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Swaping motherboards from underneath windows - IS THIIS POSSIBLE?

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something clever

Jan 26, 2001
I've got a few friends and family members that are asking me to build, or upgrade, new systems for them. none have an independent OS, just that bundled proprietory **** that won't load on anything other than a Dell, Compaq, or what have you.

I'm thinking it would be slick to just reuse their existing hard drives - as they are now. That way no one has to buy Windows again, plus they don't have to reload all their Apps, files, games, etc.

So my questions are: what does Windows think about having the rug pulled out from underneath it? Seems like that kind of thing would piss it off a bit - with the different chipsets and all. how (in general) would you work around this? Anybody know any tricks?
Well, I tried doing exactly that when I upgraded to my A7V, and it ust didn't work. I really didn't put much work into solving the problem, since I had a real window's CD. You may be able to install a fresh OS and just put in their windows key.... if you have acess to a win CD. I think it'd fall into one of those legal gray areas, if you're worried about that. But they did "purchase" a copy of windoes with their comps... the just weren't supplied with a copy of the OS on a CD.

Someone out there in computer land must have gotten a mobo switch to work sucessfully... Maybe try un-installing everything... leaving a "bare bones" setup. hopefully windows will be able to cope with the chipset changes then.
When I upgraded (new motherboard, processor and memory) I set everything up, booted up, windows detected the new hardware (well most of it) and removed the old. It took a bit of messing around and many reboots, but everything is working fine now and I didn't lose any info or have to reinstall anything. I may do I clean install later but I really don't feel like doing one right now :)

went from ABit BX6r2, Celeron 400, and 128MB APacer PC100 CAS2
to ABit KT7A-RAID, 1GHz T-Bird, and 256MB Crucial PC133 CAS2
I have done it before.... but it was a switch from one Via MVP3 based Super7 board (a MSI board) to another (a Soyo board). Never tried it with more advanced stuff...... if you try it, I think what was mentioned above about removing all peripheral cards makes sense. And also - if legal issues are involved with reinstalling from a genuine Win CD, here's the way it is: if they own the little book with the license number on it, they can install that version of windows (i.e. 95, 98, 98SE, 2000, Me, etc) from any CD, not just the one they got with it. Hope this clears a few things up.

many thanks for the info guys. starting to feel better already. I think it's definitely worth a shot. If I hit a wall - well, there's always piracy ;-)