Computer won’t boot after changing motherboard

Computer won’t boot after changing motherboard

This is a common problem and there are many solutions depending on the Operating System. Before I get into the solution let me explain a little about why this happens.


This happens because the IDE or SATA drivers (basically the Hard Drive Controllers) are not loaded for the new motherboard. During the boot process windows loads the Hard Drive drivers first then uses that interface to access the HDD. When you change motherboards the drivers are not already there and so Windows will not boot. Sometimes you do not run into this problem when changing mother boards because Windows already has the drivers for that motherboard. This problem occurs most of the time when installing a new motherboard.

Note-Check with Microsoft to ensure your version of Windows can be moved to another motherboard. Following these steps may get you computer to boot but you may not have a validly licensed copy of Windows

Computer won’t boot after changing motherboard – Computer Still Boots

  1. Add a SATA/IDE controller to the computer in a PCI slot.
  2. Start windows load the driver for the controller.
  3. To test plug the hard drive into the controller and boot to windows. (Now your are booting using the off-board controller which can be moved to the new motherboard)
  4. Install the PCI SATA/IDE controller into the new motherboard with the drive attached to it and boot the computer.
  5. Load all motherboard drivers.
  6. Shut down computer and move hard drive to motherboard port and it should boot up.

Computer won’t boot after changing motherboard – Computer Does Not Boot Windows XP

Do a repair install.

Computer won’t boot after changing motherboard – Computer Does Not Boot Any OS

Since Windows XP is taken care of in the above post, Windows Vista and 7 are next. If you have Vista, my first recommendation is to simply buy a computer with windows 7 and install a fresh copy of Windows 7 Vista is a bad OS. However, if you have to keep using Vista these steps will work.

Take the Hard Drive and plug it into an old computer. Usually Windows 7 and Vista will have drivers for old computers and windows will boot. Then follow the instructions as if your computer booted.

Computer won’t boot after changing motherboard – More technical approach

I personally use the two above methods and they work fine. But some tech friends of mine use a program called FIX-IDE.

Cannot load ACT 2006 on Windows 7 64 Bit

I was having trouble loading ACT 2006 on Windows 7 64 bit. I was getting an error that said it would only load on 32bit versions. To resolve this issue I went to the D:\actstd\setup and ran the installer from there. D: should be replaced by your actual CD Drive letter. This bypasses any of the checking and allowed me to load the program. I have been running the program fine for many weeks now and ACT works great.