How To Keep Data On HDD When Reinstalling Win7 and Changing Mobo?

I'm buying a new PC but keeping my ram and my 2 HDDs that I'm using now..
Is there a way to change motherboard and CPU without having to wipe the HDD to reinstall Windows 7,or is there even a way where I can keep my stuff on another HDD while I'm reinstalling Windows 7 and then copy everything back to it's original place in my main HDD,all files and programs in their proper directories?
7 answers Last reply
More about data hdd reinstalling win7 changing mobo
  1. Create a new partition and install windows 7 on that drive
  2. If your new motherboard chipset is similar to your old motherboard, there is a fair chance that you will be able to boot into windows using your old "C" drive. If you can, then you need only to install the motherboard drivers that come with your new motherboard cd.
    If the motherboards are too different , like going from amd to intel, then you will not usually boot because your old windows does not have the correct drivers.

    Here is a procedure that might work, but I have not tried it:
    http://www.dowdandassociates.com/blog/content/howto-repair-windows-7-install-after-replacing-motherboard/

    If you need to do a clean install, it would be an opportune time to upgrade to a ssd.
    To prepare, use windows easy transfer to export your settings.
    Disconnect your hard drives so windows does not try to put a hidden recovery partition on them.
    After the clean install, you can reattach your hard drives and import your old settings.
    Since you have a new clean registry, your programs will need to be reinstalled.

    If your windows is OEM, you technically need a new license. But, MS is surprisingly lenient about letting you reactivate with a new motherboard.
    They mainly want to be assured that you are not a pirate and that this copy of windows is not used anywhere else.
  3. geofelt said:
    If your new motherboard chipset is similar to your old motherboard, there is a fair chance that you will be able to boot into windows using your old "C" drive. If you can, then you need only to install the motherboard drivers that come with your new motherboard cd.
    If the motherboards are too different , like going from amd to intel, then you will not usually boot because your old windows does not have the correct drivers.

    Here is a procedure that might work, but I have not tried it:
    http://www.dowdandassociates.com/blog/content/howto-repair-windows-7-install-after-replacing-motherboard/

    If you need to do a clean install, it would be an opportune time to upgrade to a ssd.
    To prepare, use windows easy transfer to export your settings.
    Disconnect your hard drives so windows does not try to put a hidden recovery partition on them.
    After the clean install, you can reattach your hard drives and import your old settings.
    Since you have a new clean registry, your programs will need to be reinstalled.

    If your windows is OEM, you technically need a new license. But, MS is surprisingly lenient about letting you reactivate with a new motherboard.
    They mainly want to be assured that you are not a pirate and that this copy of windows is not used anywhere else.


    Here's the parts I'm getting.. (I'm going form an AMD board to an Intel.)

    Motherboard: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00K9R1NMS/ref=pe_385721_37986871_TE_item
    CPU: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KPRWAX8/ref=ox_sc_a...
    GPU: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00K699CRW/ref=ox_sc_a...
    Ram: 16gb ddr3 ( I'm 85% sure it's ddr3)
    Hardrive: 1TB HDD / 120gb samsung 840 EVO SSD (The 1tb HDD is the one I'm using now and I'm buying the SSD for win 8.1 and to record to only)
    OS: windows 7 (Win 8.1 on the SSD)
    PSU: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0045L4BJ6/ref=gno_car...
    Case: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B007C008L2/ref=gno_c...
  4. The couple of times I have tried going from amd to intel the attempt to boot has failed.
    It is still worth a try.

    I like your list of new parts(not so much the zoomy case)

    I am not a fan of windows 8, at least the touch oriented interface. I am waiting for windows 9 or later whenever they fix that.

    I think you will be faced with a clean install.
    You need to be prepared to reinstall your programs, but the data files will be fine when you later reattach your hard drives.

    120gb gets filled up quickly. With the new lower ssd prices, see if you can't use 240gb. Samsung EVO is very good.
  5. geofelt said:
    The couple of times I have tried going from amd to intel the attempt to boot has failed.
    It is still worth a try.

    I like your list of new parts(not so much the zoomy case)

    I am not a fan of windows 8, at least the touch oriented interface. I am waiting for windows 9 or later whenever they fix that.

    I think you will be faced with a clean install.
    You need to be prepared to reinstall your programs, but the data files will be fine when you later reattach your hard drives.

    120gb gets filled up quickly. With the new lower ssd prices, see if you can't use 240gb. Samsung EVO is very good.


    The SSD with Windows 8.1 on it is just for recording (I got win8 for free so I thought I'd test it out)
    So I should get rid of programs but keep files,saves etc and put them on my other HDD?
    Is there any way at all to just clone the data from this HDD to another and then back again?
    Seems like a bit of a hassle :(
  6. Programs will have info recorded in the registry.
    When you do a clean install, you get a new clean registry that does not match the program files.
    There might be some sort of an app that can export registry info for just such a situation as yours.
    Do some google work there. I would be interested if you find any workable program migration tool.
    Reinstalling programs is a pain, and sometimes the program source is no longer to be found.

    For what it is worth, I have tried windows 8 and hated it, mainly because of the panel interface.
    Even the start menu apps did not help enough. I have abandoned it... twice.
  7. geofelt said:
    Programs will have info recorded in the registry.
    When you do a clean install, you get a new clean registry that does not match the program files.
    There might be some sort of an app that can export registry info for just such a situation as yours.
    Do some google work there. I would be interested if you find any workable program migration tool.
    Reinstalling programs is a pain, and sometimes the program source is no longer to be found.

    For what it is worth, I have tried windows 8 and hated it, mainly because of the panel interface.
    Even the start menu apps did not help enough. I have abandoned it... twice.


    Would this work? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYK-C4rIxrI
    Just flat out cloning the data
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