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Will i have to re-install Windows 8 after a motherboard and cpu swap?

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November 10, 2013 9:00:51 PM

So i have been wanting to upgrade my mobo and cpu for a while now and i need to get this question answered, there seems to be no solid yes or no, but atleast i can get some guidance i guess. Currently i am on the same hardware that i built my computer with, full specs in signature below. I am going to upgrade from my current MSI FM2-A75MA-E35 FM2 mobo to an ASRock 990FX Extreme4 AM3+ board. I am also going to swap my current AMD A10 6800k APU to a shiny new, faster, overall better AMD FX 8350. I obviously am using Windows 8 and most everyone has said that with Windows 8, after a mobo swap, nothing really happens, you do not have to re-install windows. I definitely cannot lose my programs and data, it would take me weeks to re download and re install all the 300GB worth of games and programs i have, not to mention getting everything back to the way it is now. The fact that this computer is shared and is now perfect for them, legacy friendly :lol: , doesnt take any pressure off me.
So what are the chances after the mobo and cpu swap, i will have to re install windows and lose all my data/programs/games? What would be likely to happen in your opinion and based off experiences? What about just having to re activate windows? I would connect and be booting off the same and only internal hard drive i am using now. I will also be backing up and creating a system image, both saved to an external HDD, just in case for the worst scenario of losing data.
Any help and feedback is very hugely appreciated! Thanks!
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a b V Motherboard
November 10, 2013 9:15:01 PM

Yes is the definite answer. One cannot simply change motherboards (unless for the exact same one) without re installing Windows. That's mad talk.

Edit: If you cheaped out and bought an OEM version of Windows, that is now a coaster, as it tied to the motherboard.
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November 10, 2013 9:36:07 PM

Heironious said:
Yes is the definite answer. One cannot simply change motherboards (unless for the exact same one) without re installing Windows. That's mad talk.

Edit: If you cheaped out and bought an OEM version of Windows, that is now a coaster, as it tied to the motherboard.


You kinda destroyed my hope with that first sentence. This post says otherwise... http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-1759681/fwiw-has...
Im pretty sure i got the retail version, which i now know is better and what the difference is.
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a b À AMD
a b à CPUs
a c 87 V Motherboard
November 10, 2013 9:40:17 PM

Heironious said:
Yes is the definite answer. One cannot simply change motherboards (unless for the exact same one) without re installing Windows. That's mad talk.

Edit: If you cheaped out and bought an OEM version of Windows, that is now a coaster, as it tied to the motherboard.


Incorrect . There is no "OEM "version of windows 8 . There is a "home user license " that lets you activate on 3 computers [ though only one at a time] .

7 would be a coaster , 8 is good to go but as stated unless the board is identical you will probably have to reinstall .

A board with an identical chipset might boot but likely the device drivers will need sorting out . Sound, LAN , etc etc may not be identical and will need new drivers from the new mb disk
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November 10, 2013 9:46:20 PM

Outlander_04 said:
Heironious said:
Yes is the definite answer. One cannot simply change motherboards (unless for the exact same one) without re installing Windows. That's mad talk.

Edit: If you cheaped out and bought an OEM version of Windows, that is now a coaster, as it tied to the motherboard.


Sound, LAN , etc etc may not be identical and will need new drivers from the new mb disk
Yeah so all i would have to do, if it boots, is just install the new mobo drivers?

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March 12, 2014 9:21:13 AM

I have only cd oem recovery windows 8 64bit can i receive legit product key? How?
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March 18, 2014 5:43:34 AM

I just upgraded my CPU and Motherboard from AMD to Intel i7, no re-installation of windows 8.1 needed.

The OS try to fix itself for half an hour, need some human intervention, but at the end managed to boot up properly. Took me while to get all the drivers sorted but it's working and activated again.

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March 18, 2014 5:27:59 PM

Teddy Duck said:
I just upgraded my CPU and Motherboard from AMD to Intel i7, no re-installation of windows 8.1 needed.

The OS try to fix itself for half an hour, need some human intervention, but at the end managed to boot up properly. Took me while to get all the drivers sorted but it's working and activated again.



Interesting... did you lose any data at all? What intervention was needed exactly?
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a b à CPUs
March 20, 2014 5:54:00 AM

I have twice switched motherboards and CPUs in Windows 8/8.1 and both times Windows detected the new hardware and worked just fine. The only thing I had to do was reactivate Windows. Keep in mind, however, that these were fairly lateral moves I.E. going from a Core 2 duo to a Core 2 quad, (where the previous motherboard didn't support that version of Core 2 quad.) In both instances the chipsets were fairly similar. All of my data and programs worked just fine after the switch.

Please note that this does not apply to all swaps. I'm sure there are going to be instances where this won't apply. Perhaps I was just lucky...
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March 23, 2014 5:13:22 PM

hey im about to do roughly the same swap as our friend who put up this post. except from an asus board to a gigabyte. BUT my question is should i insert the gigabyte disc and upload everything before i tear anything apart to install the new board and chip?
It sounds like that is what everyone is recommending, but like he said above its hard to find a YES/NO answer.


So Ive installed all the physical parts and put everything back together except the side panels so i can reach inside...
i hit the power button and placed the Windows 8 disc in the tray and it shot me straight to the sign in screen. Im gonna eject the Windows disc put in the MOBO disc upload the drivers and Restart and well see what happens
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March 23, 2014 6:12:20 PM

badreligion292 said:


hey im about to do roughly the same swap as our friend who put up this post. except from an asus board to a gigabyte. BUT my question is should i insert the gigabyte disc and upload everything before i tear anything apart to install the new board and chip?
It sounds like that is what everyone is recommending, but like he said above its hard to find a YES/NO answer.


Good luck, and make sure to post the results as to what happens before and after the swap, please. Best to start a new thread of your own for your question. Again, good luck!
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a b À AMD
a b à CPUs
a c 87 V Motherboard
March 24, 2014 2:25:36 AM

Interesting that mb swaps are working using win 8

The AMD chipsets wont be totally different so its worth trying .
After the repair completes it would be a good idea to check device manager and find old device entries [ if any are there ] and uninstall them
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March 25, 2014 8:30:43 PM

Heres my final update (hopefully)
So i pulled my old board ASUS board and A6-6400k out and replaced them with a GIGABYTE 990 and an FX8350, and connected everything up.
Hit the power button, it blue-screened me and restarted.
Then i put in the windows 8 disc, and it went straight to the sign in screen, i got to my desktop, ejected the windows disc and put in the new MOBO disc, Installed all the drivers and utilities.
Restarted, pulled out the disc, and everything is as it should be.
~all of this took only ten minutes~
Turned it off again to sit for awhile, and everything is still in order.
(EXCEPT!!!!! the screen saver at sign in changed, but thats the only thing different or missing)

HOPE THIS HELPS BRO
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March 25, 2014 9:52:47 PM

badreligion292 said:
Heres my final update (hopefully)
So i pulled my old board ASUS board and A6-6400k out and replaced them with a GIGABYTE 990 and an FX8350, and connected everything up.
Hit the power button, it blue-screened me and restarted.
Then i put in the windows 8 disc, and it went straight to the sign in screen, i got to my desktop, ejected the windows disc and put in the new MOBO disc, Installed all the drivers and utilities.
Restarted, pulled out the disc, and everything is as it should be.
~all of this took only ten minutes~
Turned it off again to sit for awhile, and everything is still in order.
(EXCEPT!!!!! the screen saver at sign in changed, but thats the only thing different or missing)

HOPE THIS HELPS BRO


Wow, thats exactly how i hope it goes for me. Did you have to re activate windows or anything? Re activate any paid programs? Anything else at all? Thats pretty awesome though. Keep us posted. Thanks!!
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March 26, 2014 3:31:48 PM

DarkDubzs said:
badreligion292 said:
Heres my final update (hopefully)
So i pulled my old board ASUS board and A6-6400k out and replaced them with a GIGABYTE 990 and an FX8350, and connected everything up.
Hit the power button, it blue-screened me and restarted.
Then i put in the windows 8 disc, and it went straight to the sign in screen, i got to my desktop, ejected the windows disc and put in the new MOBO disc, Installed all the drivers and utilities.
Restarted, pulled out the disc, and everything is as it should be.
~all of this took only ten minutes~
Turned it off again to sit for awhile, and everything is still in order.
(EXCEPT!!!!! the screen saver at sign in changed, but thats the only thing different or missing)

HOPE THIS HELPS BRO


Wow, thats exactly how i hope it goes for me. Did you have to re activate windows or anything? Re activate any paid programs? Anything else at all? Thats pretty awesome though. Keep us posted. Thanks!!


Yeah after an hour or so of playing a game it told me i had to REactivate windows.
It thought i was trying to activate a second computer, which is NOT whats happening.
I called the toll free number, it makes you enter like a 30-digit code adn then it gives you a 20-digit code to enter and your all done.
Took me 10 minutes
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March 26, 2014 3:45:07 PM

badreligion292 said:
DarkDubzs said:
badreligion292 said:
Heres my final update (hopefully)
So i pulled my old board ASUS board and A6-6400k out and replaced them with a GIGABYTE 990 and an FX8350, and connected everything up.
Hit the power button, it blue-screened me and restarted.
Then i put in the windows 8 disc, and it went straight to the sign in screen, i got to my desktop, ejected the windows disc and put in the new MOBO disc, Installed all the drivers and utilities.
Restarted, pulled out the disc, and everything is as it should be.
~all of this took only ten minutes~
Turned it off again to sit for awhile, and everything is still in order.
(EXCEPT!!!!! the screen saver at sign in changed, but thats the only thing different or missing)

HOPE THIS HELPS BRO


Wow, thats exactly how i hope it goes for me. Did you have to re activate windows or anything? Re activate any paid programs? Anything else at all? Thats pretty awesome though. Keep us posted. Thanks!!


Yeah after an hour or so of playing a game it told me i had to REactivate windows.
It thought i was trying to activate a second computer, which is NOT whats happening.
I called the toll free number, it makes you enter like a 30-digit code adn then it gives you a 20-digit code to enter and your all done.
Took me 10 minutes


Where was this phone number? Like, where did you find it? Did it tell you on screen or did you have to look for it on your Windows 8 disk paper case thing? Possibly leave the phone number here if possible, please? And was it an actual person you spoke to and explained what's up or was it just a robot? And when i do this, just to be all clear, what 30 digit code was it, like where was it located if it was on the disk case? Sorry for all the questions, just want to be sure of everything when i have to do this.
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March 26, 2014 6:51:02 PM

When it told me i had to reactivate windows it was a blue screen and it gave me a box/link that took me to the pc settings. and on that screen ti asked me what country im in. and then it gave me the phone number to call. it was all pretty easy. I was expecting much more of a headache and clusterF*** than it ended up being.
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April 27, 2014 2:13:32 PM

badreligion292 said:
When it told me i had to reactivate windows it was a blue screen and it gave me a box/link that took me to the pc settings. and on that screen ti asked me what country im in. and then it gave me the phone number to call. it was all pretty easy. I was expecting much more of a headache and clusterF*** than it ended up being.


I am doing the exact same thing that you are, and it is a cluster....

I am attempting to go from a Phenom 2 X3 and a Gigabyte motherboard to a FX-6300 and a MSI mATX motherboard.

every other component will be identical. Same HDD, video card, PSU, DVD drive.

However, the CPU was DOA :( 

Then , i pooed the OLD Phenom 2 into the new motherboard and it could POST.

However, Win 8.1 decided to go into Automatic repair mode and then my USB KB and Mouse are disabled...

any suggestions?
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April 27, 2014 3:48:32 PM

DavidWindows said:
badreligion292 said:
When it told me i had to reactivate windows it was a blue screen and it gave me a box/link that took me to the pc settings. and on that screen ti asked me what country im in. and then it gave me the phone number to call. it was all pretty easy. I was expecting much more of a headache and clusterF*** than it ended up being.


I am doing the exact same thing that you are, and it is a cluster....

I am attempting to go from a Phenom 2 X3 and a Gigabyte motherboard to a FX-6300 and a MSI mATX motherboard.

every other component will be identical. Same HDD, video card, PSU, DVD drive.

However, the CPU was DOA :( 

Then , i pooed the OLD Phenom 2 into the new motherboard and it could POST.

However, Win 8.1 decided to go into Automatic repair mode and then my USB KB and Mouse are disabled...

any suggestions?


Start a new thread of your question for better help. You should also try HardForum
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May 7, 2014 3:09:04 PM

Here is my story,
I just built a new computer with a MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming motherboard and a I7=4770k CPU. I installed Windows 8.1 64bit (which activated immediately) and a few programs and did some tweaking and testing for several days. I wasn't happy with the performance of my CPU so I pulled it and installed a different I7-4770k. I booted up and was fully expecting to be required to re-ativate Windows but to my surprise it was not needed. I don't know if it makes any difference, but I am using the full version of Win8.1 and not the system builders version.
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May 7, 2014 4:50:42 PM

major photon said:
Here is my story,
I just built a new computer with a MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming motherboard and a I7=4770k CPU. I installed Windows 8.1 64bit (which activated immediately) and a few programs and did some tweaking and testing for several days. I wasn't happy with the performance of my CPU so I pulled it and installed a different I7-4770k. I booted up and was fully expecting to be required to re-ativate Windows but to my surprise it was not needed. I don't know if it makes any difference, but I am using the full version of Win8.1 and not the system builders version.


Most likely because its the same type of cpu, they were both a 4770k.
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May 7, 2014 9:29:53 PM

That just might be the reason, but I was under the impression that CPU's were serialized but maybe that is just a number stamped on the case and not encoded in the chip itself.
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May 7, 2014 9:55:19 PM

major photon said:
That just might be the reason, but I was under the impression that CPU's were serialized but maybe that is just a number stamped on the case and not encoded in the chip itself.


CPU's do have a "serial number" encoded in the chip, it just has to do with low level functions, but that doesnt factor in. The only reason, or biggest reason people have to re install windows after a major hardware swap is because the drivers dont match up and cannot communicate information well or at all between hardware and software ends. Like the drivers of an Intel i3 processor wouldnt match up well with an i5, so, long story short, the system wouldn't be able to boot or possibly even post. The simple solution would be to delete the old drivers and install the new ones needed for the new processor, but that is impossible if the pc cant even boot up, so you have to re-install the OS so that you can just boot up and the drivers wouldnt be there anymore(nothing would, really lol), so no conflicts would be present. Same thing with a mobo swap. I believe every other part would be okay to swap, but you should always backup all your files and create a system image to an external hard drive in case you do have to re install the OS. Obviously if the cpu is swapped for the same model cpu, the drivers needed would be the same, so no conflicts could be present, other than Windows thinking you built a new system or something, or just playing dumb, just to get you to buy a new Windows OS. If anything, windows would ask for a re-activation, and you can probably just enter the key password from your Windows disk sleeve or call Microsoft and explain, and theyll give you a key to enter and all will be good.

How and why did i type all this?:heink: 
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May 8, 2014 5:20:42 AM

I knew I would not have to re-install the OS, I was just surprised windows did not call for re-activation.
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May 8, 2014 9:00:27 AM

On the topic of Windows activation, my understanding is that Windows makes a hash file based on the id of specific components (CPU s/n, MB, HDD, CD/DVD) and if any of those components changes, when Windows does a check of the activation it will determine if the new hash file is different enough from the original that the OS is no longer activated.

So minor hardware changes are silently accepted and the activation remains, but a major hardware change like a new MB produces a hash file that's different enough to require reactivation. A changed CPU s/n alone is probably considered a small enough change that there's no reactivation required.
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May 8, 2014 2:38:55 PM

dmiller79 said:
On the topic of Windows activation, my understanding is that Windows makes a hash file based on the id of specific components (CPU s/n, MB, HDD, CD/DVD) and if any of those components changes, when Windows does a check of the activation it will determine if the new hash file is different enough from the original that the OS is no longer activated.

So minor hardware changes are silently accepted and the activation remains, but a major hardware change like a new MB produces a hash file that's different enough to require reactivation. A changed CPU s/n alone is probably considered a small enough change that there's no reactivation required.


I do believe you are correct. I had always assumed the motherboard and the CPU either one would be enough alone to trigger reactivation, but you learn something new every day in the computer world. I am pretty sure the motherboard would trigger reactivation given there are so much hardware integrated into the motherboard these days.
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May 8, 2014 6:20:24 PM

dmiller79 said:
On the topic of Windows activation, my understanding is that Windows makes a hash file based on the id of specific components (CPU s/n, MB, HDD, CD/DVD) and if any of those components changes, when Windows does a check of the activation it will determine if the new hash file is different enough from the original that the OS is no longer activated.

So minor hardware changes are silently accepted and the activation remains, but a major hardware change like a new MB produces a hash file that's different enough to require reactivation. A changed CPU s/n alone is probably considered a small enough change that there's no reactivation required.


That may be true, but i know for sure that mismatching drivers for different CPU's (cpu swap) is the reason people usually are forced to re-install their OS, whether it be Windows, Mac (rare hardware swaps here), or Linux, its because the mismatched drivers dont allow the system to boot.
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