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Motherboard, CPU and RAM Swap, can I keep Windows 7 Install?

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  • Windows 7
  • RAM
  • CPUs
  • Motherboards
Last response: in Windows 7
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March 17, 2013 7:12:04 AM

I currently have a Core2Quad QX6700 2.66GHZ on ASUS P5Q-E system which runs Windows 7 Professional 64 bit (it also has XP Pro 32 bit installed but that is less important and only rarely used now). I have recently ordered a new Motherboard (Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3 Z68) and i5 2500K CPU to upgrade the system. I am planning on just dropping the new motherboard, RAM and CPU into place and leaving everything else as is. I would also like to leave the currently installed operating system on too as I have loads of software installed that would literally take me several days to get everything re-installed and set up how I have it now.

So basically can I keep my operating system install and if so can you recommend a good guide for me to follow to maximise the odds of it working properly?

Secondly, is keeping the same install likely to negatively impact performance of the new parts or result in instability emerging later on?

More about : motherboard cpu ram swap windows install

March 17, 2013 7:33:33 AM

KingOfComputing said:I currently have a Core2Quad QX6700 2.66GHZ on ASUS P5Q-E system which runs Windows 7 Professional 64 bit (it also has XP Pro 32 bit installed but that is less important and only rarely used now). I have recently ordered a new Motherboard (Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3 Z68) and i5 2500K CPU to upgrade the system. I am planning on just dropping the new motherboard, RAM and CPU into place and leaving everything else as is. I would also like to leave the currently installed operating system on too as I have loads of software installed that would literally take me several days to get everything re-installed and set up how I have it now.

So basically can I keep my operating system install and if so can you recommend a good guide for me to follow to maximise the odds of it working properly?

Secondly, is keeping the same install likely to negatively impact performance of the new parts or result in instability emerging later on?

if your woried about losing your os it is on your hard drive so as long as you dont format the hard drive you shouldnt lose anything
March 17, 2013 7:43:02 AM

willrockstotally said:


if your woried about losing your os it is on your hard drive so as long as you dont format the hard drive you shouldnt lose anything


This isn't what I'm asking, I know I can leave the OS on the hard drive, my question is will the OS deal with the hardware change ok? and if not is there anything I can do (e.g. uninstall all existing drivers) to ease the transition so it doesn't crash when i try to boot up on the new hardware?
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a b $ Windows 7
a b à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
March 17, 2013 11:30:20 AM

Normally when you change motherboard to a different chipset it requires a re-install. The system probably won't boot into Windows after the hardware change. Occasionally it does work though if you are lucky. You could maybe try booting into safe mode and un-installing all non-generic drivers before making the change.

I hate to bring more bad news but you also might have licencing problems. If your copy of Windows 7 is an OEM licence it gets tied to your hardware. Changing this amount of hardware there is a good chance Windows 7 will not activate. Otherwise people could simply buy ALL new parts (ie. a new PC) and use the same Windows licence.

If your machine came pre-installed it's almost guaranteed to be an OEM licence. If you bought a Retail copy of Windows 7 it shouldn't be any problem at all.

Just had a thought on a work around. If you back up all user data to an external source (documents, pictures, music etc) then run Sysprep with the Generalise option. Shut down and change all your hardware over. When you start up it will re-configure Windows to your hardware.

Downside of this is that all your user data is removed. Upside is that all your installed programs remain. From a user perspective it will be like creating a new user account. Programs are all there - settings and data aren't.

Here is a quick sysprep guide - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNWo-WjxChw
a b $ Windows 7
a b à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
March 17, 2013 12:18:36 PM

Hi :) 

NO...normally it wont work...

All the best Brett :) 
March 17, 2013 12:43:42 PM

you should be fine windows 7 is pretty good with hardware change and compatible with lots of motherboards and memory and everthing so if your lucky it should work well
March 17, 2013 1:22:55 PM

casper1973 said:
Normally when you change motherboard to a different chipset it requires a re-install. The system probably won't boot into Windows after the hardware change. Occasionally it does work though if you are lucky. You could maybe try booting into safe mode and un-installing all non-generic drivers before making the change.

I hate to bring more bad news but you also might have licencing problems. If your copy of Windows 7 is an OEM licence it gets tied to your hardware. Changing this amount of hardware there is a good chance Windows 7 will not activate. Otherwise people could simply buy ALL new parts (ie. a new PC) and use the same Windows licence.

If your machine came pre-installed it's almost guaranteed to be an OEM licence. If you bought a Retail copy of Windows 7 it shouldn't be any problem at all.

Just had a thought on a work around. If you back up all user data to an external source (documents, pictures, music etc) then run Sysprep with the Generalise option. Shut down and change all your hardware over. When you start up it will re-configure Windows to your hardware.

Downside of this is that all your user data is removed. Upside is that all your installed programs remain. From a user perspective it will be like creating a new user account. Programs are all there - settings and data aren't.

Here is a quick sysprep guide - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNWo-WjxChw


Thanks for the helpful reply. sysprep looks like it could be perfect and I shouldn't need to even back up much as I keep virtually all my data off the C (OS) drive already (as it is an SSD so I only use it for Windows and my most often used programs) assuming it won't touch anything I store on other HDDs in the PC? Also when you say my programs remain, do you mean remain on the HDD but need reinstalling to use or should they all still start up as if nothing happened?
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