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OS reinstall when changing motherboard questions

I'm completely changing motherboards. Going from AMD to Intel. From what I've looked up, I need to reinstall my OS (Windows 8.1) which will wipe the HDD.
So some questions:
Do I need my product key when I reinstall the OS?
If so, I bought a OEM key of 8.1. Do I need to call Microsoft to reactivate it, or can I use it upon reinstalling the OS, then call to reactivate afterwards?
Also, when do I perform the OS reinstall? Do I need to change to my new intel motherboard, then perform the reinstall? Because it may not boot then.
16 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about reinstall changing motherboard questions
  1. 1) Back up your data.
    2) Install new motherboard/CPU
    3) Insert Windows 8.1 install media
    4) Format your hard drive
    5) Install Windows 8.1
    6) Enter Product Key and Select Activate once Online
    7) Install motherboard drivers (LAN/Graphic/Audio)

    If Windows successfully activates, stop here
    If Windows fails to activate Contact Microsoft
    If Microsoft approves transfer of license, activate over the phone and stop here
    Else

    8) Purchase new Windows 8.1 license
    9) Activate using new Product Key

    -Wolf sends
  2. You need to change the hardware so Windows can see it.
    As for product keys, if you have one you should be fine.
    ..follow the steps
  3. Wolfshadw said:
    1) Back up your data.
    2) Install new motherboard/CPU
    3) Insert Windows 8.1 install media
    4) Format your hard drive
    5) Install Windows 8.1
    6) Enter Product Key and Select Activate once Online
    7) Install motherboard drivers (LAN/Graphic/Audio)

    If Windows successfully activates, stop here
    If Windows fails to activate Contact Microsoft
    If Microsoft approves transfer of license, activate over the phone and stop here
    Else

    8) Purchase new Windows 8.1 license
    9) Activate using new Product Key

    -Wolf sends


    So step 4 is when I would wipe my HDD?
  4. Correct. During the install process, Windows should ask you where you want to install it. There should be an "Advanced" option that will allow you to remove any partitions that may exist and format the hard drive.

    -Wolf sends
  5. Wolfshadw said:
    Correct. During the install process, Windows should ask you where you want to install it. There should be an "Advanced" option that will allow you to remove any partitions that may exist and format the hard drive.

    -Wolf sends


    I was under the assumption that my PC may not even boot properly if I don't wipe it before changing motherboards. So I can change motherboards before wiping the HDD
    By the way, I'm going from an AM3+ socket to 1150
  6. Best answer
    The problem that most people see when the try to boot their systems after changing the motherboard is that they are trying to boot using their old OS install. The old OS installation is looking for the old hardware as defined by it's registry settings. Not finding that hardware, the system crashes/BSODs/etc...

    You won't be attempting to boot from the old OS install. You'll be booting from the Windows 8.1 Install media (DVD/USB). Sorry if that wasn't clear in my steps.

    -Wolf sends
  7. Thank you so very much for your help. This clarified the ambiguity I've been having with this problem. So I'll just boot of my flash drive with win 8.1?
    Do I need to wipe anything off my HDD before the reinstall?
  8. No. Just back up any data (documents, mp3s, e-mails, movies, etc...) before installing. Boot up from the Windows 8.1 Flash Drive to start your installation.

    -Wolf sends
  9. Wolfshadw said:
    No. Just back up any data (documents, mp3s, e-mails, movies, etc...) before installing. Boot up from the Windows 8.1 Flash Drive to start your installation.

    -Wolf sends


    How would I back these files up with only 1 HDD?
  10. Buy a second hard drive/Large USB Drive?
    Check with your ISP to see if they give you any disk space?
    If you have a Google account, try their free (temp) Google Cloud Storage?
    Zip it up and burn to DVDs?

    -Wolf sends
  11. Thanks for all your help. Sorry for the lack of competence on my part
  12. LOL! No worries!
    We were all there at one time.

    -Wolf sends
  13. Wolfshadw said:
    LOL! No worries!
    We were all there at one time.

    -Wolf sends
  14. Wolfshadw said:
    LOL! No worries!
    We were all there at one time.

    -Wolf sends


    Anything else I should know about storage and this topic?
  15. If you've got just a single hard drive, you may want to consider creating an OS partition and a Data partition. That way, you can format and re-install the OS as necessary while your data stays safe.

    -Wolf sends
  16. Wolfshadw said:
    If you've got just a single hard drive, you may want to consider creating an OS partition and a Data partition. That way, you can format and re-install the OS as necessary while your data stays safe.

    -Wolf sends


    I needed to erase all the old motherboard drivers. I figured I can't save a large number of my files
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