Monday, 25 March 2013

Repairing a Windows Installation After Installing a New Motherboard.

The usual warnings about backing up data before you proceed apply here, you have been warned.

I needed to do this after the motherboard's hard drive controller died and I didn't just want to do a re-install and lose all my settings and accounts with a motherboard change, I did have a backup but I wanted a challenge. I rebooted with the new motherboard installed and just got the BOD then a restart. The Windows recovery came up during this reboot but in the end it said the installation couldn't be recovered.

Most of the forums I came across recommended a re-install, this I thought was a bit defeatist so a bit more research came up with a useful article:-
How To Repair a Windows Install After Replacing Motherboard
I followed this pages description and got the drivers I needed for my new motherboard. I put them on a USB memory stick then booted the new machine with the Windows 7 install DVD as described in the article, the important command is :-
dism /image:d:\ /add-driver /Driver:f:\ /recurse
This copies the various drivers for the new motherboard chipset, vga, harddrive controller and audio etc from the USB memory stick to the Windows installation on the hard drive. This means when Windows restarts it'll have all the correct drivers for the new motherboard. It did reboot and appeared to work, no BOD, it rebooted again after the initial boot. Fantastic it only took about half a hour and it works flawlessly.

Update:You may need to re-validate your copy of Windows with Microsoft as the hardware has changed significantly. I had to use Microsoft's automated UK 0800 telephone re-validation system, this was pretty painless, just enter a few blocks of numbers provided by your installation via the phone keypad. You then enter the automated-voice blocks of numbers returned by Microsoft's system into the blank boxes on your installation. All legal again :).
Thanks for reading. Best Wishes.


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