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Preserve OS on rebuild?


miimura
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My main desktop PC is dying quickly and I can't seem to recussitate it. It's BSODing and won't pass the Win7 Windows Memory Diaganostic. A couple weeks ago I moved the memory to the other pair of slots and that worked until now. The system has a C2Q Q9400 in a GF9400 MATX board. I've tried relaxing memory timings and dropping memory frequency and bumping the memory voltages but nothing works. I'd welcome any ideas for a quick repair but I think this is as good an excuse as I'll get to upgrade to Ivy Bridge.

 

So, my real question is: Is there a way to avoid a full nuke-and-pave reinstall of Windows 7? I'm happy with my Win7 setup, unlike my experience with XP, that seemed to need a N&P every year just to keep running right. I'll be getting a mobo, cpu, memory, SSD, but everything else is going to be re-used. I can think of a couple shortcuts that may or may not work out well. Such as:

- Image the old boot and system partitions to the new SSD and repair / re-install over it.

- Try to boot the exising OS intstall and see if it can work through all the new hardware.

 

Any other migration tools I should know about that will streamline the process?

 

- Mike

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I have seen it work before but it is hit and miss. I guess it is due to all the old drivers interfereing with the new drivers. Starting fresh is the only way to go though.

 

I find your comment about XP funny because I ran XP for six years without ever reinstalling. I was almost at three years with W7 but the SSD died so I had to start over. The OS is fine, it is the user that screws with it that causes the need for reinstalling.

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Sounds to me as though the MOBO is your problem and combined with a replacement of the cpu would warrant a reinstall.

 

Unless you are doing a LOT of tweaking with programs with testing and the like, an install should be stable for at least two to three years for the average user. I too have seen XP installations go way beyond that time period.

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I just went through a mobo/cpu/ram upgrade on my system and I didn't need to reinstall the OS. On first boot the system freaked out because of the driver mismatch but after installing the drivers from the included CD all was well. Even my RAID array was intact with the onboard Intel controller.

Generally, as long as you upgrade along the similar CPU path (Intel to Intel, or AMD to AMD) and keep the same HAL (single-cpu, ACPI, PIC or APIC) you SHOULD be fine.

In my case I went from a x38 board/Q6600 CPU to a z77 board/i3770S CPU.

 

Try it and see. If it all goes to hell in a handbasket, then you can install a clean OS to your new SSD and migrate your files over.

Edited by Mr_Smartepants
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I concur on the fresh install. I just upgraded my main 2008R2 box to 2012 and at first I was going to do an upgrade but after a couple of warning about low disk space on the C drive ( I was 5 gigs under) I decided to do a clean install. The only hitch I had was reassigning the Hyper-V Clients to the new OS,

 

NIC cards get renamed and physical drives passed thru to the virtual WHS get the same treatment but with the WHS Console, it is a snap to reassign the Shared Folder to a new drive letter and reassign the permissions. I did find this article yesterday and thought it worthy of passing along: (best features of Server 2012)

 

http://www.petri.co.il/top-10-windows-server-2012-features.htm

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Not sure why no one else mentioned it, but have you tried replacing the RAM? Or tried the existing RAM in another system? Or running MemTest86 on the RAM in the current mobo or another one? You were getting a Windows Memory Diagnostic error. Seems to me the first thing to do is test the memory.

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Thanks for all the input. I got the new parts and am doing the clean install now. I found a compatible system at work that was idle, so I'm testing the RAM in that P45 board overnight with MemTest. I'm pretty sure it's the mobo that died, so if the memory tests out OK, I'll see if I can find a reasonably priced socket 775 board so I can make use of the CPU and memory for another family member. There is a X2 250 machine that's begging to be pushed down the ladder.

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Exactly. If you can prove out the RAM, then it's good to re-use. Besides other family members, don't forget old machines often make good routers/gateways/UTMs for your internet connection.

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