Windows Vista 64 fails to boot after motherboard replacement

Posted on 2011-09-21
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
My Asus Rampage formula motherboard failed and have quickly replaced it with an ASUS P5G41T-M LX. I have 2 drive 500Gb drives one acts as a mirror. Both fail to boot with the new motherboard after post. I have tried using the Vista repair facility from the CD to no avail. I cycled the repair until Vista gave up!. I have a recent backup i can restore from on my NAS. I was thinking my only option was a clean install on the mirror, but am now aware that a previously installed vista wont let you do that.
Originally I had thes drives set up in a Raid configuration with intel matrix storage software from new. A previous motherboard (identical Asus Rampage Formula) failed under warrenty and the Raid configuration was lost. I then made do with mirrorfolder as i was unable to get access to reformat the drives and start again - sloppy i know!
I am assuming that this motherboard supports Vista64?
I am also now painfully aware that Vista wont repair Hardware problems/changes having read windows guide on this facility.

What are my options? Is there a code workaround? I have various PCs on a network available (non running vista though) and i need a quick response. I need to restore this PC to an as was condition quickly.
Question by:RichardMarchant
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 36577593
My first thought would be that the OS is setup with drivers for the old Motherboard and this can cause a problem. Is this the case?

Author Comment

ID: 36577698
I assume so!  The motherboard failed and ive not been able to boot from ethier HDD with the new motherboard. I assume Vista stores all the driver details In the HAL and not the registry as it cant repair the install.
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Expert Comment

by:Mohammed Rahman
ID: 36577775
Connect only one HDD, restore the Vista Image from NAS. Connect second hard drive, setup RAID 1 and rebuild.
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Assisted Solution

Jim-R earned 250 total points
ID: 36578283
I'm sorry to say, but IMHO you are looking for, and are in for a load of trouble trying to get the new motherboard to run on the Windows Vista install for the Rampage board.  With XP, there is a method to do this type of change.  With Vista, not so much.  Vista seems to find enough trouble all by itself without anyone helping it along with situations like this.

The Rampage has an X48 chipset and ICH9R and the other is a G41 chipset and ICH7.  Also one has integrated Intel GMA X4500 video and the other supports ATI crossfire.  The audio systems are totally different, the number of Sata ports are different, as are the number of USB ports (one has 8, the other 12).  Even the memory is different (DDR2 / DDR3).  About the only thing they have in common is the 775 CPU socket because one is ATX and the other is micro ATX

Added to all of that, if this is an OEM OS.  Your license is now legally dead, but you may be able to get an over the phone activation once you get things reinstalled.  They often only ask how many computers you have the OS installed on and neglect to ask if your motherboard was changed, which is what kills the license.  After all, its not like you are getting something for nothing, you didn't get fair usage of the OS because of the MB failure.

Some other software licenses get attached to hardware as well, so you can also have issues with that aspect as well.
LVL 92

Accepted Solution

nobus earned 250 total points
ID: 36579899

Author Comment

ID: 36585973
Not So optimistic then! Fortunately this Vista is an upgrade version and the  Key is still valid (apparently). Like you i think im pretty much backed into a corner here and will have to do a clean install. I have swapped the drives as an added precaution and will install Vista 64 on the Mirror. I assume i wont be able to restore backups on a network until vista is validated . Im not so sure it will recognise the backups either?
 I am now only Just realising how wofully inadequate Vista is in the recovery department - its not surprising MS is pushing Windows 7.  Yes i know i couldnt have picked a worse combination of hardware, but thats all i could get a short notice here.
Vista not recognising network backup - i have validation issues which im dealing with, finally got ms to give me a new key. Hopefully  this will work.
Nobus: you input came in just after i had made the decision to tough it out and recover as much as i could from a clean install. An hour earlier and i think i would have used paragon - which would have been a better way to go -sounds great!.
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 36589067
Hey, Kudos to nobus.

I knew nothing about the Paragon app, but I also have not seen any raves about it on line save for the EE link that nobus posted.  Also, most non commercial parties that post here are unwilling to spend money on a third party solution.  They are looking for a free fix, which in most cases is ultimately better than third party utilities since these fixes are based on the original built in OS functionality.

I sometimes frequent Ars Technica, and there was a post made by a fellow whose pseudonym is Hat_Monster that explained how to do exactly what you need if your situation was XP related.  Unfortunately when Vista came out, major changes were made right from getting rid of the boot.ini and on up from there, so the XP procedure would not apply to Vista, (or so I have read).

nobus must be slipping :o)  he usually gets his licks in on a question before I have even read it.  I spend too much time on trying to make my posts look more pretty professional and proof read, but that's just the way I am.

At least you didn't get hosed for another license over a motherboard change.  In my opinion, if you build your own computer and have to change the MB out of necessity (not just by choice) you shouldn't have to shell out for a new license.

Good luck with your build and the new hardware.
LVL 59

Expert Comment

ID: 37013519
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