I'm currently ordering all the parts to rebuild my PC from the ground up. But I'd like to keep my old hard drives/SSD, and most importantly, keep my old Windows installation. I've been buying upgrades since XP, and I'd rather not buy a whole new version of 7 or 8 (especially since I'm a student and I got the upgrade versions for free).
So, if I simply take my old system drive and plug it into the new mobo, will I be able to download all the new drivers etc, or will I be completely screwed? And will my license transfer? I'm pretty sure the student license can be installed on 2 PCs with the same key.
For reference, here's my old and new setups:
OLD Mobo: ASUS A8M2N-LA (Micro ATX AM2 board from an old HP pavilion) CPU: Athlon 64 X2 6000+ (3.0 GHz) 4GB DDR2 XFX Radeon HD6850 LB Blu-Ray reader System drive: 120 GB SSD Data drive: 1TB HDD Backups: 1.5TB external USB HDD/ 1.5 internal HDD combined into single Storage Space Windows 8 Pro
NEW Mobo: ASUS P8Z77-M Pro CPU: Intel i5-3570K 16GB Kingston HyperX Blu XFX Radeon HD6850
Same drives, and hopefully the same Windows!
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The license might not transfer if the OS is OEM. You would have to reinstall when installing a new motherboard. Sometimes you can get away with it.
So what's the worst case scenario? If I plug in the old drive and start it up, it just won't boot, right? I won't wreck my drive, will I?