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Windows 7: Motherboard Swap on dual-boot Win7/XP system?

06 Mar 2011   #1

Win7 Ulitmate x64
Motherboard Swap on dual-boot Win7/XP system?

I hope this is the correct forum. I had trouble deciding whether to put this post here or in the hardware section. I decided for here because ultimately it will most likely deal with OS installation.

I have a very stable system running 64-bit Win7 and 32-bit XP. I want to keep XP for compatibility reasons with some older hardware I still use often. I have XP installed on one hard drive and Win7 installed on another. When I installed Win7, I just went with the option for it to install a boot manager, and have been using that one ever since to dual boot my system. Nothing special, but it works.

The current motherboard is an ASUS model, and has always had problems with the USB section (it took me quite a while to realize it was a motherboard problem, though). Then it began to develop problems reading the DVD drive several months after I installed it (back when it was only an XP system). Once again, not suspecting the motherboard, I replaced the DVD drive, thinking it had gone bad -- it hadn't, works fine in another system. And pretty soon thereafter the current drive began to work sporadically, and now doesn't work at all. Same as before.

This ASUS mb has a 3-year warranty, and it's not quite 2 years old. So, I should probably just suck it up and jump through the dozen or so hoops they toss in your path to get the mb repaired/replaced. Still, I'm guessing that if I'm successful, I may end up with a mb that is different enough from the one I have now where it's gonna break Win7 and XP.

I went through this when I originally replaced the motherboard, and ended up having to completely reinstall XP, reactivate it, and then d/l all the updates. I guess I'll be looking at having to do this now for both OSes, eh? If I have to reinstall both OSes, I'm thinking that I should install XP first, then Win7, mostly to preserve the dual-boot capabilty?

If I don't get satisfaction from ASUS, I'll probably just drop back 10 and punt, and go with a new mb. I'm gonna try to avoid this though because it's getting harder and harder to find mbs with PCI slots (I need three). I guess if I do this, it will probably amount to the same amount of work as if ASUS sends me a board that is substantially different from the old one.

So, if you have any recommendations as to how I should proceed, I'd appreciate them. Especially if there is any possible way I can avoid having to go through the PITA of doing fresh installs, d/l'ing all the updates, and then re-activating the OSes.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Mar 2011   #2
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate


Have a look at this program at the link below, it will prep OSs to be moved to new H/W.

Paragon Adaptive Restore

Have a look at this tutorial also.

Windows 7 Installation - Transfer to a New Computer
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Mar 2011   #3

Windows 8.1 Pro RTM x64

Always be prepared to do a reinstallation when changing significant components such as a motherboard. Tools, such as the one suggested by Ted (BFK) above, are good at doing their job but they are not infallible.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 Mar 2011   #4

Win7 Ulitmate x64

Thanks for the feeback, guys. Well, the Paragon product seems pretty cool, but getting a hold of a evaluation copy seems a rather strange process. Besides, will an evaluation copy let me do what I need? I can't see actually buying a license for a single situation.

The tutorial suggests that using sysprep is the way to go for me, and appears at least to be rather simple. After doing a bit of googling I'm finding that there is a flavor of sysprep for XP as well, and just ran across a site that has a tutorial for how to use it in the event of a hardware change-out. So, it looks like I might be able to go the sysprep route with both OSes. That would be kinda cool as long as it works as smoothly as folks suggest. I'll keep in mind Dwarf's caveat's though.

Well, once I'm ready to dig in and do this, I'll let y'all know how things turn out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Mar 2011   #5
Microsoft MVP


You may need to SysPrep the Win7 installation, then run a booted Repair Install on XP: Repair Windows XP - How To Perform a Repair Installation of Windows XP - Part 1 of 2
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Mar 2011   #6

Win7 Ulitmate x64

Thanks for the feedback, Greg. The author of this thread I ran across favors sysprep over the repair method for XP:

How to: Upgrade your motherboard without reinstalling Windows. - [H]ard|Forum
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Dec 2011   #7

Win7 Ulitmate x64

I'm resurrecting this old thread for the sake of closure. It took me long enough, but I finally dealt with my motherboard problem. I solved it by buying a new one, processor, and ram, but keeping the old hard drives. And the problem motherboard I sent back to ASUS for warranty repairs.

I'm revisiting this thread to report that I did not have to reinstall either OS. Win 7 (64 bit) came up painlessly enough, and spent a good 10 minutes or so churning away with the little popups telling me it was installing drivers for new hardware it had detected. Once the drive light finally went out, I then installed the motherboard's drivers (I'm using the graphics and sound on the mb, so I didn't have to worry about installing drivers for those devices). And it's been smooth running ever since.

I then turned my attention to the XP partition (32 bit), figuring it would present more problems. At first I ran into a glitch where it wouldn't see my keyboard and mouse. I'm using a wireless Logitech combo that are also new to this installation. So I installed a wired kb and mouse and tried again. Once again, XP loaded, spent a fair amount of time loading drivers for new hardware, and I got a few pop-up error messages. Turns out these were all due to lack of drivers for mb components, so once I ran the install utility for XP, they all went away.

This was about three weeks ago, and the system has been trouble free ever since. Oh, and I took the refurbished mobo and installed it into another machine that had been running about a seven-year-old mobo and processor, in which I've installed Ubuntu Linux. I just finished this swap about an hour ago. I was figuring my good luck couldn't continue, but I didn't have anything to lose with this machine since it isn't really used for much, but my luck held. Ubuntu generated only one pop-up message and it had to do with graphics card resolution. I just told it to use a driver for the new graphics chip (it too has the sound and graphics onboard the mobo), and that's all it took. Ubuntu loaded without a hitch. So, how about that. Three for three.

Think I'll go out and buy a lottery ticket!

Oh, and just in case you're interested, here is the hardware:

Windows machine:
Asrock 890GX motherboard with AMD Phenom II X4 processor, 8 gigs of RAM
Linux machine:
ASUS M4A78 Pro motherboard with AMD Athlon X2 7850 processor, 4 gigs of RAM
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Dec 2011   #8
Microsoft MVP


Nice work. Thanks for reporting back.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2012   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
Sysprep or not?

I know this is an old post but was wondering if you used sysprep on the XP and Win7 partitions or just replaced the hardware and crossed your fingers?

My situation:
I've got a dual boot system XP Pro and Win7 Home Prem. Currently I use XP more than Win7 because I've built it up with various software and utilities over the years and don't wish to recreate it... It's my "do everything machine".. I've got several others with Win7 only that are used for gaming, server etc... but this machine is my goto machine when I'm supporting people and "getting work done". When I do upgrades I roll the hardware down and this system is in line for a motherboard that came out of my highend system. Its MB will then go into a system for my Mom. I've been dragging my feet on this since it's complicated with a dual boot setup. When I upgraded my Win7 game system I tried the "replace and cross your fingers" method and ended up reinstalling Win7 (not a big deal since I use steam for games). Data loss isn't the issue for me... it's identification of all the "crap" I've come to depend on but don't use on a daily basis and might not even remember I have until I need it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2012   #10
Microsoft MVP


You can adjust XP to new hardware using an XP Repair Install if it will run, or by SysPrepping on the old hardware first.

Be sure to back up an image first, using Win7 backup imaging. A separate XP image can be backed up using Acronis' superior cloning/imaging app which comes free with any WD or Seagate HD in the mix, or using free Macrium - Image your system.

Other options include using Acronis True Image with Universal Restore for both XP and Win7, or booting Paragon Adaptive Restore CD on the new hardware to adjust the OS's.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Motherboard Swap on dual-boot Win7/XP system?

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