Vista Restarting Loop after New Motherboard and Processor Installation


May 12, 2009
This evening I attempted to upgrade my motherboard and processor on my computer that is running an OEM version of Vista.

I understand that I probably would have to purchase a new license, which I was prepared to do.

The processor I went from was a 2.0 ghz dual core pentium processor that fit into a LGA 775 socket. I replaced it with an E8400 3.0 ghz dual core pentium processor, also a LGA 775 chip.

The motherboard was something unheard of and generic from a bare-bones system I purchased this time last year after my last computer (where I got the OEM CD-ROM from) crashed. It took an LGA 775 processor chip. I hadn't checked the board before purchasing the processor but later found that the board was outdated enough that FSB wasn't compatible with the new chip. To support the new chip I purchased a Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3LR board.

For hardware installation I followed the same steps I did when building a new machine earlier this year, and that I did when moving the HDD (which was then running XP-Pro) to the bare-bones system last year, everything appeared to go flawlessly. Then I tried booting the system up.

The system boots through the BIOS and start-up checks fine. But, when it goes to load Vista, I get a split second glimpse at the loading bar screen for Vista and then the computer restarts. Upon restart, it pulls up a screen stating that says: Window Failed to Start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause. To fix the problem: 1. Insert Windows installation disc and restart, 2. Select language settings, 3. Click "repair your computer", and then gives me various Windows boot-up options. When I select to start-up in Safe Mode, the start up hangs at the crcdisk line and then again restarts to the same "Windows Failed to Start" screen.

When following the instructions and inserting my Windows install disc and selecting the repair option, it attempts to repair the problem, but eventually stalls out and tells me that the repair your computer option cannot fix the problem. I can reinstall, but since it's an OEM Disc the upgrade option is not available.

In researching the problem I've tried various things I've come across on the internet including turning on and off certain options in the motherboard (i.e. Legacy USB storage detect, setting the CD-ROM IDE as a slave as well as turning it off and disconnecting it completely). I also ran the Windows memory check to ensure that all the system memory survived the transition and was working; it checked out.

The only site I've read that made sense suggested that the new hardware needs to be configured by Windows at instillation and that since it has changed, if the repair doesn't work, Windows must be reinstalled either as a fresh install or as an upgrade. Outside of Windows, I have about 300 GB worth of data on the HDD which, unfortunately, isn't backed up, and the upgrade option is only available from within the Vista environment which I can't get into.

I'm hoping someone here may have some suggestion that will work to get Windows to load and the computer functioning properly.

Thanks for your help and time.
Sometimes you get lucky, but most of the time you do end up having to reinstall Windows when you replace a motherboard. You only have 2 options available to you if you want to save the data that's there before reloading.

1. Connect your hard drive to another computer and copy the data from your drive.

2. Install another hard drive into your computer and install the fresh copy of Vista onto it.

That's the only way you'll guarantee your data will be saved. Never make the assumption that you can replace a motherboard and still get into Windows once the procedure is complete. Usually if you upgrade a motherboard that still has the same chipset manufacturer within the same class of processor (IE Core 2 Duo to Core 2 Duo) you will get away without reinstalling Windows. However, it looks like you went from Pentium Dual Core to Core 2 Duo... so that explains the blue screens.

Good luck.



If you have a Vista recovery disk, you will be able to load the drivers for the new motherboard through the 'Load Drivers' option. After booting with the recovery disk (hold F8), select the cdrom as the boot device and then select 'Repair you conputer". Next you will be prompted to insert the cd/dvd with the driver. Browse the cd/dvd to add your motherboard drivers. Then reboot and see what happens.


Oct 30, 2009
Hello Camillette,

did you every fix the problem with your VISTA doing a looping reset?

I am having the same problems with my Windows 7.

I just recently bought an all motherboard, processor and memory and when i start Windows 7, it looks liek it is going to boot up, but just like your problem, as soon as it is going to boot it just resets.

I am thinking I just need to do a complete new install of Windows 7.

thanks a lot!