Originally posted by SuperChip64
Easy Upgrading without reloading Windows
Ever try to install a card, drive, or even a new monitor, and have Windows either crash, or the new toy doesn't work correctly? Maybe you didn't remove the old hardware in Device Manager, maybe you did. But, I'll put down money if you really look, you'll see your old hardware still grabbing IRQ's, Memory, etc. And once you read this, you'll say "Damn!!!" Oh, BTW, if you replace your motherboard with something newer, the final trick at the bottom is gold!!! This works for Windows 9x and 2000/XP. If your system works fine and you haven't added anything new, you don't need to do this. Make sure you have the drivers on disk or download before you play.
1. Boot your Windows system into Safe Mode. How? Right after you boot and hear the beep, hold down the 'F8' on your keyboard. You should get a menu with options. Select 'Safe Mode'
2. Ignore the message about 'Windows is running in Safe Mode.' Right-click on 'My Computer,' click 'Properties,' then click 'Device Manager' tab.
3. Click the plus sign next to the class of device you've mucked around with. For instance, if you've added a new video card, click 'Display Adapters.' Are there more devices listed than you have inside? If so, delete all of them, including the correct one.
4. Close all windows and reboot.
5. Upon reboot, Windows will reinstall the drivers for the correct devices. If it doesn't do this automatically, goose it with 'Add New Hardware' wizard in Control Panel. Tweak you device to your liking.
If you replace your motherboard with a newer one, follow these steps before you replace the board.
1. Grab your chipset disk or download the latest set from the web before you replace.
2. Perform Steps 1 and 2 in the upper section.
3. Starting with 'PnP BIOS' in System Devices, delete ALL entries, including hard drives, CD, video, etc. Save your mouse for last, it's a bitch navigating Device Manager via the keyboard.
4. Shut down and replace you motherboard.
5. Perform Step 5 in the upper section, rebooting each time Windows asks you too.