Hey all - I'm going to be buying and installing an I5 3570k and AsRock extreme4 to replace my pii x4 970 and gigabyte mobo. I've been reading that I should be able to just install new hard ware and then do a repair install with windows 7 and should be good to go. Am I right and anything I need to keep in mind?
I'm fairly sure that you'd almost definitely need to re-install Windows. You might be able to get away with not doing so, but unless you have good reason to try that, I recommend against it. It's good for the computer to clear out the system every few years.
IDK if you can avoid losing those programs for sure should the repair fail, but I don't think that you can. Unfortunately, Windows wasn't really built with convenience in-mind. You could try stuff such as installing the proper drivers for the new motherboard and CPU and such before changing boards and CPUs and hope it works, but I can't guarantee that it'll work nor can I guarantee that it will fail.
For files and such, just back them up and you'll be fine. Files such as videos and music are usually a lot easier to keep. However, just to be safe, if your music is through iTunes or a similar service, you might want to look into if special procedures are necessary. I'm not very familiar with iTunes and similar software, so I can't say for sure, but it's probably not as easy as a simple copy/paste back up like it would be with pretty much all other files such as movies, Office documents/presentations/spreadsheets/etc, and most other regular files.
Technically, you should be able to just make a partition on your hard drive and put every file that you want to keep on it and wipe the system partition to prep for the re-install, but having them stored on a separate storage device such as a second hard drive (internal or external), SSD, or any other storage device with enough capacity for your stuff.
Sounds good. Basically it sounds like I'm not going to know what to expect until I actually get in. Best practice to back up files that I need to keep, make a list of all the programs I use, and then just cross my fingers and start the process?