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Do you have to reinstall windows/reformat your drive???

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February 26, 2011 4:13:07 PM

I saw a couple of posts on this specific topic but my question was different. I bought and HP PC 2 years ago and changed everything in it including the case. I just haven't changed the mobo and cpu which I will do in a couple of days. My HP computer came with a free installation of Windows 7 and I have the disc and the product key. On the disc, it says for use with an HP eligible upgrade. Since the motherboard was HP and I am switching it, would it still install after I replace the motherboard. By the way, what is the process of booting up your motherboard for the first and do I have to reformat my drive. Sorry but I am a little computer illiterate. :sarcastic: 
a c 107 V Motherboard
February 27, 2011 3:36:50 AM

It may or may not work. It may have a detection routine where if it's not an HP computer, it won't install. Even if it does work, it will install all the crap that initially came on the HP computer.

I would suggest buying a new OEM copy of Win7 Home Premium 64-bit for $100, because that HP computer you had before no longer exists.
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February 27, 2011 8:25:02 AM

Technically this would be illegal, but maybe not if you keep the HP case. This is a legal grey area, and I can't comment on that part.

I would recommend that you buy a new OEM copy, rather than using the one that is tied to HP hardware.

Unless the new motherboard is almost the same as the old one, you will have to install it on the old board first. Then move the HD to the new system after it is up and running. However, this does not always work out very well. Also, when you change too many things, Windows may want to re-validate the license even though your copy is OEM. If this happens, it will not pass validation because it is tied to your old board. If you bought a retail Windows disc or an OEM one from Newegg, you can usually carry it over to another system by calling MS when the activation fails and explaining that you had to rebuild the system because of a catastrophic hardware failure. However, the HP key cannot be carried over to non-HP hardware. They will probably deny your request.

So if you do get it installed and do not face re-validation... then you are good to go... but if you ever need to wipe and re-install, you will need to do it on the old board.
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a b V Motherboard
February 27, 2011 3:25:07 PM

It wont work, even if it tries to you will have tons of issues with the old drivers installing on the new stuff. Everyone says buy an OEM version, I say spend a little more and buy a technet subscription.
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a b V Motherboard
February 28, 2011 3:09:14 AM

chumpoholic said:
I saw a couple of posts on this specific topic but my question was different. I bought and HP PC 2 years ago and changed everything in it including the case. I just haven't changed the mobo and cpu which I will do in a couple of days. My HP computer came with a free installation of Windows 7 and I have the disc and the product key. On the disc, it says for use with an HP eligible upgrade. Since the motherboard was HP and I am switching it, would it still install after I replace the motherboard. By the way, what is the process of booting up your motherboard for the first and do I have to reformat my drive. Sorry but I am a little computer illiterate. :sarcastic: 


Migrating from one machine to another, the do's and dont's.
Since I see this question get asked multiple times a week, I thought i'd create a little thread with some info and answers.

First off, if you are switching from one piece of hardware to another, follow these steps:
1) BACKUP! I don't care how many times another user successfully swapped from one piece to another, things can and WILL happen so keep a backup! I don't care if you are simply swapping graphics cards, if your data is THAT important, BACKUP FIRST!
2) A fresh install on the new machine is ALWAYS the best option. If you choose not to do a fresh install, you are left with the following options:
A) Sysprep
B) Plug-N-Pray
C) Setup/Repair

Lets dive into Sysprep:
Basically, Sysprep is a Microsoft tool that "resets" the configuration data on the machine to allow OEM's and system manufacturers the ability to create a master image to be used on multiple similar machine configurations.
What does this mean for me?
Since it resets the configuration data, you can use it to migrate a hard drive from one machine to the next while keeping your data and programs intact. I am not going to go into a detailed "how-to" but I will point you to the Microsoft Sysprep support pages so you can equip yourself with knowledge and perform the functions you need to successfully migrate your data.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/302577
http://technet.microsoft.com/e.../library/bb457073.aspx

I have used sysprep successfully to migrate a hard drive from my old socket A system through about 12 hardware changes up to it's current home in an Intel socket 775 system. While the system is quite sluggish due to all the extra bloat it has carried from system to system, all data and programs are intact which is more important to me than overall system speed.

Lets touch on the "Plug-N-Pray" method:
I'm not going to cover this because there isn't a very good reason to use it with a proper tool like sysprep available. Basically you pull the drive from your old system, place it into the new system and let windows completely reconfigure itself. Some people go so far as to remove or uninstall the hardware in the device manager before migrating the drive over. Either way, it is risky especially without a backup and I don't recommend it.

The setup/Repair Method:
I'm not going to cover the Setup/Repair method as I have never gotten it to work properly. If anyone cares to add more info about this section, I'd be happy to add it in here. Basically, you place your old drive into the new system and boot from the install CD. Choose repair and use the repair console to fix your installation or you can also run setup over top of your existing install.
http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=265026
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March 6, 2011 7:39:23 PM

Thanks for all the posts. I got it to work but this is what happened. I installed the mobo and went into bios. I tried booting it from my drive. When I did that, it restarted but when it came to the windows screen loading, it crashed. This is where I went into the bios again and reformated the drive. I went and put the boot priority 1 to disk and put hard drive to 2. I put in the disk, rebooted, and there came the install screen. It failed to install the first time because it was stuck on the last part. I just rebooted, reformated again, and did the same process. I got it on my second try and it asked me for the key. I put it in and it works like a charm. NO signs of an HP computer anymore :D  AND ALSO, I didn't run into many problems, I just downloaded my bus driver for my mobo for the ehternet to work and my gpu driver.
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