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Upgrading my only machine

Posted on 2011-02-24
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Last Modified: 2013-12-27
I need to install a new mother board, a new processor and a graphics card. I can do the graphics card, but never installed a mother board nor a processor. Should I take a chance on my only machine and try to do it myself, or take it somewhere? Is it relatively easy?

Processor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115067&cm_re=Core_i5_760_Processor-_-19-115-067-_-Product

Mother board: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813121394

Graphics Card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130395
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Question by:Vast41
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76 Comments
 

Expert Comment

by:ChrisGibbs
ID: 34976737
Be sure to have all your drivers gathered before starting. I recommend purchasing a new hard drive while you are at it. This way you still have the old hard drive and old system components to fall back to. Be sure to purchase the correct RAM for the new motherboard and insert the RAM into the correct slots. Now you can remove the old components and begin building your new system. Once built and the system is on the internet you can update drivers to the latest available. Once everything is satisfactory you could then power down and install the old hard drive as a slave. Now you have all your old files at your finger tips. If the new system is not operational you can still fall back to the old system, then take it somewhere for them to do the upgrade.
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Expert Comment

by:Rhyseh
ID: 34976763
Here is a good article that will help you build your PC:

http://www.buildacomputerguide.com/getting-started.html

It is certainly not a difficult task and is well worth learning to do yourself. Building a computer is akin to lego once you have all the right parts gathered.
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Author Comment

by:Vast41
ID: 34976792
ChrisGibbs i just bought a new drive last year, i prsently have two installed in my machine, not sure i want to but another new one, i expect the one i bought just last year to last me a while.

Specs

O/S: Windows XP Professional 32-bit  SP3
Processor: 3.20 gigahertz Intel Celeron
Power Supply: Corsair VX 550W
Mother Board: MICRO-STAR INTERNATIONAL CO., LTD MS-7104 20A  MSI PM8M-V Socket 478 Motherboard
RAM 2048 MB DDR
Hard Disk 1TB  (New one bought last year)
Hard Disk Two 80GB
BIOS BIOS: Phoenix Technologies, LTD 6.00 PG 02/22/2006
Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster Audigy-Model Number SB0570 Presently using onboard.
===================================================

Thanks Rhyseh for that link
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Accepted Solution

by:
Dave Baldwin earned 168 total points
ID: 34977391
You know that Windows on the current boot disk won't boot with all new hardware.  You will normally have to reinstall Windows and your other software when you make this change.
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Assisted Solution

by:_
_ earned 166 total points
ID: 34977628
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 34977742
you can layout your old mobo on a wooden (not conductive) board, with everything connected,  - if you later need some info or data
it will show you the connections better too
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Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 166 total points
ID: 34977751
another word of caution : if you replace the mobo - verify that the mounting holes correspond with the mounting standoffs , and remove extar standoffs - they can cause shorts !
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 34977767
also  - building the pc is nice for learning; but what OS do you intend to have?
right now, i would suggest windows 7 64-bit, to be able to use more than 4 GB ram
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 34977834
You know, I never put down a working machine to get a new one running.  I always get a 'new' one though I never get a an actually new machine.  Maybe that's why I have 20 old computers here.  But with the money you're going to spend, you should give some thought to just building another machine and keep your current one running.
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Author Comment

by:Vast41
ID: 34978238
<<You know that Windows on the current boot disk won't boot with all new hardware.  You will normally have to reinstall Windows and your other software when you make this change.>>

DaveBaldwin Even with the two drives disconnected?? Are you sure?? Anyone else agree??
=====================================================
<<you can layout your old mobo on a wooden (not conductive) board, with everything connected,  - if you later need some info or data
it will show you the connections better too Accept Multiple Solutions Accept as Solution>>
Great idea Nobus
======================================================
<<another word of caution : if you replace the mobo - verify that the mounting holes correspond with the mounting standoffs , and remove extar standoffs - they can cause shorts !>>

Now your confusing me, looks like doing it on my own is out.
=====================================================
<<also  - building the pc is nice for learning; but what OS do you intend to have?
right now, i would suggest windows 7 64-bit, to be able to use more than 4 GB ram>>

So your saying my current opearting system Windows XP will not boot up? I have already ordered Windows 7 but i was not planning on reinstalling.
=========================================================
<<You know, I never put down a working machine to get a new one running.  I always get a 'new' one though I never get a an actually new machine.  Maybe that's why I have 20 old computers here.  But with the money you're going to spend, you should give some thought to just building another machine and keep your current one running>>
That would cost quite a bit more DaveBaldwin i mean i just put in the Cosair Power Supply today, so your suggesting a new case, and what else, can't aford to change my two DVD ROMS

LITE-ON DVDRW SHW-160P6S [CD-ROM drive]
PIONEER DVD-RW DVR-118L [CD-ROM drive]

There are newer ones but i am happy with these two.

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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 34978734
here an article showing how to install a mobo, and about the standoffs and holes :
http://www.fonerbooks.com/r_board.htm
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Author Comment

by:Vast41
ID: 34981732
How bout my main question,  will i have to reinstall windows, i don't see why?
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 34982154
Because Windows keeps track of the hardware it is installed on.  If the hardware changes too much, it is considered a new machine which requires a new license.  Here's the official word: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/824125  Read the 'More Information' part

You 'might' be able to do the Upgrade an existing motherboard but you better have a full image backup in case it fails.
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Author Comment

by:Vast41
ID: 34982458
I forgot that's how that works with hardware changes, thanks DaveBaldwin, so you recommend rebuilding? I rather would not, but i will hate to reinstall.
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 34982895
If you build a new machine with a clean install, you will be able to transfer over your info at your leisure.  If upgrading the machine fails and you can't boot, you have a problem.  That's why I have image backups for all my 'work' computers.  And they're almost up to date!
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Author Comment

by:Vast41
ID: 34982917
Best most resonably priced image software to make things easier than copying to an external drive?
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 34982958
I use the free version of xxclone http://www.xxclone.com/ on Windows XP.  I have a second drive for all of my 'work' machines to back up to.
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Author Comment

by:Vast41
ID: 34983166
Why two back up systems, so i should stick with an external drive to backup
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 34983276
No, you misunderstand.  I have a second drive for EACH of my 'work' machines to make Bootable image backups.  And when I upgrade to a 'new' computer, I keep the old computer with all of the info, programs and files just in case...
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Author Comment

by:Vast41
ID: 34985294
So you make the image with xxclone? I have a second drive as well, plus a very large external drive.  So I can do something similar correct?

But what i don't get is, if i back up to a external drive, why would i need an image? When i install the new software why can't i just copy it over?
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Author Comment

by:Vast41
ID: 34985423
Ok, great good job Dbrunton!
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 34985434
xxclone will preserve your installations.  'image' to me means BOOTABLE.  You can't copy programs and have them work, they need to be installed unless can make a bootable 'image' with xxclone or one of the other programs that can do that.

Document files can normally be copied without problems.
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Author Comment

by:Vast41
ID: 34985450
Ahh i see how storage will xxclone let you take a image of? After all you said it's free right?
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Author Comment

by:Vast41
ID: 34985451
Sorry i mean how much storage will xxclone let you take a image of?
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Author Comment

by:Vast41
ID: 34985455
Dbrunton is you care i am trying to learn about backing up in this thread
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Components/Q_26846817.html#a34985451 we are almost done, i hope i don't have to open up a separate thread on backing up, take a look when you get a chance.
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 34985486
As far as I know, there isn't a limit of the amount of data.  xxclone expects you to have a disk the same size or larger.  In practice, all you need is a disk with enough space for all your files because xxclone transfers by files and not disk sectors.  Make sure you use the 'Cool Tools' -> 'Make Bootable' function.  I normally plug in the back up drive by itself and boot from it once to make sure it works and let xxclone finish the 'bootable' process.
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Expert Comment

by:_
ID: 34985506
I don't see dbrunton in this thread yet (surprisingly)   ; )

Just to confuse things more, it is possible to move your current hard drive to a new system.
Paragon Adaptive Restore, Acronis Universal Restore, and the manual method will do it (but it can be a pita).

Paragon: (have used and like)
http://www.paragon-software.com/home/systembackup/
free version:
http://www.paragon-software.com/products/business/

Acronis (have not used)
http://kb.acronis.com/content/2149

Manual move:
Google will get you a bunch of tutorials, but here is the MS one
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/249694

BUT I would make a backuo of some kind just in case.

If you go with a clean install, you can usually use the Windows Transfer Wizard to get most of your programs and settings copied over.
Th W7 wizard works a little better than the XP wizard.
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Author Comment

by:Vast41
ID: 34985521
<<As far as I know, there isn't a limit of the amount of data.  xxclone expects you to have a disk the same size or larger.  In practice, all you need is a disk with enough space for all your files because xxclone transfers by files and not disk sectors.  Make sure you use the 'Cool Tools' -> 'Make Bootable' function.  I normally plug in the back up drive by itself and boot from it once to make sure it works and let xxclone finish the 'bootable' process.>>

Got it thanks
====================================================
<<I don't see dbrunton in this thread yet (surprisingly)   ; )

Just to confuse things more, it is possible to move your current hard drive to a new system.
Paragon Adaptive Restore, Acronis Universal Restore, and the manual method will do it (but it can be a pita).

Paragon: (have used and like)
http://www.paragon-software.com/home/systembackup/
free version:
http://www.paragon-software.com/products/business/

Acronis (have not used)
http://kb.acronis.com/content/2149

Manual move:
Google will get you a bunch of tutorials, but here is the MS one
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/249694

BUT I would make a backuo of some kind just in case.

If you go with a clean install, you can usually use the Windows Transfer Wizard to get most of your programs and settings copied over.
Th W7 wizard works a little better than the XP wizard.>>

Coral47 I invited dbrunton to participate. The image program seems a lot safer and maybe even better if it installs all my programs

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Expert Comment

by:_
ID: 34985595
>> The image program seems a lot safer...

But you still need to get rid of the old drivers, and put in the new ones.
Otherwise you will have a BSOD battle to deal with, or you need to clean install everything.
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Expert Comment

by:_
ID: 34985613
>> I invited dbrunton to participate...

But it looks like you posted the invite into this thread, instead of the one he is in.    : )
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 34985665
Whatever you do, don't get rid of the old parts and backup drive until you're sure you have a working new system.  That way you can go back to your current system if the new doesn't work for some reason.
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 34985669
One other note:  xxclone like any of the other programs will eliminate the data on the backup drive in the process of cloning the boot drive.
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Author Comment

by:Vast41
ID: 34985710
<<But you still need to get rid of the old drivers, and put in the new ones.>>

So maybe image program is not the way to go.
=========================================================
<<But it looks like you posted the invite into this thread, instead of the one he is in.    : )>>

No i posted the invite in another thread he is presently helping me with.
=========================================================
<<One other note:  xxclone like any of the other programs will eliminate the data on the backup drive in the process of cloning the boot drive.>>

I don't want it cleaning out my backup drive, thats not good for me
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Author Comment

by:Vast41
ID: 34985726
Coral47 your right, i posted the invite in the wrong thresd lol, thanks for bringing that to my attention.
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 34985735
I suspected as much.  I'm afraid that it's not going to be as easy as you first thought.  If you had replaced your hardware and plugged in your old drives, it probably wouldn't boot and you would not have a working system.  Maybe you're starting to understand why I never take apart a working system to replace and upgrade it.
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Author Comment

by:Vast41
ID: 34985743
Well i guess the answer to the original question is no do not do this myself!
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Expert Comment

by:_
ID: 34985797
 : D  
That would be for you to decide. It's not that hard, but you do need to know where the pitfalls are. Especially for a first time.
Like anything else, the more prepared you are, the better.

Having someone else do it has it's own risk.
There are a fair amount of "trained" people out there that don't know as much as they think they do.
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Author Comment

by:Vast41
ID: 34985800
Back to square one
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Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 34985802
Well, I'm here.

It is possible to take a hard disk with a working OS and applications and put it in a new motherboard.

See http://michaelstevenstech.com/moving_xp.html but not for the faint-hearted.

As others have suggested a new install is the way to go.

xxclone is used for making either an image of your hard disk for backup purposes or for copying a hard disk to a new hard disk (New hard disk must be larger as stated by someone.)  Other programs exist to do this such as Acronis and Ghost but xxclone is free.

Installing a motherboard in a box is easy - once you've done a couple.  If you haven't you need someone to guide you through the first couple.  All they do is stand there and give you the orders and check you are doing it right.  After the first one you'll say to yourself - Is that it?  But there's a lot of screws and cables to negotiate your way through.

Google

install motherboards youtube

and watch a couple of videos to see what is involved.
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Author Comment

by:Vast41
ID: 34985820
Welcome Dbrunton. With the image programs, how bout the old drivers like coral47  said? What about the registry in the old machine if it was not up to speed or bad, then my registry gets put in my new machine with the image programs, along with old drivers? I can't see how these image programs are so popular if this is the case.
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Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 34985874
The image programs are popular when you need to upgrade your hard disk.  Just use them to swap everything across.  Image across to new disk, remove old disk and leave new disk and reboot.  That is it.

Or to save a copy of your present hard disk.  

I do that once I've got OS and applications installed and tuned to my liking.  Make image and save it on a spare hard disk.  If my working hard disk goes down and it does (three disks in three years) I install a new disk and restore image from spare disk to new disk.  Reboot and I'm away again.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

What coral is talking about is when you transfer the disk to the new motherboard the drivers are wrong.  In such a case Windows won't boot.

If you look at the Michael Stevens link I gave above he details a process where you do a Repair Install that allows you to install the drivers necessary for the new motherboard.  He is talking about IDE drivers there and I'm not sure if this will work if SATA drivers are involved.  The process is long and messy.
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Author Comment

by:Vast41
ID: 34985905
Please bear with me, so if you change hardeware doing the swap you refer to won't work, cause the hard disk will not boot, unless of course i use Michael Stevens link method, correct? The swap is good for when your drive goes done, but hardware stays intact.
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Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 34985925
>.  Please bear with me, so if you change hardeware doing the swap you refer to won't work, cause the hard disk will not boot, unless of course i use Michael Stevens link method, correct?

Yep.  Straight move of hard disk from old to new won't work.  Must use method like Michael Stevens.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

>> The swap is good for when your drive goes done, but hardware stays intact.

Yep.  If the hard disk is a clone and the hardware intact (or the same) it will boot up.
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Author Comment

by:Vast41
ID: 34985937
So all my programs i will have to reinstall manually? Or is there some trick to that as well if i do a clean install?
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Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 34985949
PC Mover http://www.laplink.com/pcmover is capable of moving your programs and applications across.

For some people it works wonderfully.  Others have mixed results.

It probably depends on how well it understands your applications.  But be prepared to do installs anyway.

I'm not too sure on which version you'd want.
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Author Comment

by:Vast41
ID: 34985963
Anpther image program it looks like.

On another note new board i am getting http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813121394

I don't understand it has four slots for DDR3 so how does it have a capacity of 16GB?
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Expert Comment

by:_
ID: 34985975
You can also use Windows Transfer Wizard to move programs and settings to a clean install from the old drive.

But the slickest one I have done, is to use Paragon Adaptive Restore.
It makes a bootable CD.
Basically you put the hard drive or the clone in the new system, then boot from the CD.
It checks the old OS against the new hardware, then removes the old drivers and Registry entries.
Then you can either use it to install the new drivers, or just reboot to the hard drives and load drivers on the bootup.

I did a XP drive to new hardware a couple of months ago, and it took about an hour. And everything was just like it was in the old system (except the drivers).

>> ... four slots for DDR3 so how does it have a capacity of 16GB

It can take up to 4GB ram sticks in each slot. (4GB ram x 4 sticks = 16GB)
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Author Comment

by:Vast41
ID: 34985987
Ok thanks
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Author Comment

by:Vast41
ID: 34985996
<<Basically you put the hard drive or the clone in the new system, then boot from the CD.
It checks the old OS against the new hardware, then removes the old drivers and Registry entries.>>

So you change the hardware but put the same OS back minus drivers and registry?
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Expert Comment

by:_
ID: 34986034
>> ... same OS back minus drivers and registry?

Correct. Most of the Registry stays intact, it just cleans out the parts (drivers, etc) that are no longer needed. But the programs and settings parts are left alone.

I haven't used the Acronis Universal Restore, but it does the same thing.

Just remember to have the new drivers some place where you can get to them.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 34986172
you must realise that - if you don't do a fresh install, you will inherit all the problems and malware too.
even old drivers stay there...
THAT is why fresh install is better; i recommend  always for not moving the old install to new hardware
and yes, it takes time and effort, but you'll gain the time back later (less problems), and for the effort : if you've done it a couple of times, it goes smoothly.
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 34986198
I used PCMover last month on two machines.  Definitely Mixed results.  Third party program like Photoshop worked fine but I had trouble with a lot of the Microsoft programs like IIS and SQL Express 2005 and some still aren't running.  It won't let me reinstall programs that are already installed but not working.

Windows Transfer Wizard worked pretty good on a third machine but I still had a lot of work to do afterwards.

Clean install works best though for me to reinstall all my programs, do updates, and transfer my files to the new computer takes 4 to 8 hours.
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Author Comment

by:Vast41
ID: 34986684
Ok then clean install it is then, with manually adding drivers and programs , my machine is worth the trouble, thanks guys!
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 34987027
a wise decision imo
you won't regret it
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Expert Comment

by:_
ID: 34989877
Actually, I agree. Nothing like a fresh install.

I just like letting people know there are options.   ; )
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Author Comment

by:Vast41
ID: 34991004
Just to make sure which components will i need drivers for? Mother board, processor, graphics card, and my optical drives, thats all right?
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Expert Comment

by:_
ID: 34991054
From the motherboard site (link wayyyyy up there ^), it looks like you need the latest release of:

Audio: Realtek* ALC Audio Driver

Chipset: Intel® Chipset Device Software for Intel® Desktop Boards

LAN: Intel® PRO Network Connections Driver for Intel® Desktop Boards for Windows XP*

You will probably need the AHCI: F6 Floppy Disk Utility for AHCI also, to get XP to install on a SATA drive.


Since you are getting an addin video card, you will need to got to EVGA  to get the latest drivers.
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Expert Comment

by:_
ID: 34991070
If you set the SATA drive(s) to IDE Mode in the BIOS, you should not need the AHCI drivers.
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Author Comment

by:Vast41
ID: 34991080
I will be installing windows 7 and the graphics card is a Saphire
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 34991124
then most drivers are inbuilt
if you have internet access (lan driver installed) - you can use the free drivereasy to look for your drivers  :
www.drivereasy.com
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Expert Comment

by:_
ID: 34991156
Like nobus said, most of the drivers should be in W7, and then you can update them with the same drivers on the Intel link. They work on XP through W7.
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Author Comment

by:Vast41
ID: 34992337
How bout my old optical drives do i need to reinstall their drivers?
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Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 34992379
No.  They will be on the Windows 7 disk.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 34994952
drivers are not the problem - once you have internet - if you use drivereasy
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Author Comment

by:Vast41
ID: 35001721
How will windows 7 have drivers for my rom drives i don't get it, has windows become that advanced?
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Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 35002090
Windows supports DVD and CD drives by default.  No problem there.  Supports hard disks by default as well.  

All it needs is chipset support.  Once it has that then your hard disks and DVDs and CDs are supported.
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Author Comment

by:Vast41
ID: 35002149
Wow, ok
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Author Comment

by:Vast41
ID: 35002166
Chipset = Mother Board, so i wont need anything for processor?
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Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 35002281
Nope.
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Author Comment

by:Vast41
ID: 35003226
Gotcha
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 35004523
from xp - it had all these drivers...
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Author Comment

by:Vast41
ID: 35143305
Will assign points shortly, and will possibly open a new question when my hardware arrives just not ready just yet!
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Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 35406640
This question has been classified as abandoned and is being closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See my comment at the end of the question for more details.
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by:_
ID: 35406813
Thank you much.     : )
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