seconds BEFORE touching them (so you don't have any residual static).

    In any event, reassemble it VERY carefully, one step at a time ==> be sure you don't have any shorts;  if you're doing it in the case, be sure the standoffs are all in the correct postiion for THAT motherboad;  be sure all of the power plugs are correctly installed; etc.   You shouldn't have any problem getting it working again if you're very methodical about the process.

    Once you get the old system working, you can attack issue #2.   Since you don't want to reinstall your programs (the best approach), there are two methods you could use for this:

    #1 ==>  If you have the appropriate installation media, you can try a repair install, as noted before.

    #2 ==>  If you don't; or if you want to be sure the OS is "cleanly" installed (a good idea), you can buy a copy of PC Mover [ ]; install it on the old system; and "tell" it you want to move your programs and data via an external hard drive.    You will, of course, need an external hard drive :-)   Once it's put all the data it needs to do the move on the external hard drive; you can then reconfigure your system with the new motherboard/CPU/memory and install a fresh copy of Windows.   [Disconnect the external hard drive until you need it again for PC Mover.]  Then just install PC Mover on that system (a single copy allows both of these installs); and it will then restore your programs and data from the external hard drive.
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    You could also try to preform a repair instalation of the OS.  This sould preserve your installed applications and change out the low level drivers.  You will need to get all the MS updates after you finish as well as update all of your drivers.  

    Instructions for a repair instalation can be found here:

    Boot from your Windows XP CD. Insert the Windows XP CD into your computer's CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive, and then restart your computer. When the "Press any key to boot from CD" message appears on the screen, press a key to start your computer from the Windows XP CD. Can't boot from your CD? Please see the note at the bottom of this page (Configuring Your Computer to Boot from CD).

    A blue screen will appear and begin loading Windows XP Setup from the CD.

    Note: RAID/SCSI/Unsupported UDMA users:
    You will be prompted to "press F6 to install any third party SCSI or RAID drivers". Most users will not have to press F6, but if you are running RAID, SCSI or unsupported UDMA controllers, then you will have to have your controller drivers on a floppy disk. If you are unsure whether you have RAID/SCSI, then simply let the CD load without pressing F6.

    When completed loading files, you will be presented with the following "Windows Setup" screen, and your first option. Select "To set up Windows XP now, press ENTER". DO NOT select Recovery Console.


    When presented with the screen below. press the F8 key to continue.


    Next, Windows Setup will find existing Windows XP installations. You will be asked to repair an existing XP installation, or install a fresh copy of Windows XP.

    If no installations are found, then you will not be given the option to repair. This may happen if the data or partition on your drive is too corrupted.

    Note: If you install a fresh copy, all data on that partition will be lost!


    Your almost finished! Windows XP will appear to be installing itself for the first time, but it will retain all of your data and settings. Just follow the prompts, and have your CD-KEY ready if needed.

    Do you have more than one system, or lost your CD-KEY? Visit the keyfinder page to retrieve your CD-KEY.

    Update: Due to the proliferation of the Blaster and Welchia Worm/Virus be aware that a Repair Install will leave your system vulnerable. You can get infected within seconds. Do not go on line until you have enabled XP's firewall first.

    Remember to run Windows Update! (install critical updates first)


    Configuring Your Computer to Boot from CD

    Many computers are not configured to boot from the CDROM. If you cannot boot from the CDROM, this is probably due to the boot order of your devices being incorrect. You can change this in the BIOS.

    You enter the BIOS from the first screen you see when you turn your computer on. To enter your BIOS, most users here will press the DEL key.

    Most Dell, Toshiba, Gateway, Sony & HP systems will press F2.

    Compaq users will usually have to press F10.

    IBM typically uses F1 or F2.

    Other brands may have different keys to press to enter setup, F1, F2, Del, Tab and CTRL+S. If possible see the manual for your computer or motherboard. Also, the BIOS will usually display which button to press to "enter setup" during POST (if it flashes by too fast, press the Pause key).

    When you enter the BIOS setup, you need to change the boot order. The CDROM should be setup before the Hard Drive. Each BIOS is different, but here is an example:


    Note: If you need assistance with a repair installation, please start a new topic in our Windows XP Forum. This topic is also open for comments, but not all will receive a reply.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: After running a repair, you may find that Windows Update refuses to install the most recent 80 patches. This is because the latest version of Windows Update is broken, and doesn't register some DLLs if they're previously been registered (as happens with a repair install). Here's a work around until they get it fixed:
    1.      Stop the Automatic Updates service. To do this, follow these steps:
    a.      Click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then click OK.
    b.      At the command prompt, type the following commands, and then press ENTER after each command:
    net stop wuauserv

    2.      Register the file that is used by Windows Update and Microsoft Update. To do this, follow these steps:
    a.      Click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then click OK.
    b.      At the command prompt, type the following command, press ENTER after the command, and then click OK when you receive a verification message:
    regsvr32 %windir%\system32\wups2.dll
    Note: for x64 machines regsvr32 %windir%\syswow64\wups2.dll

    3.      Start the Automatic Updates service. To do this, follow these steps:
    a.      Click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then click OK.
    b.      At the command prompt, type the following commands, and then press ENTER after each command:
    net start wuauserv

    I have attached a file with screen shots

    tutorial data originated from:
    LVL 70

    Expert Comment

    Fallbackpuppet ==>  It's not useful to add a long comment that simply states what's already been stated four times already !!

    leew noted "... You can TRY a repair install ...";  I indicated that if he has the appropriate media he could do "... a "Repair Install" of XP on the old drive ...";  souseran provided a link to Michael Steven's excellent article detailing how to do a Repair Install;  and I re-iterated above that "... If you have the appropriate installation media, you can try a repair install, as noted before."

    The issue at this point isn't how to do the repair installation ==> it's that the old system isn't working at all (which is, of course, necessary before a repair install can even be attempted).

    ... And if a Repair Install hadn't already been well covered, you didn't need to copy all of the details from the link ==> just provide a link to the instructions (as you eventually did).   Copying the info at the link into a Word file adds nothing (just takes up storage space on EE's server); nor did copying all of the instructions into your post (which simply made it unnecessarily long).

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