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Author Topic: Is there a way to clean all windows drivers to allow for a change of motherboard  (Read 8312 times)

iphigenie

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Hi

Normally when I change the motherboard/chip of a computer I just reinstall windows. That works. Avoids conflict.

But this is my old main PC and it has a LOT of things configured and installed. I really really dont want to reinstall it all. It takes days. That's why I made an image 2 years ago and update it when needed... but that wont help now.

At this point I might have shelled out for the Acronis 11 upgrade and the additional module, but I think it was Carol who said it doesnt work as expected.

So I am considering trying to do it manually.

I tried uninstalling (when available) or deleting from the hardware list all of the underlying drivers but it wont let me delete them all.

I have installed all the new drivers and they seem to be the only ones active, but I am not getting the kind of responsiveness I got on the old hardware, and this is much better hardware, so obviously this is not optimal.

I just thought there might be a tool out there that clears all drivers that I could try. Clear all, reboot, redetect, tada, clean PC... I doubt that works but it seems possible that some driver admin tool exists with that feature "clean my board".... I can dream!

My next step if I cant find that is a reinstall "on top" but I dont think this will clear the drivers list, will it?

Another idea might be to find a way to export all the useful registry bits except for hardware, so i dont have to reinstall every piece of software... backup, do a clean reinstall, restore all app settings... but I dont think it is that easy...

I think i could spend days trying to come up with a solution so might as well spend days on a clean install, bust still, I thought I would just ask here...
« Last Edit: November 09, 2007, 07:27:28 AM by iphigenie »

Lashiec

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I see two ways to do it: Using programs like DriverCleaner or Driver Sweeper, but I don't know if those would provide a complete cleanup of all drivers as Driver Sweeper, for example, only cleans a few selected packages from various hardware companies.

The other way is following this kind of guide that Jon Stokes posted not too long ago on the Kit blog in Ars Technica, based on a thread in the Open Forum of the same site that is linked at the beginning.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2007, 08:22:27 AM by Lashiec »

Ralf Maximus

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I've restored drive images from one laptop to another, different brands, different hardware.

Upon startup Windows goes apeshit with "found new hardware" messages.  When it settles down, I give it the driver disc for the target laptop.  Eventually (after a few reboots) the "found new hardware" dialog stops popping up and everything works.

Are there unused driver files on the hard drive?  Yes. 

Bits of old driver crap in the registry?  Of course. 

Product activation?  Naturally.

But all the hardware works and Windows seems happy.  It's not the most aesthetically pleasing Windows reinstalls, but sometimes it's the only option... especially if your backup image is an all-or-nothing kind of thing that doesn't support mounting or browsing.

mouser

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I've had similar feeling and approach as Ralf.

nosh

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I wouldn't expect Windows to slow down just coz you upgraded your mobo + drivers, not unless you upgraded to a different Windows version. Have you tweaked your BIOS for optimal settings?

iphigenie

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That approach is what i have done so far and windows seems to work.
But I have an uneasy feeling about it... the first time i did this a long time ago just wouldnt work so i am wary.

Also i have gone from athlon 3 Ghz to a dual core intel and it feels slower... but i have a similar processor in my laptop and that is faster. Although my laptop has a different chipset etc...

And I still have to go and figure out the bios

I guess Ill run a few more tests and tweaks

Black Mamba

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Give Driver Cleaner .NET a try too.

It's a bargain considering the price.

Carol Haynes

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Sometimes chipset drivers and HAL can cause problems in mobo moves - esp. if you move to different types of CPU and architecture.

Personally I haven't had good experiences of doing this and found it was better to reinstall a fresh copy.

Acronis TrueImage 9.1 Workstation (that's the corporate version not the home version) has an extra purchased addon called "Universal Restore" which is specifically designed to do this kind of restore (ie. restore a disk image to completely different hardware). AFAICT it does that by cleaning the system from drivers during the backup process.

Armando

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Iphigenie : I've asked a similar thing in the past.

IMO, Universal Restore is not necessary.

Steeladept gave me some good advices in that post : http://www.donationc...49.msg61210#msg61210

I know you already found a solution, but this is what I did last time before imaging (to clone) my drive :

So, on the old computer...

1- uninstall the NIC driver (don't reboot)
2- uninstall HD driver (don't reboot)
3- SHUT DOWN (don't reboot!)
4- Image your drive from a CD -- if you have access to Acronis Universal Restore, use it. But I don't know if it will make a difference or not.

After :
5- use the cloned image on the "new" computer

Of course, as others have stated, you might have to reactivate windows.

http://www.donationc...22.msg69465#msg69465
« Last Edit: November 09, 2007, 06:23:13 PM by Armando »

nosh

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IMO, since your new hardware is up and running you're in the clear. The BIOS holds some pretty significant settings which can sometimes be turned off by default, for example my current BIOS disables 32 bit file transfers on all HDDs as default, significantly slowing down file operations unless enabled. You really can't comment on hardware underperforming till you set it up right.

I upgraded the mobo on an older PC a couple of days back, XP wouldn't boot - booting off the CD & using the Repair function fixed it.


iphigenie

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i guess, but the new hardware feels sluggish compared to the old hardware. I know the old hardware had a top notch motherboard but everything else is either the same or quite a bit better so I suspect something's not quite optimal. More playing around!

I might try repair, it might clear and reselect all the drivers.

iphigenie

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mostly the disk access feels sluggish (noticeable even when opening start menu submenus for the first time after a boot) and it feels a tad laggy/jerked in WoW.

On the other hand reinstalling the accounts package is something I worry about doing - i havent used it long enough to be sure
- it will just reinstall happily and not do some weird license grumbling
- i have backed up everything I need to make sure i have all the data etc
So i will meddle around some more

Carol Haynes

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How about on the new system just go to the device manager and uninstall all drivers (only reboot after you have uninstalled all of them) and then restart and install the new driver set for the new setup? Don't install the HAL driver though (the one listed in Device Manager as 'Computer') as that can cause data corruption - there is a microsoft KB article on how to update the HAL driver correctly. (Sorry haven't time to find it at the moment as the only one I could find referred to Windows 2000).
« Last Edit: November 11, 2007, 06:07:29 AM by Carol Haynes »

iphigenie

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AAAAAAAARRRGGGHHH

Microsoft tells me I have exceeded my number of activations on this license. Not sure how that could be since it is only used on this machine and I hadnt had to reinstall in 18 months (thanks to images) but I am most annoyed

I have 3 xp pro licenses, one xp mce, 2 licenses of windows 2000, i habe always paid for the right number of licenses...

and now
- my windows mce license said "exceeded" to me the other day (and the only reason i have had to reinstall this one so often is that windows mce was so broken originally it needed 5 tries to install
- and now this pc, which is my oldest but is also the first time i upgrade it

very very annoying and i am certainly not paying again!!!

Update: phew, worked over the phone
« Last Edit: November 11, 2007, 06:51:10 AM by iphigenie »