Rebuilding/upgrading PC with SATA drive

  Jem 19:30 13 May 07

This is the 3rd instalment of my saga on which I have benefited from advice from this Helproom. Part 1 was: Why did my PC stop dead? (Most likely explanation bust m/b and/or CPU). Part 2 was: How to repair it? Choices: new base unit, barebone or components. Have gone for components + upgrade (new m/b, CPU, RAM, PSU, HDD) as seemed better value overall.

I'm now preparing for the rebuild ahead of receiving the new bits. My questions are:

A. My new HDD will be SATA2 (bigger than old IDE drive which I plan to use as secondary). Should I rebuild using the new blank drive as master from the start and reinstall XP-PRo (I have the orginal MS disc) plus all other software on it? The alternative is, I guess, to start off with the old drive and retain the software installation there; then take an Acronis image and restore it onto the new drive?
B. Will MS accept my registration of XP-Pro if I use the first option? How do MS know this is the same PC albeit with another m/b?
C. Can an IDE drive work as a slave (or secondary drive) with a SATA drive? (The m/b has both SATA and IDE connections.)
D. If I need to update the BIOS on my new m/b (having read comments, I think this may be necessary to accept my new dual core Athlon cpu) do I do this via the floppy drive? I have another PC (the one I'm writing this on!) and could access the web to download this if necessary. Is there any other way?

There'll probably be more questions but many thanks to all for the advice so far!

  bremner 19:47 13 May 07

A. Yes - make sure you have the SATA drivers on floppy. You will be asked to press F6 to load them during the XP install.
B. Yes - any problems use the phon option and explain.
C. Yes
D. Probably but you should consult the instructions on the BIOS website.

  Totally-braindead 19:48 13 May 07

A - I personally would rebuild using the slightly faster new drive as the master and personally again I prefer a clean install as it gets rid of any leftover bits and gives you a new PC though others feel differently.
B - Will MS accept it? Probably not, but if not the number you can call will allow you to continue, just tell them your motherboard blew up taking the CPU with it, you couldn't get the same replacement and ended up with this. I have done this and theres not been a problem with MS they are far more interested in stopping piracy that people reinstalling. the only exception to this might be if the XP disk you have is a branded reinstall disk, I'm fairly sure that would not even complete the installation. As long as its a proper XP disk whether its OEM or full you should be able to get it validated even if you do have to phone them. ( Did this a couple of months ago with my brothers PC his was an XP upgrade disk, had to phone MS to activate no problems afterwards). They know because part of the info that is sent to MS is the board and CPU.
C - Yes no problem
D - Usually yes, its really only advisable if you do need to upgrade to recognise the new CPU, if you don't have to then don't do it. Some boards come with their own software for updating the BIOS so look on the driver disk if necessary.

  Jem 20:36 13 May 07

Great - many thanks for quick responses - feel reasonably confident and now just have to await the bits.

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