Motherboard Swap without reinstalling Vista

Discussion in 'General Technical' started by jamiet757, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. jamiet757


    Feb 13, 2008
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    I have Vista Ultimate and I like it the way it is. I have a lot of programs and games and what-not installed, and I really don't feel like reinstalling everything and setting all my settings again.

    I want to upgrade. My current mobo will not support the 45nm processors, so I want to upgrade to one that will, and replace my e6700 with an e8400. I tried something similar once with XP, and found that it would not boot (supposedly because it detected a major hardware change and locked the computer fearing it was being stolen???)

    Is there a way to swap to a new mobo with a different chipset and keep Vista running happily? I know I need to get a raid controller card to seperate my raid disks from the onboard sata/raid controllers.
    jamiet757, Mar 27, 2008
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  2. jamiet757


    Jan 27, 2007
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    Northern Virginia, USA
    The short answer is no -- Vista does not provide any simple tool to migrate the OS installation from one machine to another.

    Since you have Ultimate, you do have the option in Backup and Recovery of doing a Complete PC Backup/Recovery. According to MS, that is supposed to allow you to do what you want, but it will involve imaging off the hard drive to an external drive, rebuilding your machine, booting from DVD, restoring your hard drive from the Complete PC image.

    You might then have to reactivate your copy of Vista.

    Why do a restore and not just plugin the drive? Because, at least according to MS, the restore operation will automatically detect the need for new drivers, will obtain them via Windows Update, and will install them.

    Also, since you're changing video cards in the process, before you image off your current setup, remove the Nvidia drivers. Unless both cards use the same driver, you want the machine to boot with generic MS drivers so you can install the new video drivers later.

    Please understand, though, I don't know of ANY situation in which this has actually been tried. So, I only have pronouncements from MS claiming this will work.
    WAW8, Mar 27, 2008
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  3. jamiet757


    Sep 26, 2005
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    It's a hit or a miss on the mobo swamp. If you follow what WAW8 said and remove the nividia drivers before swamping mobo's as long as you can get Vista to boot up w/ video on the new mobo you should be fine. When you first bootup Vista on the new mobo boot into safe mode so you know you will not have any BSOD's resulting from mis-matched drivers and download all the updated drivers. I believe you will then need to call MS in order to get your Vista re-activated since the hardware changed and it will think it is pirated.
    Jason, Mar 27, 2008
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