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Upgraded Mobo/Chip without reinstalling Windows 7 on old HD

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February 8, 2012 11:57:06 AM

Hi Folks - just looking for some clarity around my situation and I'm wondering if I did this the arse-backwards way or if i'm in the clear. I'm new to this DIY upgrades and sometimes I overlook some really obvious stuff :) 

Basically, the local Microcenter store had a huge sale on Sandybridge Chips and ASUS mobos so I spent some tax money on upgrading my old old mobo/chip. I went from a Gigabyte GA-M68MT-S2 v1.3 with AMD Phenom IIx4 925 2.8 Ghz to an i7 2600k on an Asus P8Z68 V-Pro Gen 3. (they were sold out of 2500k so i spent the extra $100 because i wanted it now! )

What didn't occur to me is that since the chipsets are totally different a reformatting of the HD and a fresh install of Win7 would be the logical approach. Since I was so excited to get this mobo/chip installed, I took out old mobo and replaced it, hooked up all the wires and turned it on without thinking of reformatting/backing-up old files.

It started up fine (i did have Microcenter install the chip and POST test it) but as soon as windows started to launch i got a BSOD and windows repair started run. I let that finish and rebooted with the repair disc/reinstall disc and ended up installing a custom version of Windows so i can access the my old files/profiles in the Windows.Old folder.

After installing all the necessary drivers and reinstalling Steam/some games/random programs everything seems to be working just fine.

- Am I good to go?
- Did I do this in a completey unsafe manner?

Lots of other forums say Win7 is good in this regard and can usually handle this a mobo swap with out needing to reinstall Win 7. It seems to be true.

-What should I do with the Windows.old folder once I'm done copying over all my stuff to my "new" version of Windows?
----Do i just copy the User Profile? - since that has all the Documents/Music/pics/saved games folders?

Looking forward to some input. If I posted this in the wrong spot feel free to move the thread :)  I wasn't sure if this belonged in the Windows 7 forums.

Thanks!
a c 121 V Motherboard
February 8, 2012 1:56:35 PM

Yup, you did it a bit backwards :p 

But aside from that you are good to go...


There are a couple downsides, mainly you have a lot of left over files, that while not detrimental persay can cause a bit of a performance hit. My suggestion would be to backup all import stuff onto an External HDD, and completely wipe / reinstall windows.

As far as unsafe goes, you are ok. Sometimes the recovery settings won't work, but it worked out fine in your case.
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a c 180 V Motherboard
February 8, 2012 3:41:40 PM

I think you know by now that you should have saved all of your inportant files to a usb drive or have made a small partition on the hdd for that and then do a reinstall of Windows.
It may seem to be working fine but if there are any leftover chipset drivers from the previous install then you will take a performance hit because of that. Windows will get confused by any drivers and files that it sees and weill be looking for the associated hardware. A clean install of Windows is usually the best way. You may not be able to get rid of any files or folders that are Windows related.
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February 9, 2012 11:46:02 AM

Thanks for the replies.

I don't believe there are any leftover chipset, LAN, Audio drivers, etc. Everything seems to be working flawlessly. What would be the best way to look for them? [I tried to get Driver Sweeper but it looks like that program isn't supported anymore (at least that's what the webpage said)]

Both of you mentioned "performance hits". What kind of magnitude are we talking?

Using Skyrim as a benchmarker (more precisely standing atop the steps in Whiterun looking at the big tree) I would get around 20 FPS on my old set-up (which was the Phenom IIx4 925 2.8GHz on the AM3 Gigabyte board - the ingame graphics were set at High) After testing my new build out yesteday in the same spot, but the in-game graphics set on Ultra, i was getting 35-40. This jump in performace makes me believe everything went A-OK.

I'm still contemplaing wiping the drive and reinstalling everything (since this is technically the right thing to do) but something else tells me it isn't really necessary.


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a c 121 V Motherboard
February 9, 2012 1:44:23 PM

The would be in Windows.Old. But they would also probably be spread out through the MBR and the drive probably has as second boot path somewhere in it.

The performance hit can vary drastically, from unnoticeable to constant bluescreening.

It's really your call, if it was me I would just backup and wipe everything / start fresh. But to every man their own.
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a c 180 V Motherboard
February 9, 2012 5:28:01 PM

Unless you have a huge amount of saved data that you would have trouble moving and saving I would just save the important stuff and reinstall windows. A fresh install will be good for the Pc anyways because it will get rid of any conflicts or corrupted files that are lurking about. It is usually a pain to do but I do it occasionally just to get things spuced up.
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February 16, 2012 11:31:27 AM

Best answer selected by oste0130.
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a c 328 V Motherboard
February 16, 2012 11:37:10 AM

This topic has been closed by Nikorr
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