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Does a regular backup keep programs?

If i do a normal backup to an external HDD of my current Windows 8 pc, exactly what will it backup? Will it backup installed programs like games and all other programs? I know a system image would take care of everything since it's basically a clone of the hard drive. The reason i ask is because i want to swap mobos and my cpu to upgrade them, but i dont want to lose my programs, files and settings. I was planning on doing a system image, then doing the hardware swap, then if it wouldnt boot i could restore from the image, but i realized it would just keep refusing to boot because it would be in the same state where it wouldnt be able to boot. So i thought about just doing a backup before any hardware changes, and if i dont boot after the mobo swap, i can re-install windows and restore from the backup to get back my programs and all other data. Thing is, im pretty sure a backup only keeps files like photos, music, and other small things like that, but i want to keep everything: programs, installations, games, files, etc. like a system image would keep. So any help to my goal would be massively appreciated. Thanks so much!
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  1. Best answer
    You have to repair-install or clean install of OS the time you replace the MB. Cause the controllers and drivers from the new MB will no match with the old MB, except the same make/model of MB.

    So you can create a disc image, but you have to install programs games etc altogether again. Good luck.
  2. lonewolf7 said:
    You have to repair-install or clean install of OS the time you replace the MB. Cause the controllers and drivers from the new MB will no match with the old MB, except the same make/model of MB.

    So you can create a disc image, but you have to install programs games etc altogether again. Good luck.


    It seems most people who have done a major hardware swap like this with windows 8 say that they don't have to do re installations of windows and everything is the same when they boot up. Most of the people who've helped me told me chances are nothing bad will happen, it will just boot up and install the new drivers and such for the new hardware detected. I'm hoping when I swap mobos that will be the case.
  3. Go ahead, see what happens. Good luck.
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