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Thread: Should I wipe hard drive and install new/fresh OS on rebuild with new proc/mbrd?




  1. #1
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    Default Should I wipe hard drive and install new/fresh OS on rebuild with new proc/mbrd?

    I am a totally new computer nerd. I am trying to learn for next computer build (Looks like fun!).


    I lost my Gatewaste Media Center GT5220 due to a dead motherboard (don't have any idea unless dust killed it, or hacktards). I saved all the stuff from it but the mbrd and processor chip, and called Tigeronline for new board and chip to replace. ($50 biostar, and AMD Athlon X2, something like the one that was in it)

    I got it all hooked up, and the thing even booted right into XP. But it wouldn't play any audio, and wouldn't boot from the windows cd that came with computer. It locked up, saying "Boot Disk Fail, insert system disk and press enter." It woudln't even get that far (nothing on screen) till I pulled the 40pin cable (IDE, is that what its called?) from the hard drive. Then screen would "turn on" (stop sleeping) it would do the memory check, the Award black screen, all the usual, except instead of launching the Winxp, it would say "please insert system disk". No disc seemed to make it happy, so I took it to a computer repair with a good reputation.

    On the NEXT computer legos session, should I just get the harddrive wiped out and start with a new installation, even if I have to buy a new windows cd? (I heard about other stuff called LInux and other things, but I don't know jack about windows even so I don't want to go there yet).
    Last edited by AngryBob; 07-30-2009 at 06:43 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Should I wipe hard drive and install new/fresh OS on rebuild with new proc/mbrd?

    When Windows installs, it also installs drivers that allow it to communicate properly with your hardware. Any major changes to your hardware really need a fresh install of Windows so there isn't a bunch of garbage getting in the way of your computing pleasure and also to load drivers and dll files for your current hardware. Motherboards changes, especially when the chipset is different from what you had before, should ALWAYS include a fresh install of Windows.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Should I wipe hard drive and install new/fresh OS on rebuild with new proc/mbrd?

    Ok thank you. That is what I tried to do by inserting the windows disc that came with the original computer. The computer then "ate" it. It just sat there with the hard drive light fully on (the orange led, not on the optical drive). It didn't seem to be continuosly reading the cd though. I left it on all night and it was frozen, so I had to manually turn it off. Then I took it to the shop. What did I do wrong, your best guess.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Should I wipe hard drive and install new/fresh OS on rebuild with new proc/mbrd?

    I've probalby wasted a bunch of money trying to rebuild it and now taking it to a shop lol, for "obsolete stuff". I just can't get any real help around here, so thanks for helping me learn.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Should I wipe hard drive and install new/fresh OS on rebuild with new proc/mbrd?

    Not too sure about Gateway but most "prebuilt" computers do not come with a regular Windows disk. They usually come with a "restore" disk that is built specially for the computer they are to be installed in. A "restore" disk often has a check method that confirms it is being installed on the system it was designed for and will not install on another system. Even if you could get a "restore" disk to install you would be in almost the same position as using the old Windows installation since "restore" disks typically install drivers (as well as a bunch of other crap) that are for the original computer.

    If Gateway is one of the few companies that does give you a proper and complete version of Windows you will probably find that it is an "OEM" version and is tied to that particular motherboard for activation purposes. Sometimes you can get around that issue by calling MS to activate and explaining that your old motherboard died and needed to be replaced.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Should I wipe hard drive and install new/fresh OS on rebuild with new proc/mbrd?

    Thanks Prairiedog. Yes, since it actually booted until I put the dumb disc in there, it came up first with a Activation screen and phone number to Microsuck. I called the number a few times, and got the recorded voice "sorry we cannot activate you today." I called it at 5am and mistyped my computer's # and got Bangalored. The call center guy gave me the Special Code after reading him the long number, and it worked.

    I kept this info and took it to the shop, with tower case, the disc (like they need it, i didn't know) and they said they would reinstall windows from a newer disc.

    Maybe I should have figured out how to wipe out the HDD (is it called Formatting) and just bought the stupid new software box. Bc. now what if I don't have a backup cd.

    Can I make one from the newly fixed HDD? I have the CD burner optical drive.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Should I wipe hard drive and install new/fresh OS on rebuild with new proc/mbrd?

    Thanks for reading! The help is appreciated.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Should I wipe hard drive and install new/fresh OS on rebuild with new proc/mbrd?

    Proprietary machines (Dell, Gateway, etc) do have special Windows operating systems installed on them. The restore disk only restores the original equipment. What I would have done is either just buy another machine or if you don't have the budget, build from scratch as you are doing. You need to get your hands on an XP or Vista OS. I would recommend that you also buy a new hard drive. Use what hardware you can from the old system, and make sure the power supply matches up with the new mobo.

    Put it all together and use the old hard drive as a slave. That way you can grab the old files you wanted to save and won't have to wipe it. If wiping isn't a problem, you can always use the original, but I like to have at least 2 HDs in my machines. The extra storage is nice to have at least. Install Windows and then get the drivers from the internet.

    Going step by step is not the focus of this forum. "Tweak" implies you already have something in place and want to modify it. I'm sure there are lots of forums out there that can help people new to building first systems. It is a HUGE learning curve and you will need to do a lot of research. It takes time but can be very rewarding.
    Last edited by JerBear; 08-02-2009 at 05:27 PM.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Should I wipe hard drive and install new/fresh OS on rebuild with new proc/mbrd?

    re: tweaktown

    Makes sense. I had put it together and it apparently was a compatible board, but I am new to all this and encountered the problem above.

    A lot of people are repairing or building "bare bones" computers, esp frustrated consumers. My aunt is a pharmacist who doesn't know a lot of computer work, and she changed a motherboard herself and reinstalled her Windows.

    She didn't know about mine and so I took it to a shop.

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