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Changing Motherboard, CPU, RAM - keep OS or new install?

Last response: in Windows 7
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February 20, 2012 2:26:21 PM

I'm upgrading:

Asus P5N-D to Asus Asus P8Z68-V LX
Intel Q6600 to Intel i5 2500k
Corsair DDR2 4GB to G-Skill DDR3 8GB

How do I prepare my HDD and such for this? I have two internal SATA's and an External 1TB drive.
I have no problem at all with doing a clean install but is it possible to just unplug the drives and plug them back in? Somehow I doubt it, due to the change in motherboard = change in registry and such.

Thanks.
February 20, 2012 2:41:45 PM

fresh install
a b V Motherboard
a b $ Windows 7
February 20, 2012 2:45:29 PM

It would be necessary to clean install to the boot drive and any other used for program installation. If your programs are on the boot drive then just that one. You will be able to read any data drives once that is done. Also if one is a backup drive you could restore an image from it to a formatted clean boot drive. If you do a clean install than any backups of the old boot drive can be eliminated as you will be starting over for that drive.
Related resources
February 20, 2012 2:53:59 PM

I upgraded from a m2n32 sli to a m4n98td and decided to try without a fresh install. All went fine. On first boot found new hardware wizzard popped up. Installed drivers. Rebooted and just like It had always been. Saved a lot of time compared to a full install
February 20, 2012 2:57:40 PM

if you pre install the mother board drivers before changing the hardware, and then do a windows repair you may get lucky.
but first - make sure you have all the important stuff off your main OS drive. (Documents, Photos et ect) As if the repair fails getting it back can be bothersome.
As you have two drives...do you have a RAID array of some kind - if you are not sure then probably not. If so a full ground up reinstall would be the easiest path.
You don't mention what the OS is you have or are changing to?
Sounds like Window 7 64bit as you are changing to 8GB Ram... (note windows 32bit will not be able to use 8GB of ram)
February 20, 2012 3:04:29 PM

Sorry I'm not really chaning OS. Windows 7 64bit Pro to Ultimate (purely because I've lost the Pro disk). I'll just do a fresh install then, it's about time I cleaned out the PC.
a b V Motherboard
a b $ Windows 7
February 20, 2012 6:06:10 PM

Best bet gl.
February 20, 2012 6:24:00 PM

My last upgrade was nearly the same path you are on. Just try to boot up with your installed OS and see what happens. I was shocked to find out I did not have to format at all - only had to update my mobo drivers.
February 20, 2012 6:37:33 PM

Guys, you don't really need with Window Vista or 7 to do the 'fresh install' when you upgrade your computer, even when changing the motherboard.

Many people have found that when you just plug the new motherboard in and plug in the hard drive, Windows automatically realizes you have new hardware and installs it, no problems.
February 20, 2012 8:41:31 PM

Ok thanks.
May 4, 2014 9:09:25 AM

I've been building my own for 25 years & have swapped Motherboards & kept exsisting OS on HD's a few times.
This can go smooth or be a little more complicated & just takes a bit more work.
Depending on how you have your HD setup in IDE or Raid Mode is important, along with chipset drivers.
A different Mobo will have different chipset drivers & Bios won't be setup for Raid.
Chipset drivers will need to be uninstalled in device manager. If you see they don't uninstall properly in Windows,try doing it in safe mode. Make sure you set your HD mode in new Mobo Bios properly. Windows will auto install IDE mode drivers.
Raid drivers are different for different chipsets,so you need to uninstall & Reinstall the correct Raid Driver for the new Chipset in Safe mode before allowing the new Mobo to boot all the way into windows or you may get a BSOD.
It's best to remove all existing drivers unless your going to transfer the same sound card & not install the Mobo IC sound driver. Lan/Raid/CPU/USB/NIC drivers will be different for the new Mobo chipset. You should be able to install all the drivers from the Mobo CD or may have to go to Mobo driver downloads for correct Raid driver & save it on a USB drive so you can install it in safe mode. This is a must do using a Mobo with a UEFI Bios. I have worked with other Mobo's without a UEFI Bios & have seen correct Raid drivers get installed auto. I like the click Bios features on my new MSI 990FXA-GD 80 V2 Mobo. There is a flaw in Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit OS. When installing a fresh copy of it with a UEFI Bios setup for Raid,you will get promped that the Hard Drive/CDrom needs a drive letter. This is incorrect, What it's really looking for are the Raid drivers for the HD if you set the Bios for it & will need to install them using a USB drive after downloding them from the MSI Global download page.. I spoke to the Tech Reps at MSI about this prompt & they know it's a flaw & don't know why it asks you for an HD/CDrom drive letter.. We all know, nobody's perfect, not even Microsoft.
I wrote this just for all that visit this website. Hope I shared something valuable with you. Good Luck :) 
May 12, 2014 10:35:38 PM

vcooper15 said:
I've been building my own for 25 years & have swapped Motherboards & kept exsisting OS on HD's a few times.
This can go smooth or be a little more complicated & just takes a bit more work.
Depending on how you have your HD setup in IDE or Raid Mode is important, along with chipset drivers.
A different Mobo will have different chipset drivers & Bios won't be setup for Raid.
Chipset drivers will need to be uninstalled in device manager. If you see they don't uninstall properly in Windows,try doing it in safe mode. Make sure you set your HD mode in new Mobo Bios properly. Windows will auto install IDE mode drivers.
Raid drivers are different for different chipsets,so you need to uninstall & Reinstall the correct Raid Driver for the new Chipset in Safe mode before allowing the new Mobo to boot all the way into windows or you may get a BSOD.
It's best to remove all existing drivers unless your going to transfer the same sound card & not install the Mobo IC sound driver. Lan/Raid/CPU/USB/NIC drivers will be different for the new Mobo chipset. You should be able to install all the drivers from the Mobo CD or may have to go to Mobo driver downloads for correct Raid driver & save it on a USB drive so you can install it in safe mode. This is a must do using a Mobo with a UEFI Bios. I have worked with other Mobo's without a UEFI Bios & have seen correct Raid drivers get installed auto. I like the click Bios features on my new MSI 990FXA-GD 80 V2 Mobo. There is a flaw in Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit OS. When installing a fresh copy of it with a UEFI Bios setup for Raid,you will get promped that the Hard Drive/CDrom needs a drive letter. This is incorrect, What it's really looking for are the Raid drivers for the HD if you set the Bios for it & will need to install them using a USB drive after downloding them from the MSI Global download page.. I spoke to the Tech Reps at MSI about this prompt & they know it's a flaw & don't know why it asks you for an HD/CDrom drive letter.. We all know, nobody's perfect, not even Microsoft.
I wrote this just for all that visit this website. Hope I shared something valuable with you. Good Luck :) 


Thanks for your very comprehensive post. I am getting a new box,,MB, CPU & RAM. My old box -W7Pro/64- has a system SSD and a 2nd HD; I'll try to keep both. Can I install the new MB chipset etc drivers or do I need a system image on a new HD? I have been using EASEUS for backup or image. Thanks for advice.
JohnnyS

June 8, 2014 7:36:05 PM

Trueimage backup image can make a hardware independent image
June 9, 2014 6:11:16 PM

JohnnySch said:
vcooper15 said:
I've been building my own for 25 years & have swapped Motherboards & kept exsisting OS on HD's a few times.
This can go smooth or be a little more complicated & just takes a bit more work.
Depending on how you have your HD setup in IDE or Raid Mode is important, along with chipset drivers.
A different Mobo will have different chipset drivers & Bios won't be setup for Raid.
Chipset drivers will need to be uninstalled in device manager. If you see they don't uninstall properly in Windows,try doing it in safe mode. Make sure you set your HD mode in new Mobo Bios properly. Windows will auto install IDE mode drivers.
Raid drivers are different for different chipsets,so you need to uninstall & Reinstall the correct Raid Driver for the new Chipset in Safe mode before allowing the new Mobo to boot all the way into windows or you may get a BSOD.
It's best to remove all existing drivers unless your going to transfer the same sound card & not install the Mobo IC sound driver. Lan/Raid/CPU/USB/NIC drivers will be different for the new Mobo chipset. You should be able to install all the drivers from the Mobo CD or may have to go to Mobo driver downloads for correct Raid driver & save it on a USB drive so you can install it in safe mode. This is a must do using a Mobo with a UEFI Bios. I have worked with other Mobo's without a UEFI Bios & have seen correct Raid drivers get installed auto. I like the click Bios features on my new MSI 990FXA-GD 80 V2 Mobo. There is a flaw in Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit OS. When installing a fresh copy of it with a UEFI Bios setup for Raid,you will get promped that the Hard Drive/CDrom needs a drive letter. This is incorrect, What it's really looking for are the Raid drivers for the HD if you set the Bios for it & will need to install them using a USB drive after downloding them from the MSI Global download page.. I spoke to the Tech Reps at MSI about this prompt & they know it's a flaw & don't know why it asks you for an HD/CDrom drive letter.. We all know, nobody's perfect, not even Microsoft.
I wrote this just for all that visit this website. Hope I shared something valuable with you. Good Luck :) 


Thanks for your very comprehensive post. I am getting a new box,,MB, CPU & RAM. My old box -W7Pro/64- has a system SSD and a 2nd HD; I'll try to keep both. Can I install the new MB chipset etc drivers or do I need a system image on a new HD? I have been using EASEUS for backup or image. Thanks for advice.
JohnnyS



June 9, 2014 6:21:37 PM

You could use a system image from am old system configuration. But knowing the chipset,& drivers will be different depending on hardware changes.
Doing this is always a gamble. Like I said, it could go smooth or you could get a BSOD, & if this happens, try getting into safe mode & uninstall the old drivers & reinstall the new drivers. If all fails, then it's best to start from scratch, even if you don't really want to. Again, like I said it's a gamble, can go smooth or BSOD. You could be surprised or have no other choice but to start from scratch if for some strange reason you cant get into safe mode to change drivers. Good luck.
June 10, 2014 10:30:56 AM

I have not been successful in getting any of the NT based Windows to work after changing core components. I always go into it expecting that I will have to reinstall the OS. I have not tried Trueimage, but I am intrigued, would love to take my backup image to a new set of core hardware.
!