AMD64 to AMD64 X2 w/o OS Reinstall?

Discussion in 'Epox' started by Margaret, Mar 4, 2007.

  1. Margaret

    Margaret Guest


    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
    Margaret, Mar 4, 2007
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  2. Margaret

    Paul Guest

    "HAL options after Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 Setup"

    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, Mar 4, 2007
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  3. Margaret

    Margaret Guest

    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! :)


    Margaret, Mar 4, 2007
  4. Margaret

    jw Guest

    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.

    jw, Mar 5, 2007
  5. Margaret

    Margaret Guest

    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? ;-)


    Margaret, Mar 5, 2007
  6. Margaret

    Margaret Guest

    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, Mar 12, 2007
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