First Time builder Help

Hey everyone,
I'm building my first computer :D . I've spent a ton of time learning about all of the parts and made sure they all work together. I'm keeping an old hard drive and case to save myself a little money. My question (probably a dumb one) is after I replace the mother board, cpu, memory, etc... will I be able to attach my hard drive and have windows boot back up. I've been reading a bunch of stuff about bios settings and drivers which is pretty scary. I haven't tried yet because I'm getting a few of the parts for Christmas. I'm trying to figure this out so if there is an issue I can have some time to do some reading to figure it out.

Thanks! This community rocks!
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  1. No, you have to reinstall the OS if you change the motherboard.
  2. It might boot up, but all the drivers and software will probably not work correctly. So like the previous post, just backup your user files and then re-install Windows.
  3. You do not have to do a fresh Install of windows just because you change your Motherboard. There are Two Methods to avoid a full installation.

    1) SYSPREP
    This method strips all drivers from the hardware confiuration but leaves all programs and data alone. Run SYSPREP and then reinstall all the drivers with the new motherboard. SYSPREP LINK

    2) Windows Repair Install

    If you have been running windows for a year or so then the registry gets cluttered. There is no equal performance wise to the clean install, however its not mandatory with a mobo change.

  4. So, like most people I don't actually own the Windows install CD's (in this case XP home). So is my only option to do something like SYSPREP that nfuser suggested or can I do a repair install by just holding F2 (or whatever it is) during boot up to get into a repair install that way? Thanks again
  5. Or the alternate route, although you can avoid it, is just to fresh install. Personally, if you have a decent backup device handy, I would opt for a fresh install.

    I only suggested SYSPREP because I recently had success with it. SYSPREP is handy if you must avoid a fresh install.
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