Friday, September 19, 2008

WinXP - Hardware Upgrades

I was reminded to include this subject because of a motherboard upgrade on my home WinXP PC. So here is what anyone upgrading major hardware, like motherboards, needs to consider.

  • Make sure you have your original WinXP Setup CD, you may need it

  • Make sure you have all the CDs that came with your hardware (new and old); PCI cards, motherboard, etc.

  • Perform a virus scan of C:

  • Optimize (defrag) your boot drive (C:) before you change hardware

  • If you still have the User Manuals for your hardware, make sure you know where they are

    • After following the instructions for physically installing your hardware, when you first boot to WinXP, hopefully you will have few problems other than the New Hardware Wizard opening. Just remember to let the boot finish before doing anything with the Wizard.

      If you do have problems, like constant reboots when WinXP tries to load, here what you need to try:

      1. Mount your WinXP Setup CD and boot to it

      2. When you get to the window that has the 1st Repair Option, select that to open the Recovery Console

      3. When you get to the Command Line window, enter CHKDSK /R ("R" is not a typo)

      4. After CHKDSK runs, reboot


      1. Mount your WinXP Setup CD and boot to it

      2. This time skip the 1st Repair Option, select to install WinXP

      3. Setup should see that you already have WinXP installed and there will be a 2nd Repair Option

      4. This is a Repair Reinstall of WinXP which will keep your current configuration, including applications

      5. When the Repair Reinstall is completed, make sure to reboot at least twice to ensure reliability

      6. From the desktop, open the Command Prompt, enter CHKDSK /F ("F" is not a typo, will require reboot)

      7. IMPORTANT: This method will require reinstalling Win Updates, but do not use the [Express] method, use [Custom] (see below)


      If you have a WinXP SP3 Installer CD (see previous post), install SP3 now. This will save having to reinstall many Updates.

      As stated above, use the [Custom] method. You will most likely have many Updates to install (96 when I did my motherboard upgrade) and that can be a potential problem on a system with WinXP already installed.

      To be safe, install only 3 to 5 updates at a time. First use the [Clear All] then check the 3 to 5 you want to install and install them, including reboot regardless of asked to or not. Repeat this procedure until all updates are installed.

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