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Can I change a SCSI controller without reinstalling the OS?

I need to change a SCSI controller from one brand to the most commonly used to solve a hardware compatibility issue. How can I do this without reinstalling the OS from scratch?

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Make a backup of the system first. Insert the new controller into the system, but don't remove the old controller or switch cables. Install the device drivers for the new device. Make sure it is working properly. Remove the old controller, move the new controller into the EXACT same expansion slot that the old controller was using, then connect the drive cables. As long as this process does not change the ARC pathname (i.e. that defined in the BOOT.INI file) the change should work without an OS re-install.

If this fails, you can easily return the old controller back to its original position. Then contact the new controller's vendor for additional aid. There may be a proprietary trick or step needed to perform the task, but there should not be a need to re-install the OS since the SCSI controller driver is not part of the HAL.

This was first published in October 2003

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