Windows not booting with upgraded system

So I recently decided to grab another GTX 660 for sli in my system. However, my mobo didn't support SLI and I needed a PSU with higher wattage. After they arrived, I reinstalled everything into the new mobo. However, I get a message 'Window cannot boot due to new software/hardware'. Starting in safe mode and normally both do nothing.

I read that reusing a hard drive in a new build could lead to problems like these, but I thought that since I was only changing the mobo to one with the same chipset (Gigabyte Z77-DS3H to ASUS P8Z77-V LK) and the PSU (Rosewill 500 W to Coolermaster 850 W), and adding another graphics card I wouldn't have any problems. I don't have another machine to put my hard drive into to wipe it and reinstall windows. However, I would not be against buying a cheap, throw-away HD to reinstall windows assuming I could get my data back (Music, games with their saves, and some word/ppt files). Is their a chance I simply plugged something in wrong (I'm not a beginner, but this amounts to only my second build)? Please advise me in the best course of action.

New System:
2 GTX 660
Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory
Sony Optiarc 24X DVD Burner, Bulk Package 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model AD-7280S-0B - OEM
Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
850 W Coolermaster PSU

Thank you!!!
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  1. Best answer
    It really depends on how much of a difference there is between the two motherboards. Most of the time, you will encounter some degree of difficulty if you don't do a clean install of your OS when swapping mobos, but there are rare occasions. I was able to use my HDD with Win XP and Win 7 on two different mobos w/o the need to reinstall Windows, but the two mobos I swapped between were very similar (Biostar TA-790 GX and TA-790 GXE; yes, I know, very old boards).

    I would strongly consider getting yourself a cheap HDD just to put Windows on, because your current OS is trying to load drivers and settings for motherboard hardware that is no longer present.
  2. Can you please explain how that would work? Would I unplug my current HD, put in the new one, complete the full boot/driver sequence, then RAID them? or is there a way where I could discard the other one (maybe by putting the new Mobo drivers onto it?)?

    Thanks for the help btw
  3. Sorry for the delay in my response, I don't get notified, through email, of new posts to threads I participate in.

    You won't be discarding the new HDD, unless you first move all profile data from current HDD, then create a disc image, and then use said disc image to reimage your HDD. If you did do this, you'll create a very nice back up. I use Acronis True Image to make disc image backups.

    Alternatively, creating a RAID is possible, but if you're using two different capacity disks, you'll be limited to the smaller size. For example, let's say you picked up a 500 GB HDD to go with that 1TB HDD of yours. Putting the two in RAID will only get you ~1TB (doubling the lower capacity drive). Also, doing a RAID won't help you get the profile data (the data that get's stored to "C:\ ..." on your HDD)

    If you want to recover your current data, get a second HDD and install it on SATA0, so it becomes the first boot device. Then pop in your OS disc, and then install the OS. After the OS, install the mobo drivers, followed by any add-on devices, such as your GPU.

    Once the installation process is complete, look through the secondary HHD. If you can't access any of the files, you may have to enable the hidden admin account (Windows 7 and likely 8) by opening a command prompt and using this syntax:

    net user administrator /active:yes

    If done right, you'll see : "The command completed successfully". Restart the computer, and at the logon screen you'll see two accounts, the one on the left will be the hidden admin account. You can now take ownership of files.
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