Windows 2000 – Changing motherboard and chipset

How to change your motherboard when running Windows 2000 Professional

When you motherboard goes down, there is little you can do about it. Frankly you will have to replace it. If you have stocks of old PC knocking about, then you could be lucky. Research and common sense says you can swap the old one out with an exact replacement. It would also make sense that if the replacement motherboard is not the exact same, but has the same chipset on it, Windows will not be affected.

Moving Windows 2000 to a new chipset

If like me and most people you do not have the exact replacement, you may have to use a motherboard with a different chipset on it. I took my machine down to a basic level. It had a graphics card and a hard drive in the motherboard and nothing else. When Windows 2000 tried to boot up, it failed to do so. In my case the blue screen of death appeared and I started to panic.

The problem is, Windows 2000 is NOT plug and play at the chipset level.

Repairing your installation does not work.

After the blue screen of death, I booted up from the CD. It gave me a number of options to "recover" or repair the installation. I tried all repair options. None of them seemed to work.

Installing Windows 2000 over an old installation of Windows as an upgrade

My last alternative was to re-install Windows. I had a backup off all of my data but, I was still not looking forward to having to re-install all the software on the disk and all of the data from backups. I had no choice though. No other options seemed available. This was my last hope.

Surprisingly, when I installed the software it noticed there was already an installation on the hard drive. IT then proceeded to install again as an upgrade. All went fine for some time.

Windows 2000 installation locks the machine up

At the last stage of the upgrade, as I was entering the security code for my copy of the software, the machine locked up. By this time I was ready to chuck the machine against the wall and storm out in a rage. Instead, I went downstairs and rummaged through some older hardware. I found a classic SiS PCI graphics card. This was my last hope. I had stripped the machine down already, if this did not work I was doomed. I placed this horrid old card in the machine and booted it up.

Stripping the machine to the basics worked

To my great relief it worked. After another hour or so of tinkering around with IP addresses and other networking stuff the server was back online and fully functional. What a relief. I hope this article helps someone else in a similar situation.

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