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AMD64 to AMD64 X2 w/o OS Reinstall?

 
 
Margaret
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      03-04-2007, 04:52 PM
Hello,

I've been a computer/network pro for 20+ years, but I've been out of the
"biz" for a couple years or so now. I am currently running WinXP Pro
XP2 and a single-core socket 939 AMD64 3800+ on my main PC (1GB RAM dual
channel), and although I'm not ready to install Vista on my main machine
yet, I'd really like to upgrade to a dual-core CPU. (I understand that
even XP can benefit from that extra core, and if I do this upgrade, I
will also add another gig of RAM.)

In the past, however, I recall that adding additional processor(s)
required updating the HAL in the OS, and I'm not wanting to
reinstall/reconfig WinXP right now. (Did it a few months ago with
RyanVM's slipstream packs.)

Anyway, I vaguely remember reading something that WinXP can handle
adding a second core w/o an OS reinstall. Can anyone tell me
definitively if this is true, and if so, what actions I must take to
make the CPU upgrade go as smoothly as poss? I have to replace a
heatsink/fan on the mainboard pretty soon, so if I'm going to replace
the CPU, now's the time to do it.

BTW, I'm running an Epox 9NPA+Ultra mainboard with the latest BIOS and
latest nVidia unified drivers (6.86), along w/ latest nVidia video
drivers for my GeForce 6600. Also have *lots* of SATAII disk space. The
system is running very well but could use a little more "oomph" if you
know what I mean. :-) Am not a gamer, but I'm as much a power user as
I can be out of the field.

Further, I've done some googling on this issue but haven't found a
consensus. Any thoughts and pointers gratefully accepted.

Thx and Regards,

Margaret, the old MCSE
 
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Paul
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      03-04-2007, 06:54 PM
Margaret wrote:
> Hello,
>
> I've been a computer/network pro for 20+ years, but I've been out of the
> "biz" for a couple years or so now. I am currently running WinXP Pro
> XP2 and a single-core socket 939 AMD64 3800+ on my main PC (1GB RAM dual
> channel), and although I'm not ready to install Vista on my main machine
> yet, I'd really like to upgrade to a dual-core CPU. (I understand that
> even XP can benefit from that extra core, and if I do this upgrade, I
> will also add another gig of RAM.)
>
> In the past, however, I recall that adding additional processor(s)
> required updating the HAL in the OS, and I'm not wanting to
> reinstall/reconfig WinXP right now. (Did it a few months ago with
> RyanVM's slipstream packs.)
>
> Anyway, I vaguely remember reading something that WinXP can handle
> adding a second core w/o an OS reinstall. Can anyone tell me
> definitively if this is true, and if so, what actions I must take to
> make the CPU upgrade go as smoothly as poss? I have to replace a
> heatsink/fan on the mainboard pretty soon, so if I'm going to replace
> the CPU, now's the time to do it.
>
> BTW, I'm running an Epox 9NPA+Ultra mainboard with the latest BIOS and
> latest nVidia unified drivers (6.86), along w/ latest nVidia video
> drivers for my GeForce 6600. Also have *lots* of SATAII disk space. The
> system is running very well but could use a little more "oomph" if you
> know what I mean. :-) Am not a gamer, but I'm as much a power user as
> I can be out of the field.
>
> Further, I've done some googling on this issue but haven't found a
> consensus. Any thoughts and pointers gratefully accepted.
>
> Thx and Regards,
>
> Margaret, the old MCSE


"HAL options after Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 Setup"
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/309283/en-us

From a KB search on "acpi multiprocessor", which is my current
HAL on Win2K, with a hyperthreaded P4 (two virtual cores). The
article suggests if the current HAL is the correct one,
the driver needed for the second core, can be installed
automatically. Verify the HAL currently being used, via
Device Manager.

I think I've enabled and disabled hyperthreading at least once
on my system, without any consequences. (I didn't even think
about the HAL, when doing my experiments...)

Best guess,
Paul
 
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Margaret
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      03-04-2007, 09:06 PM
Paul wrote:
>
> "HAL options after Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 Setup"
> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/309283/en-us
>
> From a KB search on "acpi multiprocessor", which is my current
> HAL on Win2K, with a hyperthreaded P4 (two virtual cores). The
> article suggests if the current HAL is the correct one,
> the driver needed for the second core, can be installed
> automatically. Verify the HAL currently being used, via
> Device Manager.
>
> I think I've enabled and disabled hyperthreading at least once
> on my system, without any consequences. (I didn't even think
> about the HAL, when doing my experiments...)


Thank you, Paul!! I searched TechNet to no avail, but I never tried
"multi" along with the rest of my items. Duh. "add" "processor" never
turned up the multi stuff. Anyway, I see that my machine is running the
"Adv Config & Pwr Interface (ACPI) PC" HAL, which, it seems, is only
upgradable by an in-place Windows XP upgrade. There's a fair amount of
ambiguity in the three KB articles I've read (thx to you), so it seems
possible that plug-and-play *may* pick up the processor change and
automatically update the HAL. Will have to check my BIOS and review how
things are set in there. (I know ACPI is turned on, obviously.)

In any case, I'm willing to put forth the effort to do an in-place
upgrade/repair of the OS, and I just made a new, updated RyanVM
slipstreamed setup CD, so I'm good to go. Now I just need to order the
new CPU and RAM. I'm getting quite a collection of old RAM and CPUs,
it's a pity not to use them.... Ah well, technology marches on. :-)

Thanks again for your help, I'm off to order my new parts! :-)

Regards,

Margaret
 
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jw@xs4all.nl
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      03-05-2007, 08:40 AM
google for sysprep xp dual core and you'll probably find an article
about a 'hidden' sysprep argument which will replace your single
core hal with a dual core one. It look dangerous and can be. Be sure
to have your licencecode handy.

Joop
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Margaret
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      03-05-2007, 04:59 PM
(E-Mail Removed) wrote:
> google for sysprep xp dual core and you'll probably find an article
> about a 'hidden' sysprep argument which will replace your single
> core hal with a dual core one. It look dangerous and can be. Be sure
> to have your licencecode handy.
>
> Joop


Thx Joop, always good to have more ideas in the arsenal. I'll post back
with the details of how I managed the upgrade when it's all over. Parts
have been ordered. ...Did I say that already? ;-)

Regards,

Margaret
 
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Margaret
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      03-12-2007, 01:08 AM
Paul wrote:
>
> "HAL options after Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 Setup"
> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/309283/en-us
>
> From a KB search on "acpi multiprocessor", which is my current
> HAL on Win2K, with a hyperthreaded P4 (two virtual cores). The
> article suggests if the current HAL is the correct one,
> the driver needed for the second core, can be installed
> automatically. Verify the HAL currently being used, via
> Device Manager.
>
> I think I've enabled and disabled hyperthreading at least once
> on my system, without any consequences. (I didn't even think
> about the HAL, when doing my experiments...)


I ended up having to do an inplace upgrade to replace the HAL with the
correct multiprocessor one. This also meant reinstalling some problem
apps. Anyway, it was pretty painless, and CPUMark has gone from ~180 to
250. Old CPU = AMD64 3800+ (Venice), new CPU = AMD64X2 4200 (Toledo).

Thx and Regards,

Margaret
 
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