My motherboard failed yesterday when I was hooking up a few devices to my computer. I brought it to a local company and they said the motherboard needed replacing and a new hard drive, as I'd need to do a fresh install on it.

Their reason for the new hard drive is that XP won't boot if I just slot the new drive back in and start it up. I questioned whether a board with the same chipset would mean I didn't have to do this but they said no.

Am I being told lies here? I really don't know much about mobo replacement.

Also, if i do install XP on the new drive, how likely is it that I can get data off the old drive? Theres some stuff on there that I didn't back up and it quite important.



You can get data from your old HDD if its not physically damaged. Or if the cylinders are good. Also once you have installed your new HDD, you can connect your old HDD and get the data back. But before you do that please check if your system detects your old HDD. If yes then you should just put the windows xp cd and repair the existing OS on the old HDD.

Your local company is correct. The drivers etc on the old HDD are of little use on a new MOBO.

When they've rebuilt your system, ensure that the old HDD is placed in your new system as a slave device. You'll need to make sure that there is the right type of controller available for the old drive as the new mobo may be SATA and your old HDD may be PATA. Prolly the best thing here is to buy a USB enclosure and attach the old drive onto the rebuilt PC through that.

You'll quickly find out via the various available disk utilities whether or not your HDD is shot or to what extent. There's a fair chance that you'll get your data off - but I'm at a distance from you and obviously don't really know.

Good luck.

i would like to be more frank and say yes you are being lied to ,sort of anyway!!!
why would you need a new harddrive just because the board is bad! !! its possible to install the drive on a different board with same chipset ,i done it just a few weeks ago,having said that it was not a new board just a different one ,one was a p3 gigabyte board and the newer one was a p4 in a Dell tower,not sure of the boards brand name . both had via chipsets .and xp boot ,with out a reload ,and is still running fine .

Thanks for the replies. I'm typing this on my fixed system which set me back a ridiculous 130 quid ($260). I was almost going to just build a Quad Core system but I needed my machine for a ton of important work this week (it broke at the worst possible time) and wouldn't be able to wait on parts, and I have a 500 quid Yamaha soundcard which is essential for my work and it doesn't run under Vista.

Got the system back and the idiots used a mobo with 3 PCI slots. I have a Zalman cooler on my graphics card which eliminates one PCI slot so they left out the Yamaha card. I probably could have booted from the old drive but I installed XP on the new drive and was able to access my data off the old drive as a slave.

I think I'm perfectly within my rights to ask them to either fit a new board (they clearly knew that one PCI slot would be eliminated by the graphics card cooler), or give me a USB WiFi dongle so I can remove the PCI wireless card I have in it.

Either way, I wasn't happy spending 130 quid on a 3 year old P4 system but this work was essential. Whats more, the new mobo only has 2 RAM DIMMs AND they've underclocked both sticks to 333Mhz from 400Mhz!