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Sharky Extreme :

When upgrading a motherboard, the combination of the chipset and the age of your operating system determines the software headaches you may experience. With an older Win 95 system, moving from an Intel BX to an Intel i815 board can be a bit more troublesome than when using a newer OS like Win 98SE, 2000 or ME. This is because the older the OS is, the chances are that the default drivers are obsolete andthe worse the default motherboard support will be. If you have been putting off that Windows upgrade, then we would suggest prior to upgrading your motherboard might be the most opportune time to do it.

At this point, it would also be a good idea to surf over to the manufacturer's website and check for a new set of motherboard drivers, or even a revised BIOS file, if applicable. Remember that if you are upgrading your primary computer, a problem along the line could render certain functions of your PC, such as your modem, unusable. Get every piece of driver software (CD and online) that you might need and place them in an organized folder on your hard drive.

Also be sure to keep a record of your current hardware, along with any specific settings. This should be an easy task, but if in doubt, go to your system BIOS and write down the CPU settings, as well as any special IRQ options you may have specifically entered. Only when you have all the bases covered do you finally unhook the PC and get it primed for the upgrade.

This may sound simple enough, but many potential upgraders make the mistake of working on their PC in cramped quarters or in areas of high static electricity. Find an open spot that allows easy access to all sides, and try and stay away from placing the case directly on carpet or other static-inducing surfaces.

Clean table or working environment.

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