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where are drivers in XP?


hardware monkey
here's the situation. i'm fixing a coworker's computer. it's a crappy Fry's brand comp and the crappy ECS motherboard (intel chipset) started dying. i have a new MSI board (nforce chipset) installed now and everything hardware-wise seems fine, but windows won't boot. blue screen shows 0x0000007B, or "inaccessible boot device". so, xp is trying to use it's old intel controller to look for a HD but there is none.

is there a file i can delete that will cause windows to forget about the old intel driver and revert to a generic one so it will boot?

the operating system is XP Media Center Edition which i don't have a cd for to repair. i just have regular XP home or professional CD's which, i would think, would cause problems if copied over MCE system files. the only CD's that came with the computer are restore CD's which would likely leave me in the same spot i am now.

thanks in advance.

Dark Atheist

Staff member
Political User
if you can boot into safe mode, goto control panel, add/remove prgrams,and remove the intell chipset drives (if they are in the list), then goto c:\windows\inf and look for oemX (x being a number) open them and see which are the intel chipset ones and del that file, reboot and it should be ok, install nforce chipset stuff, if not just do a full reinstal


hardware monkey
safe mode is a no-go. and i can't reinstall because they only have a restore dvd which won't do me much good since the image on it is expecting intel drivers.

the c:\windows\inf\oem*_.inf part is what i am looking for. i'll try that in the morning. thanks.

any other info anyone has would be appreciated. :)

Dark Atheist

Staff member
Political User
make sure you get the nforce chipset drivers (if amd cpu get amd driver), other than that see if you can find a oen xp disc from somewhere, if the serial is legal it shouldnt be an issue


There is no answer!
Political User
or better yet, use a windows 98 disc to boot into dos goto window/system32/drivers and delete all the intel motherboard drivers replace with the msi ones and this should correct the issue. you can get 98 boot discs from many places just google it.

but to be honest this is a sloppy way of fixing a pc, you should have backed everything up and done it correctly by formating the machine and install xp home as you don't have the media center version.


hardware monkey
let's see, where do i start...

- the cd key on the side of the computer is labelled for "Windows XP media Center Edition 2005, Elitegroup" so i'm betting the key will only work with MCE 2005 that is devoted to ECS (elitegroup). in my past experiences, an XP cd key on the side of a dell pc (for example) won't work with a regular consumer XP cd. each manufacturer that bundles a computer with XP already installed gets their own set of cd keys to distribute wihich are not interchangeable with off-the-shelf versions of XP. does anyone find this is not the case?

- i'm also assuming that doing a repair install with a home or professional XP could cause major problems as there has to be at least some system files that are incompatible.

- i will reiterate that i do not have a XP MCE install cd that came with the computer. just a system restore dvd which will put a fresh image on the drive and i will lose everything of theirs. i could copy all the contents onto another drive, mount a fresh image, and copy everything back, but this would cause it's own series of problems (mostly software not able to run). not to mention restoring the image will likely put me back in this same situation since there still will be intel drivers installed.

- lancer; i'm well aware this is a sloppy way of fixing a computer but i don't really have another choice other than telling them to go buy another version of XP which they won't want to do, nor should they have to.

- another option i have is to put the old mobo back in and hope that it boots (intermittent) so i can uninstall anything intel. i could see this being a headache or even impossible so i don't want to try this yet.
- another option i have is to put the old mobo back in and hope that it boots (intermittent) so i can uninstall anything intel. i could see this being a headache or even impossible so i don't want to try this yet.
So you have the old mobo and it'll still work?
Ooops thought it was a gonner.
Well you've hit the nail on the head.
Connect up the old board, boot into Safe Mode.
Remove all relevant drivers manually from device
manager if apps or un-installers are not present.

Shut down, reconnect the new board again. Boot up, and Windows should then go about it's detection.
Install drivers as prompted to replace generic XP ones.

This isn't as messy as it may sound, done this loads on salvage jobs with old rigs at work.
If activation issues are hindering the process;
you could always employ the likes of XP-AntiSpy, to disable the licdll.dll, and regwizc.dll that handle activation requests.
Once drivers are sorted in the new machine, re-enable licdll.dll, and regwizc.dll and re-activate Windows, and hopefully you should be fine :)

bush dogg

OSNN Senior Addict
Political User
There are two ways to do that but at this point one is out of the question now, so on too the other.

What you will have to do is reinstall the old Mobo or look up the numbers and find a working used one cheap then buy a PCI IDE controller card like the promise ultra133 tx2 or similar.

While the old Mobo is still in uninstall all the old audio,modem,lan or whatever else is onboard drivers. There’s no need to uninstall the old chipset drivers yet because you will be using the controller card.

Hope the system boots if it will then install the controller card shut down connect the harddrive to the card reboot let the system come up stable then shut down and replace the Mobo with the new one, put the controller card in place with the harddrive attached and fire the system up, you should be good to go as far as booting “fingers crossed”.

Controller card


hardware monkey
so i did that last night. i put the old mobo back in and spent about an hour trying to get it to POST. the reason the board is being replaced is because it wasn't posting unless, i found out, you put the right amount of pressure on a specific area. there's a broken trace or something that connects if the board if flexed in just the right manner. but i managed to find the sweet spot and got into windows and did my best to remove any intel drivers. there was nothing in add/remove programs so i moved on to device manager and uninstalled anything that said intel. put it back on the old mobo and still nothing! :mad:

so today i once again got the old mobo working and this time "updated" the intel drivers to the generic microsoft ones (eg. Standard PCI-to-PCI Bridge). then back to the new mobo and windows loaded this time! :D

then it prompted me to activate windows since i'm guessing it saw the dramatic hardware change. couldn't do it online cuz the nvidia NIC didn't have drivers yet and it wouldn't let me to the desktop to install them. so i dug up an old linksys pci card and booted with that and hoped windows would be able to get it working automatically. will, it did and i'm good to go. going to install drivers now and put everything back together.

thanks for your advice, everyone. :up:

and for the record, before swapping back to the old mobo, i tried removing any .inf files in c:\windows\system32\drivers\ and c:\windows\inf\ with "intel" in the name or if they looked like they might be drive-related. this didn't seem to make a difference.
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