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Replacing mobo requires new OS?

Last response: in Systems
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May 22, 2013 12:15:49 PM

I had to RMA my ASUS M5A87 motherboard 2 days ago. I have a lot of picture and programs in my hard drive and today I just remembered that the OS is bound with the motherboard. Being a college student I have access to free copies of windows 7 or 8, so installing windows again shouldn't be a problem. What concerns me is losing all my pictures and college stuff like books in PDF and such, and also having to install my games again(including all BF3 expasions).

Since this will be my first time replacing a motherboard by itself, can anyone explain what can I do to not lose all those files?

Thanks in advance
a b * Windows 8
a c 154 V Motherboard
a b $ Windows 7
May 22, 2013 12:18:39 PM

If you are getting the same motherboard again, it should work without having to reinstall the OS. If not, make a partition for the old stuff and install the new OS on the rest of the drive. Then, you will be able to access all the data from before.
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a b G Storage
a c 171 V Motherboard
a b $ Windows 7
May 22, 2013 12:21:28 PM

A few ways if you're getting a different motherboard:
1. Boot into a Linux LiveCD and back up important files.
2. Remove and plug the HDD into another computer (or a friend's, family member, etc.) and back them up.
3. Partition the HDD and install the new OS in a new empty partition. You can still access the old partition. When you have copied everything over to the new partition or backed everything up, delete it. You can then expand your new partition with the old one or do whatever else you want with it.
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a b G Storage
a b V Motherboard
a b $ Windows 7
May 22, 2013 12:24:32 PM

To second Tiny Voices comment - if you are getting the same motherboard again there should be no issues. Just replace it and start up the machine as usual :) 

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a b * Windows 8
a b G Storage
a b V Motherboard
a b $ Windows 7
May 22, 2013 12:31:27 PM

Replacing the motherboard with another of the same make and model will work no problem whether you're using the OEM or retail editions of Windows.

I've actually successfully swapped out a processor and motherboard (using different models due to discontinuation of the originals) and my OEM version of Windows 7 worked just fine with the new equipment.
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a b * Windows 8
a b G Storage
a c 159 V Motherboard
a b $ Windows 7
May 22, 2013 12:36:10 PM

+1 to Tiny, Casper, and Uber - Your system should even notice as long as you're using the exact same motherboard.

-Wolf sends
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May 22, 2013 12:44:03 PM

I don't think Ill get the same board because it had a faulty PCI-E slot and the ASUS customer support representative said they would send a new one(most likely refurbished). When it arrives I'll check the serial number and if it's different I'll back up everything I need.

I don't think I understand you all. If I receive a refurbished motherboard, same make and model but a new one, can I still run everything like usual without having to do a clean install of the OS or anything? or are you referring only to the exact same one I had(same serial number)?
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a b * Windows 8
a b G Storage
a c 159 V Motherboard
a b $ Windows 7
May 22, 2013 12:45:57 PM

Sorry for the confusion. If you receive a physically different motherboard, but of the same make and model number, you should not have to re-install Windows.

-Wolf sends
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Best solution

a b G Storage
a c 171 V Motherboard
a b $ Windows 7
May 22, 2013 12:49:08 PM

Yes; if it's the same make and model, you should be fine. The only time a reinstall may be required is if the motherboard itself is different. Why? Because there are drivers for the motherboard that Windows 7 detected and installed for you during the installation phase. Or you may have installed them yourself. Those drivers won't work properly on a different motherboard. Alternatively, you can hook up the HDD to another computer, log in, remove all installed drivers and shut it down. Then plug the HDD into the new motherboard, pop in the installation DVD, and choose to repair the HDD partition. This should hopefully have Windows 7 reconfigure the necessary drivers.
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a b * Windows 8
a c 96 G Storage
a c 146 V Motherboard
a b $ Windows 7
May 22, 2013 1:06:44 PM

Windows 7 OEM:
Different motherboard of same chipset is fine. Considered a "repair."

Windows 8 OEM:
*Can install on a different motherboard regardless of chipset.

Windows 8 changes how things are done. The info about this is on the Windows OEM page somewhere but you can definitely "move" to a different motherboard (this would de-activate the old motherboard) unlike Windows 7 OEM which is tied to that motherboard (or different board with same chipset).
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a b * Windows 8
a b G Storage
a b V Motherboard
a b $ Windows 7
May 23, 2013 7:12:25 PM

photonboy said:
Windows 7 OEM:
Different motherboard of same chipset is fine. Considered a "repair."

Windows 8 OEM:
*Can install on a different motherboard regardless of chipset.

Windows 8 changes how things are done. The info about this is on the Windows OEM page somewhere but you can definitely "move" to a different motherboard (this would de-activate the old motherboard) unlike Windows 7 OEM which is tied to that motherboard (or different board with same chipset).


Just an FYI... I was able to go from X58 to X79 without an issue with Windows 7 OEM. It just took a couple of reboots and Windows uninstalled the old chipset and unneeded drivers. I then installed the new motherboard's associated drivers and everything worked fine.
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