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Changing out CPU and HD on Dell laptop out of warranty. CPU running hot. I want to upgrade while I am doing it. Need more space on HD. I only have Dell recovery disk which is XP Home. It is not going to load because bios isn't going to recognize new HD and CPU. How can I flash motherboard so XP will load and I can pas COA or is there something else I can do?

You help will be appreciated.

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Last Post by Darvus
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I would try using the recovery CD first. Are you changing the motherboard or just the CPU?
If that fails, your next choice is a new copy of XP, or switch to Linux.

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The only limits you can have with an old bios is Hard Drive Size, it should recognize the HD but It is possible you may not see the full size of the drive. As far an a CPU upgrade on a laptop, I would normally advise against this kind of upgrade, but if you really want to flash the laptop you can use a floppy boot disk and flash the bios with the given utility from the manufacturer. I would recommend cleaning out the fans, cleaning off the CPU and re-applying a SMALL amount of thermal grease. As a side note, how old is your laptop? what model of dell?

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Thanks you guys. The laptop is about three years old. Motherboard will support up to a Pentium 4 MT, 2.8, 533 mhz. I may take your advise and clean fan/heatsink and reapply thermo grease and just see what happens. I do however have to update HD because of a property apprasing program that I use that takes up at least 15 gigs which is a bunch for a single program. Current HD is 2o gigs. This does include stored files which are hugh in themselves. And yes I do back them up periodically, but retreiving them off DVD disk is slow. Maybe I will breakdown one of these days and get an external HD or thumb drive. Plus this is a backup computer that I take on the road. Dell told me if I believe them and/or understand them that their bios flash includes support for multiple processors including the one that I want to install.

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Three years old isn't too bad, you shouldn't have a problem with a Larger HD.......For a backup machine, I can't see the merit in upgrading the CPU, if anything, I would Max out RAM in the case of Pain in the butt Vs. Performance, upgrade. If Dell gave you a flash utility and Flash file for your Mobo then you should be able to flash it from a floppy...

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Thank you, but don't have floppy for this machine. That reminds me. Can I download bios flash to current HD and then flash bios, especially since I don't care about this drive. I have already backed everything up. Also the new bios recognize the larger HD. At least that is what the Dell web site is telling me. Another question I have that is related to another machine I am working on. I want to format the hard drive that has XP without using OS disk on boot up. Is there any problem in formatting it by right clicking the drive in windows and formating it, realizing that I will wipe it out which is what I want to do.

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Changing out CPU and HD on Dell laptop out of warranty. CPU running hot. I want to upgrade while I am doing it. Need more space on HD. I only have Dell recovery disk which is XP Home. It is not going to load because bios isn't going to recognize new HD and CPU. How can I flash motherboard so XP will load and I can pas COA or is there something else I can do?

You help will be appreciated.

You might to review this http://www.aumha.org/win5/a/wpa.php - it gives a great description on Windows XP validation

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Can I download bios flash to current HD and then flash bios, especially since I don't care about this drive. I have already backed everything up. Also the new bios recognize the larger HD. At least that is what the Dell web site is telling me.

You can download the current Bios flash if you have a working version of XP on your machine now and flash your Mobo... The bios flash should not affect anything on your HD, it is an update for your Motherboard. Sorry just had to say that to clarify.

Another question I have that is related to another machine I am working on. I want to format the hard drive that has XP without using OS disk on boot up. Is there any problem in formatting it by right clicking the drive in windows and formating it, realizing that I will wipe it out which is what I want to do.

If the disk you are trying to format is the disk you are currently booted to when you right click, and click format, you won't be able to, mostly because the disk that is running the format utility cannot format itself.....but if you plug your HD into ANOTHER machine, or it is a second drive which has not been booted to, then you can format it no problem.

As a side note....A short explanation on what the Bios is....The bios sits on an extremely small piece of flash memory built into the motherboard, the bios is used to initalize the hardware and prepare the system for a boot. So basically it loads everything necessary to boot your machine. Please have someone help you out hands-on if this is the first time you have done this type of repair.

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My understanding of how the Dell (maybe most other) OEM installs of Windows, CPU has nothing to do with it. The restore program just checks to see if the bios is a Dell-installed bios (since the mobos are exclusive to Dell). If it is, then the system is a Dell and it should install. The ONLY problem I ever had was when I had to replace the motherboard on an out-of-warranty system. That caused issues. So, as long as the motherboard is intact, everything else should be replaceable with newer parts.

I'd get a USB enclosure for your old HDD, and just install the new one (if, as you say, it will properly support said new drive), then boot from the system restore CD. You shouldn't have any trouble. Just be sure you don't format the old drive until AFTER you've successfully completed installation on with the new drive and everything's up and running. Doing it this way, you'll have your upgraded system set up AND you'll have your external hard drive. It's exactly what I did when I upgraded my laptop hard drive.

I hope this helps.

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Thanks Darvus, that is exactly what I will do. Will order HD connection to connect externally. That is the best of both worlds and saves having to do a bunch of back up.

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