Swapping Motherboard, OEM Re-Install, What Happens to my data on old HDD?

I am replacing my motherboard and case on my personal computer. I had an OEM copy of Windows 7 Home on my old board so I purchased a new copy for my new motherboard. I know I have to do a re-installation of windows. My question is, when I install the new windows, will my data from my old installation be accessible? I am using windows 7 home for my new operating system as well. What about programs like Microsoft Word, which have a 1 computer installation limit? Will I be able to download and re-install or access in any way? Is my best option to do a fresh install on a new HDD and then use my old HDD as a slave drive? What do you think my best option would be? Thanks for your help
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  1. Best answer
    The safest option is to back up before doing anything! If the data on your old os is important to you be sure to copy it somewhere safe before starting.
    If your data is safe you could swap out the board and start up the pc from your old HDD. There is a very good chance the pc will start up and work after installing the new drivers. If that goes well you could access your data and get what you need.
    If that doesn't go well go with your second option and install on a fresh HDD and use the old one as a second drive.
    The thing is that your profile on the old OS may not be accessible from a fresh install.

    As for MS office, if you have a license for one pc only you can use it on your new pc (only) or you old pc (only) not both. As long as it is only being used by one pc there is no issue.
  2. The most simple solution is to buy the same motherboard model so you won't have to reinstall.
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