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Upgrading CPU without upsetting Windows


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#1 Andrew

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 11:46 PM

Situation: A friend wants to upgrade their CPU from an aging single core to a more modern multi-core processor. Thing is, they are adamant about not having to reinstall Windows (XP Pro, SP3).

In the past, whenever I've installed a new CPU, I would just reinstall Windows as a matter of course. I mean, why not? Fresh installs are good for Windows, keeps it clean.

Anyhow, I'm wondering if replacing the CPU will cause any significant troubles with the existing XP install. Reactivation isn't too concerning since she has the original product code (genuine, only ever used once on initial install.)

Her MB supports Intel's LGA 775 socket. It's an Asus P5L-MX. I'm thinking about perhaps a quad core (if that board will handle it, still checking that) or a dual core Intel.

I have a sumptuous steak dinner being dangled in front of me as payment. This lady can cook like fish can swim, I need your help guys!

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#2 zedsed420

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 04:19 AM

As long as you don't change the motherboard, Windows should be ok. I'm not as familiar with the Intel boards and procs as I am with AMD but make sure you have the right bios installed before you switch the proc and you should be ok.

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#3 Platypus

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 05:29 AM

It should be OK unless XP has been installed with a Uniprocessor HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) that is not either ACPI or MPS. Expanding the Computer category in the Device Manager tree will show what HAL is installed.

If the existing CPU is Hyperthreaded, there is probably a Multiprocessor HAL already installed. If not, but the Uniprocessor HAL is ACPI or MPS, the HAL will recognise the presence of an updated CPU and install the Multiprocessor HAL and kernel files.

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#4 Andrew

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 01:05 PM

Thanks for the replies, guys (heh, that rhymes). I'll be looking into the matter this evening after work.

Edited by Amazing Andrew, 15 September 2009 - 01:05 PM.
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#5 Adamsappleone

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 02:02 PM

I just recently built a new PC,
The old one was an ASUS P4P800SE board, w/P4 3.0 CPU, 2 gigs RAM

The new one is an ASUS P5GC-MX/1333, w/ 2.5 Dual Core, 4 gigs RAM, both CPU's are Intel

My HDD's were not touched, just removed from old and put in the new and the system booted right up w/no glitches. I was surprised to say the least, thinking I would have to re-install my OS's, which I eventually did anyway, just for that clean feeling.

Multi-Boot, Vista Ultimate x64, Windows 7 x64 & Windows 8 Pro x64

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#6 Andrew

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 12:37 AM

It should be OK unless XP has been installed with a Uniprocessor HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) that is not either ACPI or MPS. Expanding the Computer category in the Device Manager tree will show what HAL is installed.

If the existing CPU is Hyperthreaded, there is probably a Multiprocessor HAL already installed. If not, but the Uniprocessor HAL is ACPI or MPS, the HAL will recognise the presence of an updated CPU and install the Multiprocessor HAL and kernel files.

OK, so the HAL listed under the Computer section of the Device Manager is "ACPI Uniprocessor PC" and if I understand you properly, that means that a multicore processor will be properly recognized?


(I think I just got one step closer to that steak dinner :thumbsup: )

Edited by Amazing Andrew, 17 September 2009 - 12:38 AM.


#7 Platypus

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 05:54 AM

OK, so the HAL listed under the Computer section of the Device Manager is "ACPI Uniprocessor PC" and if I understand you properly, that means that a multicore processor will be properly recognized?

According to Microsoft's explanation, yes it should be. Here's hoping the dinner is forthcoming!

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