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OK - need some suggestions from Windows-savvy folks.

I have changed the motherboard & CPU on a personal desktop system. In these days of motherboards with Everything included, that means I have also changed the LAN card and the video. The old mobo was an ASRock 350 with an AMD CPU and the new one is an Intel DH77DF with a Core-i5.

The machine now boots to the BIOS setup screen, recognizes all the RAM and the disks.

Starting to boot Windows 7, it blue-screens and flips to Startup Recovery. Startup Recovery finds nothing wrong. The blue-screen happens before I can get the system to recognize F8 to go into safe mode.

Intel provided a driver disk with a dedicated install utility, so I cannot simply grab drivers, of course, that would be too easy.

I made this same switch on another system but I was prepared to do a metal-up rebuild of Windows on that one. I am trying very hard to avoid the same on this system. After building fresh Windows on the first one, running the Intel Express utility did indeed activate all the hardware which now performs beautifully.

Any suggestions on how to replace whatever was AMD/ASRock specific with either generic or Intel-specific drivers, at least enough to get booted? Without blowing the existing Windows install away.

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migrated from serverfault.com Mar 23 '13 at 12:40

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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The problem here is a component of Windows called the Hardware Abstraction Layer or HAL. This component is responsible for loading the correct drivers for your hardware platform. If your hardware gets switched around your HAL might protest and cause a Blue Screen of Death. This is especially true for substantial changes such as the ones you did.

Also factor in the fact that Windows is commercial software and you may see why the HAL doesn't like hardware changes. After all, you could just be copying around the same Windows installation to different machines without acquiring a new license.

There's a knowledge base article that offers some advice for moving Windows to new hardware. You could try your luck with the methods described there.

In my opinion, the best way to move forward is to bite the bullet and re-install the OS from scratch.

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Any suggestions on how to replace whatever was AMD/ASRock specific with either generic or Intel-specific drivers, at least enough to get booted?

Without blowing the existing Windows install away.

Yes, three ideas.

  1. Only practical if you still have the old ASRock PC around:
    a) Put the disk back. Uninstall most drivers. Move the disk to the new PC. Boot and pray.
    b) Put the disk back. and use Microsofts sysprep. It is designed to remove all drivers and prepare the OS to be installed on new hardware.
  2. Boot in safe mode. (This works sometimes, assuming the hardware is not too different).
  3. Make a full backup. Read up on registry hives and replace the current on with the backup created during the first OS installation. Might work. Might break a lot of installed software. This is fun to do if you know what you are doing and if you have a few spare PCs to play around with.

Personally I prefer solution 1 b). It is simple do use and just works. But the program should be run before you move the HDD to the new hardware.

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