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How to change your motherboard and avoid reinstalling Windows XP (Intel to AMD chipset, with INTELPPM.SYS fix)

Updated on December 5, 2010
Athlon 64
Athlon 64
Pentium 4
Pentium 4


Most will tell you that you can not take a hard drive with Windows XP out of a computer and put it in another computer with a different motherboard and other hardware. Well, it's true, if you don't change a few things first. Without a few modifications, it will crash with a nice Blue-Screen-of-Death. So you must prepare it for it's transition. Changing certain drivers and stopping/starting certain services is pretty much all you have to do. Below is are step by step instructions on how to get Windows ready for a different motherboard and/or processor.

Before we start...

First I must explain that I have only swapped from a Pentium 4 Celeron to a Athlon x2 with different motherboards. I used the same hard drive, CD drive, Floppy, case, and power supply. Both motherboards had onboard LAN, graphics, and audio. That means almost every driver had to be reinstalled with a different one in order for it to work. Also, there is a little know issue with the Intel power management service (INTELPPM), that will not allow the AMD processor to work except in safe mode. This problem also happened when some AMD users installed Windows XP service pack 3. It turned the Intel power management service on and would not boot an AMD machine. Simply changing a "1" to a "4" in the right place in the registry fixed it.

Everything in this article is about Windows XP, but it might also work with 2000, Vista or Windows 7. I have no idea if it does work with them, but even if it doesn't, it can give you some direction, I hope.

For those who already switched the hardware out without preparing windows and you are getting blue screens, you might be able to access windows in safe mode. If you can you should be able to do the first three steps in safe mode just the same as normal mode. The INTELPPM registry key is probably the most important part if your switching from Intel to AMD. It's possible changing that key is all you need to do to prepare windows in some situations.


Step 1

First, as always, make a backup of your important files, just in case it all goes very wrong. Also, you should download any drivers you will need for your new motherboard (if you don't have the CD that came with your new motherboard).

Device Manager
Device Manager
IDE Controllers on a motherboard with an ATI chipset
IDE Controllers on a motherboard with an ATI chipset
System Devices on a motherboard with an ATI chipset
System Devices on a motherboard with an ATI chipset

Step 2

Now we must go to the Device Manager and change every driver for every device on the motherboard to a generic driver. Many will already be using a generic driver, so what you are looking for is anything with the chipset manufacturer's name in it. For example: if your chipset is a VIA chipset, you will see "VIA IDE Controller" in the "IDE ATA/ATAPI Controller" section in the device manager. Another example: if your chipset is an Intel chipset, you will see "Intel IDE Controller".

Generally, the motherboard's devices will be in the following sections of your device manager:

  • IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers
  • System Devices

Also if you have onboard devices, such as, graphics, audio USB, Firewire, or LAN, the you will need to change these drivers also. You could get away with leaving some of these drivers there, but the network driver must be uninstalled if it's onboard. If you leave the network driver there, it will have serious conflicts with the new network drivers even if they happen to be the same. The proper drivers can be installed after you get Windows running on the new hardware. They are found in the following sections of the device manager:

  • Display adapters
  • Network adapters (Must be uninstalled!)
  • Sound, video and game controllers
  • IEEE 1394 Bus host controllers (Firewire)
  • Universal Serial Bus controllers

Ok, so here's how we change them:

  1. Right-click on "My Computer"
  2. Click on "Manage"
  3. On the left side, you will see "Device Manager" in the list, click it
  4. Click on a section that contains a driver you wish to change (EX: "IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers")
  5. Right-click on the driver you wish to change (EX: "VIA IDE Controller") and select "Update Driver"
  6. Choose "No, not this time" and click "Next"
  7. Choose "Install from a list or specific location (advanced)" and click "Next"
  8. Choose "Don't search. I will choose the driver to install" and click "Next"
  9. You will see a list of compatible drivers, click the one that says "Standard" somewhere in the name (EX: "Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller") and click "Next"
  10. Windows will install the Standard driver and should ask if you want to restart. DO NOT RESTART.
  11. Repeat each of these steps for every driver that has the manufacturer's name in it (VIA, Intel, ATI, Nvidia, SIS, ALi, etc), that is in the "IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers" and "System Devices" sections. All must be Standard.

---- Do not restart until after the next step ----

Step 3

You can skip this step if both the new and old motherboards have the same processor brand (EX: both are AMD or both are Intel). You can also skip this if you are changing from an AMD processor to an Intel processor. This step is only to turn the Intel power management off so that an AMD processor will run. If you already had an AMD processor on the old motherboard, then it is already off. I am not sure if you will need to have it on for the Intel processor to run. Do not do this if the new processor is Intel!

So here it is:

  1. Open "My Computer"
  2. Go to this folder: "C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers"
  3. Rename intelppm.sys to something else (EX: "intelppm.sys.old")

If you cannot find the file, then it might be hidden. To change it from hidden:

  1. Click on the "Tools" menu
  2. Click "Folder Options"
  3. Click on the "View" tab
  4. Uncheck the box that says "Hide Protected Operating System Files"
  5. Also click on "Show hidden files and folders"
  6. Click "OK"

Now, to make sure it is off we need to change one small setting in the registry.

  1. Click the Start button and then click "Run..."
  2. Type regedit and click "OK"
  3. Navigate to "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE" / "SYSTEM" / "CurrentControlSet" / "Services" / "IntelPPM"
  4. Double click on "Start" and change the value to "4"
  5. Close regedit

Gaming goodies for your new system:

Step 4

Shutdown your computer, take it apart, and install the new motherboard. After it is all hooked up, turn it on and pray to the computer gods. If all goes well, Windows will start up and you can log in. If you had graphics, LAN, USB, Firewire, or audio on the motherboard before, it will not work until you install the new drivers. Before you do that, you must install the chipset drivers first. Use the CD that came with the new motherboard. After that, you can install any other drivers. ATI and Nvidia have all the drivers bundled together for their motherboards, so it's just a matter of running the one setup utility. If your motherboard does not have an ATI or NVIDIA chipset, then you will have to install each driver, one at a time. Most motherboards come with a CD that has an automated setup utility of some sort. Remember, install the chipset drivers first. After all the drivers are installed, you should have the same computer as before, but with different, and faster, guts.

Again, this is how I managed to bypass the blue-screen-of-death when I swapped out motherboards and processors on some machines. This may not work for everyone. If problems arise, please put them in the comments section below so people can learn from it somehow. Any solutions, of course, are always welcome too.

Good Luck


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    • profile image

      Gazstao 3 years ago

      It is as if you had just saved my life!

      It worked very well to change an old but very userful system from an HP 6400 Server to a Compaq AMD.

      Thank you very much!

    • profile image

      Johnk187 3 years ago

      We're a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. bdgdbdeebdcc

    • Mant Frell profile image

      Mant Frell 3 years ago

      Hi everybody, do you think it would be possible to use this procedure to create a win xp on an external usb drive, so that it will boot on 2 or 3 different computers? Maybe selecting different hardware configurations at boot?

    • profile image

      dhana 3 years ago

      my computer in cpu is not booting in windows xp what are the reasons make it problems solved

    • profile image

      Reptilian Feline 4 years ago

      Wow! This worked like a charm. Only thing to think about is that when removing USB that matches the mother board the USB mouse and keyboard might stop working (it did for me). My mother boards both have PS/2 so I had to hook both to the old mother board, and then to the new one while all the drivers were installed.

      Other than that, removing or changing to standard drivers were really the key :-D

    • profile image

      Ethan Bynum 4 years ago

      Thank you so much for posting this. This helped me get out of a giant loophole.

    • profile image

      David S 4 years ago

      I just want to say thank you so much!!! This saved me so much time!!! up grade from a 1.8 ghz intel dual to 4.0 ghx amd hexcore and this saved my life i think

    • profile image

      Bryan Craig 4 years ago

      Beautiful!! Thanks a lot daywalker, for providing these magical steps. ... this was very helpful. I was able to go from an old Motherboard to an AMD Motherboard with DDR 3 memory after following these instructions. Well done. Regards from Bryan Craig in Brazil

    • profile image

      Michael 4 years ago


    • profile image

      Yousef 4 years ago

      i sit on my computer browsing internet over 10 hours, and this article was the most helpful one!

      you described everything step-by-step, every word was clear, and actually im planning to move but i was afraid from resintalling, and in the comment it looks trusted tutorial


    • profile image

      Dwayne 5 years ago

      Worked beautifully for me. I switched from an intel to AMD board and the steps above worked like magic.

      Just a quick note, if there is a device that can be replaced with a generic standard one, you can disable and continue as normal.

    • profile image

      RandomVisitor 5 years ago

      I switched from Intel CPU + nvidia chipset to AMD CPU + AMD chipset. My PC could boot into safe mode on the AMD board, but it kept BSOD on normal boot. This fixed the problem. Wished I knew about this a few years sooner, would not have wasted so much time reinstalling.

    • profile image

      grateful tinkerer 5 years ago

      Thanks so much for the intelppm hint! Renaming the driver from a linux live-cd allowed me to move XP to AMD with minimal fuss. No need to reintall OS/db/dev tools etc yet I can still support the old apps even though the original HW died on me. Much appreciated!

    • profile image

      Derek 5 years ago

      Many thanks.... Worked very well.

    • profile image

      Giles 5 years ago

      Thank you so much worked a treat!

    • profile image

      Noel Woolrych 5 years ago

      That was brilliant, we've spent hours trying to get the disck to run in a new pc and this did the trick. I'm in you debt.

    • Charles Hamby profile image

      Charles Hamby 5 years ago

      everyth worked but my mouse and kebord every keybord or mouse i have wont work please help

    • profile image

      DeadScarlett 5 years ago

      I was able to follow these instructions and upgraded my Pentium 4 to a newer AMD FX Quad AM3+ socket with my Xp OS. Everything worked fine. The only thing I had to do differently is I couldn't change the driver on a single IDE control so I had to uninstall it. I also had two hard drives when I booted up the new machine and got the blue screen of death when I first booted up until I noticed I was booting to the wrong hard drive. My dual boot with Ubuntu didn't seem to have any issues either as Ubuntu v11 seemed to pick up on the new hardware right away. I also didn't have to uninstall any video drivers as I had a separate video card that was not part of the motherboard.

    • profile image

      Gidi 5 years ago

      Renaming the "intelppm.sys" made it work.

      Upgarding from old Intel to new Athlon.



    • profile image

      Flavio 5 years ago

      you sir are a champion :)

    • profile image

      No Name 5 years ago

      Hi, so I do not have a extra intel computer, and the mobo is fried so I swapped the hard drive into a AMD motherboard/cpu computer. I tried doing repair from the disk and also deleting the intelide.sys and intelppm.sys since this solution worked for a majority of the people. However I believe it's hardware since I am now currently using a AMD FX chip and a 970 chipset. Any suggestions without having to go to registry and device manager?

    • profile image

      C├ędric N 5 years ago

      Thanks a lot !!!!!

      We deploy XP machine by syspreping XP with Virtual machines. Our VM are under Intel because our server is has intel processors. After sysprep, we capture by imagex for deployning with MDT.

      We receive HP machines with AMD processor and our process wasn't working. After changing drivers into generics one and on the VM : that's work !!!

      Our method :

      1) sc config intelppm start= disabled for diabling intelppm

      2) change driver with no reboot

      3) sysprep -mini - reseal

      4) imagex

      5) import in mdt

    • profile image

      bobpndrgn 5 years ago

      Will it work with windows 7?

    • profile image

      mel 5 years ago

      thank you so much... it worked!!!

    • profile image

      Mladen 5 years ago

      Perfect guide! You save me! two days trying to fix WINXP that I moved from intel notebook to another amd notebook. And after 2 days, without hope that I will do something, I founded your instructions and all fixed for 10 min.

      Big Thanks!

    • profile image

      Cody 6 years ago

      Great guide!! Perfect even!

    • profile image

      Dawn Raison 6 years ago

      Thanks for the IntelPPM tip - it just dug me out of a very deep dark hole :-)

      Thanks for taking the time to write this up!

    • profile image

      Kintire 6 years ago

      I normally only use AMD processors so have never come across this problem before. My son was given a pre-built with an intel cpu years ago. I'm currently building him a new computer with an AMD CPU. I was going nuts trying to get it to start with his old hard drive, I figured it was to do with the change in cpu brands but had no idea what to do to fix it, was dreading having to reinstall windows, since he wants to keep all his stuff (and who doesn't). Thank you so much for this information, it's been very much appreciated =)

    • profile image

      computer guy 6 years ago

      all you need to do to go from intel to amd is use the windows disk after switching motherboard and cpu and open dos box and type disable intelppm that's it it will boot without blue screen

    • profile image

      Dasharath Santra 6 years ago


      its work

      My Website

      Mamata Infotech By Dasharath Santra Masat Bazar Hooghly West Bengal India

    • profile image

      johan 6 years ago

      it work,, thank u

    • profile image

      Troy 7 years ago

      You are a champ, Daywalker. I changed from Intel P4 to AMD. The driver issue was not a problem. When I powered up after moving from Intel P4 to AMD, it would only boot into safe mode. For me it was the INTELPPM.SYS alterations that fixed. After booting back into XP I did update a few drivers.


    • daywalkerFL profile image

      daywalkerFL 7 years ago from Orlando, Florida

      Don't think Windows repair will do anything good

    • profile image

      Bob 7 years ago

      How about a windows repair?

      will that be sufficient?

    • profile image

      Ben 7 years ago

      Thx - worked a treat. Needed to change Motherboard/CPU/RAM from P4 to Dual Core. After continuous boot crashes, I followed your steps and presto. Everything loaded - installed the new drivers from the new motherboard, activated the new version of XP and all is perfect. Thanks a million!!!

    • profile image 7 years ago from bear, de, 19701

      Great article. helpful to save energy. thanks

    • daywalkerFL profile image

      daywalkerFL 7 years ago from Orlando, Florida

      There may be problems with switching from IDE to SATA. I have read of people having trouble with Windows not having the SATA drivers for some reason. Can't remember the solution though.

      to "nobody", go ahead and use it anywhere just give me credit and link to this page

    • profile image

      nobody 7 years ago

      What a GREAT WORK!

      It did worded for me to transfer from AMD X2 to Intel Celeron, vice versa.

      Could I use your article in Chinese on my blog?

      It will help MANY local people!

      Thank you very much daywalkerFL, for the GREAT JOB!

    • profile image

      Mike Dolson 7 years ago

      Question, I'm about to upgrade from P4& AS-Rock motherboard to an AMD Phenom II x4 & ASUS motherboard.

      I have IDE CD & DVD drives, but my HD is a WD SATA drive.

      Will this effect the procedure you outline?

      MIke D

    • daywalkerFL profile image

      daywalkerFL 8 years ago from Orlando, Florida

      I don't really know vista too well, but I would try to delete/rename intelppm.sys while in safe mode. I believe there is a service running in normal mode that replaces system files from a backup as soon as it's deleted. Also you may not need to delete it if the registry is changed correctly. Try searching for a vista specific way of changing that registry info. As for the drivers, I don't know vista, but it should be that same method as XP. Example, I changed a motherboard with a pentium4 and VIA chipset to one with an AMD athlon and Nvidia chipset. I just changed any drivers in "system devices" and "ide ata/atapi" sections that had "VIA" somewhere in the name to a standard driver. Then just change the registry for INTELPPM. I changed the drivers by right-clicking it and choosing "update driver" and changed it to the standard microsoft version of the driver. Again I don't know my vista, but keep posting info so we can tackle this problem and I can make a vista section in this article. Also, please post processor, motherboard manufacturer and chipset manufacturer next time for more customized instructions for your situation (example: Pentium 4, Asus model XXXX motherboard, and Intel XXXX chipset) GOOD LUCK

    • profile image

      Dipanjan 8 years ago

      As soon as I am renaming intelppm.sys to intelppm.sys.old it is again coming back. Also under system devices section I cannot find the standard drivers. Is this section ( system devices) as important as IDE ATA/ATAPI Controller. I am user of vista and want to change both cpu and mother board. At present the cpu is of Intel's and I shall replace it with one of AMD's. Please help.

    • daywalkerFL profile image

      daywalkerFL 8 years ago from Orlando, Florida

      Good to hear! I had to upgrade 6 computers without a reinstall and always knew it wouldn't work, but I had a crazy idea that if all the drivers were generic, then it might somehow work. It didn't. Many hours later I found out it was the IntelPPM deal and many more hours later found a single website that had a fix. I felt obligated to post the info after all that. I've got it down to a quick 5 minutes in the device manager and regedit and another 5 min swapping the motherboard, and I'm done! Too easy

    • profile image

      Ritesh 8 years ago

      It Worked!! Thanks a lot daywalker, for providing these magical steps. ... this was very helpful. I was able to go from a 5 year old Intel P4 w/Soyo Motherboard to an AMD X3 w/M/MSI Motherboard after following these instructions.

      It was so frustrating in the past to reinstall Windows all over again and then do zillions of updates. None of that after spending 20 min carefully thru all the devices. I even uninstalled some of the devices that I knew are not gonna be on my new motherboard. Also, one more advise to be safe, do a disk clone and have a backup of your original Windows partition should this upgrade fail - I used Seagate DiskWizard, that works like a charm, before I changed the devices, etc. as mentioned above.


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