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Salvage and system rebuild


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#1
mrbreeeeze

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Ok, so here it goes. I posted on another members thread about my situation becuase coincidentally they are in the identical situation that I am. See here.

Now I'm not sure if this is a hardware topic or a software issue and maybe falls in between so I decided to post here. Anyway, its a Gateway desktop thats motherboard has gone bad a week after the warranty was up (go figure). Its a BTX form factor which I've discovered is almost impossible to deal with and when I spoke to eMachines parts department it will be over $200.00 to replace. I gave my friend the option to replace it with this crappy board or spend a little more money and allow me to salvage the parts and rebuild it with a brand name ATX board, new case, PS, and video card. He opted for the rebuild.

My question is, what can I expect when I transfer the existing hard drive with XP media edition installed on it? Is it going to have some conflicts with the new hardware? Is there going to be some problems when it comes to getting updates from microsoft being that so much has changed in the hardware profile? Or, maybe something else that I might not be anticipating?

Any input is very welcomed. Thanks all. :)

Edited by mrbreeeeze, 14 January 2008 - 08:36 PM.

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#2
wannabe1

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Hello mrbreeeeze...

There are a number of things you'll need to consider before doing what you're contemplating.

Make sure that your RAM will be compatible with the new board...or better yet, get new RAM that will match the front side bus speed of the motherboard you purchase. You'll also want to make sure the processor you have will work with the board you'll be using.

Make sure you have the proper drivers for any hardware you'll be using from the old machine.

You're going to have to do a repair installation of Windows (at minimum) on the new hardware to make the machine run. You might want to make sure that you have the operating system disk, the product key, and that the disk will give you the option of running a repair installation. Many OEM disks do not provide the repair feature so you may be in for a complete system recovery. On the new hardware, the system recovery may or may not run to completion...or you may end up with a very unstable system due to driver issues. Better back up all the data on the drive just in case.

Changing that much hardware will likely raise the red flags when you try to activate Windows on the new hardware. As you have an OEM machine and likely have an OEM disk, activation may not happen at all unless you purchase a new product license from Microsoft. A better option would be to purchase a retail version of the operating system. The reasoning here is this; an OEM license is linked to the machine it was originally installed on and only to that machine. When you change most of the hardware like you plan to, it will be seen as a different machine which requires a new license. The retail version, on the other hand, is linked to the owner of the machine. It can be installed on any one machine at a given time. You can change hardware any way you like and you will still be able to activate Windows through Microsoft. More radical changes will require that you phone them, but they shouldn't balk at the activation once they know it is only installed on one machine.

Once Windows is installed, activated, and validated, you should have no problems with getting the updates.

Does that about cover it?

wannabe1
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#3
mrbreeeeze

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Kind of what I expected. Of course being only a one year old machine, it did not come with a recovery disc but a recovery partition. Drivers should not be a problem. I was also planning on removing all of his personal files, backing them up on disk and recovering the disc. Will I still be able to access the recovery partition after I install the HDD to the new motherboard? I just don't know what to expect when I do that and fire it up. Will it boot up and just ask for the new motherboard and video card drivers or will it be more of an issue than that?

I recently had to change my hard drive on my own system running Vista and later I changed the RAM and then the video card. Vista did not notify me that I had 3 days to register the change and my validation was suspended. It took a phone call to Microsoft to correct the problem but for the most part it was pretty painless.

I really don't want to have my friend incur the cost of purchasing a new OS after all thats happened already so I'm hoping that at most I will only have to contact Microsoft again and with an expaination have them reactivate the existing OS.
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#4
wannabe1

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I honestly don't know if the recovery feature will start or complete on the new hardware. I've has some that did just find aside from drivers...and others that would not start the recovery at all. Seems kinda like a crap shoot and you won't know what's going to happen until you roll the dice.

Check with the manufacturer of the old machine and see if they will provide you with a recovery set. Usually they will charge only a nominal fee to cover shipping and handling.

As a rule, Microsoft is pretty easy to deal with. I haven't had a bad experience with them yet.
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#5
mrbreeeeze

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LOL, well I guess I'll just have to plug my nose and take the dive. I also think that Microsoft shouldn't make a big deal of it. I really think they just need to be assured that they're not being taken advantage of just like any retailer. As they say, it cost more money to gain a new customer than to keep and old one but, if you were never a legit customer in the first place then what are you really losing then. There's nothing shady about my friends situation, he just purchased a PC with crappy hardware, nothing to do with the OS. I would hope that in a situation like this that Microsoft would have some compasion and grant some lieniency.

Anyway, thanks for your input wannabe1 I really appreciate it. I'll post back in a few days and let you know what happened.
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#6
wannabe1

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My pleasure... :)

I wish I could have given you more definitive answers, but such is the nature of Windows...
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