How to change your motherboard and avoid reinstalling Windows XP (Intel to AMD chipset, with INTELPPM.SYS fix)
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.
READ THIS ENTIRE ARTICLE SEVERAL TIMES BEFORE YOU START!!!
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).
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:
- Right-click on "My Computer"
- Click on "Manage"
- On the left side, you will see "Device Manager" in the list, click it
- Click on a section that contains a driver you wish to change (EX: "IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers")
- Right-click on the driver you wish to change (EX: "VIA IDE Controller") and select "Update Driver"
- Choose "No, not this time" and click "Next"
- Choose "Install from a list or specific location (advanced)" and click "Next"
- Choose "Don't search. I will choose the driver to install" and click "Next"
- 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"
- Windows will install the Standard driver and should ask if you want to restart. DO NOT RESTART.
- 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 ----
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:
- Open "My Computer"
- Go to this folder: "C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers"
- 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:
- Click on the "Tools" menu
- Click "Folder Options"
- Click on the "View" tab
- Uncheck the box that says "Hide Protected Operating System Files"
- Also click on "Show hidden files and folders"
- Click "OK"
Now, to make sure it is off we need to change one small setting in the registry.
- Click the Start button and then click "Run..."
- Type regedit and click "OK"
- Navigate to "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE" / "SYSTEM" / "CurrentControlSet" / "Services" / "IntelPPM"
- Double click on "Start" and change the value to "4"
- Close regedit
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.
Need a graphics card with that new motherboard?
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.
Some helpful links:
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