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Swapping motherboard in PC for new one. What exactly do I need to know?

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June 22, 2013 1:35:36 PM

I'm tired of my FM1 socket, and want a better processor. I already am using an AMD A8 Llano, but it's not quite getting there. My current motherboard is an ASRock A55M-HVS I'm looking to get a similar mobo with an AM3+ socket, the: ASRock 960GM/U3S3 FX. As far as I was concerned, it'd be as simple as upgrading any other part, simply remove drivers and old part, then install drivers and new part. But after reading up a bit, I was quite confused. All of the sudden, there were things like re-buying a my Windows 7 copy, and the possibility of losing stored data. So, what exactly do I need to know, or have, in swapping out a mobo?

More about : swapping motherboard

a c 487 V Motherboard
June 22, 2013 2:47:50 PM

If your PC is a pre-built with an OEM copy of Win7, your license is tied to that MB. Or if you built it yourself, but used an OEM copy... same thing. You will be able to install and use Win7 for 30 days or until you activate it, but it may ID the fact that it is in a PC with a different MB and ask you to call a toll free number to verify a few questions before giving you a new license.

Changing MBs will almost always require a clean install of the OS for best results. An existing install of Win7 will expect to see all the components and chipsets of the old board. It may boot OK and re-load correct drivers for the new MB from its database, but it is asking for crashes down the road. Not to mention a very botched up Registry.
a c 1722 V Motherboard
June 22, 2013 3:02:29 PM

It's up to you, clean install or use your existing. Before swapping make sure your copy of Win is up to date (update wise and they recently released this months), backup your data, then do the hardware swap, boot into your drive and see what happens....Win should boot, go into it's own version of where am I, and will scan all hardware and load drivers for itself to work, when all that's done, you'll want to load the latest drivers from your new mobos site.......and then.........when that's done...reactivate Windows on-line - it will generally come back and tell you to call (or it may just give you the code), then if you call, read the error code to them, a computer will talk you through, and they will ask How many computers is this copy installed on, You answer honestly 'ONE' and about 95% of the time they will issue a new activation code.....then you download something like Wise Registry Cleaner, start it up and pop a beer to sit back and wait.
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June 22, 2013 3:22:04 PM

clutchc said:
If your PC is a pre-built with an OEM copy of Win7, your license is tied to that MB. Or if you built it yourself, but used an OEM copy... same thing. You will be able to install and use Win7 for 30 days or until you activate it, but it may ID the fact that it is in a PC with a different MB and ask you to call a toll free number to verify a few questions before giving you a new license.

Changing MBs will almost always require a clean install of the OS for best results. An existing install of Win7 will expect to see all the components and chipsets of the old board. It may boot OK and re-load correct drivers for the new MB from its database, but it is asking for crashes down the road. Not to mention a very botched up Registry.


So, from what I can determine, the best way to expect great performance from my pre-built PC with an OEM copy of Windows 7, after a motherboard swap, is to wipe my hard drive with a clean install of Windows 7? Well, that's $200 added to my shopping cart...
a c 487 V Motherboard
June 22, 2013 3:25:48 PM

You can try tradesman1's suggestion. If you aren't happy with the results, then go to plan B. (That's basically what I was trying to get at, but I didn't want to break any rules here.)
Btw, another OEM copy of Win7 is only $100: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a c 1722 V Motherboard
June 22, 2013 4:17:32 PM

MS has their rules on licensing, but in the end if they approve it, then you are good to go, I've had to deal with them on the phone before on systems others have built and used crappy mobos that died or just weren't worth using, and in talking with the MS reps they've always said it's fine, and issued a new activation code
June 22, 2013 4:24:10 PM

Well, both options seem viable. One, easier but more expensive. The other, no cost but sounds more complex. Do you mind giving a more indepth, step-by-step explanation of what to do, Tradesman1? I'd appreciate it.
a c 1722 V Motherboard
June 22, 2013 4:52:32 PM

Swap mobo and components (have to do that anyway), then instead of loading the CD/DVD you just boot it and let Win7 do all the work, once it boots, if it goes into Windows, it will do all...when it's done same as with a clean install you still need to load the latest drivers from the mobo makers site....Then same as with a clean install you activate - only real difference between this and a brand new ($100) copy of windows is you have to call and spend about 10 minutes with a computer, punching in an error code then punching in the activation code....and I then suggest running something like Wise registry cleaner (free)....Most folks I know would rather spend the additional 10-15 minutes rather than spend $100. Think in the 3 weeks or so I've been here, there's about a half dozen folks that have done this (even one going from an AMD rig to an Intel build) with no problems or hassles
June 22, 2013 5:00:52 PM

Tradesman1 said:
Swap mobo and components (have to do that anyway), then instead of loading the CD/DVD you just boot it and let Win7 do all the work, once it boots, if it goes into Windows, it will do all...when it's done same as with a clean install you still need to load the latest drivers from the mobo makers site....Then same as with a clean install you activate - only real difference between this and a brand new ($100) copy of windows is you have to call and spend about 10 minutes with a computer, punching in an error code then punching in the activation code....and I then suggest running something like Wise registry cleaner (free)....Most folks I know would rather spend the additional 10-15 minutes rather than spend $100. Think in the 3 weeks or so I've been here, there's about a half dozen folks that have done this (even one going from an AMD rig to an Intel build) with no problems or hassles


Oh, okay, I see now. So the copy of Windows will be active temporarily because it's not the original motherboard used with the OEM copy. And then when I go to Activate the copy of Windows, it will give me some sort of error message that read to customer support via the given phone number and they will re-issue a a new activation code... This sounds do-able.

Thank you, both of you, for the support.

a c 1722 V Motherboard
June 22, 2013 5:33:39 PM

No problem, let us know how it goes
July 1, 2013 9:59:34 AM

The motherboard and processor I ordered should be arriving today or sometime this week. I'll update if necessary.
a c 1722 V Motherboard
July 1, 2013 12:48:29 PM

We'll be looking 4 u
July 2, 2013 1:46:38 PM

I've successfully replaced the motherboards and I'm currently installing the drivers given on disk. My PC is working like normal, but slow and freezes up at some points. Windows has three days until automatic activation.

EDIT: Heh, activation went off without any problems. Didn't even have to call Microsoft. Now to download Wise Registry Cleaner.
a c 1722 V Motherboard
July 2, 2013 4:11:43 PM

Thumbs up your on a roll ;)  and a whole lot better than forking over a $100, and then having to load all your apps and copy all your data from backups huh? Have to wary of these naysayers....;)
July 2, 2013 5:58:50 PM

Tradesman1 said:
Thumbs up your on a roll ;)  and a whole lot better than forking over a $100, and then having to load all your apps and copy all your data from backups huh? Have to wary of these naysayers....;)


Thank you so much, I'm grateful for your help. You and clutchc. Now, for some high-end gaming!
a c 1722 V Motherboard
July 2, 2013 6:16:53 PM

Have fun! Can close this out as a success, congrats again!
!