Documenting my success over the past weekend, swapping from P43Twins1600 motherboard with e8500 CPU, to a BIOStar TH55B motherboard with i7-860...
1. Purchased and installed a copy of ACRONIS TRUE IMAGE 2010 on the existing Windows-7 Pro licensed old box.
2. Closed all applications on old PC, disconnected Network cord from switch. Rebooted PC. (to make sure everything is closed and clean)
3. Using Acronis, Created a FULL backup of the "C:" partition on the old PC. It created a 60GB file.
4. Copied this 60GB file to a portable USB attached hard drive.
5. Again using Acronis, created a ACRONIS Recovery Media CDROM. It is bootable.
6. Swapped motherboard and CPU. Added fresh (bigger) hard disk.
7. Confirmed that new hardware was bootable, POST correctly, memory, etc.
8. Attached USB hard drive to new PC.
9. Booted new PC from ACRONIS CDROM
10. In Acronis, selected RECOVERY mode, and pointed to the 60GB USB attached file. Told it to restore to the first drive in the PC.
11. When completed, rebooted PC.
Viola!!! The PC reloaded and worked like a charm. drivers were never an issue nor even identified during the reboot process.