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Upgrading my MoBO, will I lose the precious data on the HDD I'll be keeping?!

Last response: in Motherboards
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February 27, 2014 12:47:10 PM

One of the ram slots on my current, few year old motherboard has fried out; limiting me to a mere 2GB of RAM. This is unacceptable for me as I game and produce music on this PC. I have a low end gigabyte motherboard that this PC shipped with (prebuilt ibuypower custom). I just bought a new ASUS motherboard that's much more modern and will assist me in utilizing more RAM. Now I want to swap out the old motherboard with the one I just bought.

My question is, will I lose all of my files,applications, and data on my current HDD? I'm keeping this HDD because it has thousands of my personal files that I cannot afford to lose for school, music production, gaming etc. (It's close to 900 gigs of data overall).

Can I just swap out the motherboards and continue using my current hard drive with all of my stuff on it with no problems? I really don't want to format it or reinstall windows. I have windows 8.1 pro with a product key by the way. PLEASE help! Thanks in advance!
a b V Motherboard
February 27, 2014 12:55:56 PM

In order to access all the file you have in your hard drive you would need to set up the new motherboard with a HDD in where the Operating system will be installed (Win 8.1). You will then be able to later on add the hard drives and windows will let you read through the files. NOte, you will need to reinstall all programs you had with in the older hard drive.

If you don't want the headaches till you figure out how to migrate everything, just purchase a replacement motherboard (same model as the damaged one) and you will keep everything else in your old rig. With that kind of Massive Data you don't want to rush into things.

Best Luck
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a c 148 V Motherboard
February 27, 2014 1:00:19 PM

You cannot move a boot drive from one motherboard to a different motherboard and expect it to run as an OS drive; the drivers will be so different the machine is unlikely to succeed in loading Windows. As tachybana says, install Windows (and your applications) onto a new drive, then install the old drive as a data drive. The files on it should all still be accessible. Use a free program like Mozbackup if you use Firefox and/or Thunderbird to capture and save all your email information and files, and all your browser favorites, add-ons, etc.
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a b V Motherboard
February 27, 2014 1:55:11 PM

If you have a partition dedicated to the OS then you can just do a fresh instillation of windows on that partition. Even if not if you install a new version of windows without formatting the desk non of your data will be lost. As it has been pointed out, you will still need to reinstall all the applications though on your fresh installed OS.
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a c 131 V Motherboard
February 27, 2014 2:12:47 PM

Run MS "Sysprep" on your HDD before you remove it from the old MB. This will save all of your installed program settings and files while deleting MB specific drivers. Then install the new MB with the existing HDD. More info here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh825209.asp...

Yogi
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February 27, 2014 5:43:33 PM

AnEwG said:
If you have a partition dedicated to the OS then you can just do a fresh instillation of windows on that partition. Even if not if you install a new version of windows without formatting the desk non of your data will be lost. As it has been pointed out, you will still need to reinstall all the applications though on your fresh installed OS.


I just bought a 1 TB External HDD. Will be backing up my music, documents, files, etc. Sucks I can't back up my programs :(  going to take forever to reinstall everything. Thanks for the information all of you. Looks as if this is my only efficient option; I will be wiping my HDD fresh.

PS. I wonder if creating a separate partition now will allow me to install windows to it later while not wiping my current, full partition. At the moment, I have one partition (C drive), but if I create a new one will I be able to use it later while reinstalling my new version of windows 8.1?
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a b V Motherboard
February 28, 2014 12:39:56 AM

If you have enough unpartitioned free space on your hard disk that can be used as a partition for the OS that is possible, but if you don't you will have to format your HDD in order to be able to create new partitions and any data on the HDD will be lost.
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