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[Windows 10] Upgrading Mobo + CPU

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RATiO    13

Hi,

 

I was wondering if anyone knows if I can just replace the motherboard and CPU in my PC whilst keeping the same Windows 10 installation or would I have to re-install Windows?

 

Basically would the PC even boot properly after doing this? (using same hard drive from previous set up)

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Matthew S.    918

Technically no, you would need to re-install and a new license, since the Windows 10 licenses are tied to the hardware.

  • Facepalm 1

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Riva    1,126

Simply run sysprep on your disk before shutting down and without generalizing. Install the new components and boot it up. If it doesnt activate, call up Microsoft and explain the situation.

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ReAnimation    13
Posted (edited)

You may find you are OK.  My friend recently switched CPU, motherboard and RAM.  He plugged his SATA SSD in and Windows booted up with no problem and stayed activated.

 

I was very surprised when this happened.  His upgrade was from an intel CPU and mobo, to another newer intel CPU and mobo.

 

He told me he wasn't prompted to re-activate etc.  He was signed into Windows with his Microsoft account however, so not sure if this 'allowed' his copy of Windows to stay active.

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RATiO    13

I'm not too worried about the licensing side of things - I know that can be sorted.

 

My main concern is ensuring the PC still boots after the upgrade. Ideally I would like a way of keeping my current Windows installation without having to format the hard drive and re-install Windows. I know in the "olden" days that was the only way.

 

I'll look into the sysprep option mentioned above.

 

I get my CPU+Mobo/RAM tomorrow, so I need to know if anything has to be done to the Windows install prior to the upgrade or not i.e. it will "just work".

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goretsky    1,031

Hello,


If this is an OEM license of Windows 10 that came with the computer (i.e., has the license information embedded in the motherboard) and you are replacing the motherboard with one from the same manufacturer, then the switchover should be fairly painless. One thing you need to make sure of is that the new motherboard has the same type of license as the old motherboard.  You would not want to downgrade from Windows 10 Pro to Windows 10 Home, for example.

 

If the Windows 10 license was a retail, store-purchased copy (what Microsoft sometimes calls FPP, or fully-packaged product), you should probably be able to replace the motherboard and CPU, but you would want to re-use as much of the existing hardware which has serial numbers or similar manufacturing information embedded in it (GPU, drives, and perhaps RAM).  Ideally, the replacement motherboard should be the same brand and model as the old one so that there are no issues with the device drivers when the system boots up.  @Riva mentioned a way to handle things if the motherboard architecture is different.  Personally, I prefer to wipe the OS drive and reinstall Windows if I am switching to different hardware, just to avoid issues with device drivers and weird system behavior.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

 

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Riva    1,126
20 hours ago, RATiO said:

I'm not too worried about the licensing side of things - I know that can be sorted.

 

My main concern is ensuring the PC still boots after the upgrade. Ideally I would like a way of keeping my current Windows installation without having to format the hard drive and re-install Windows. I know in the "olden" days that was the only way.

 

I'll look into the sysprep option mentioned above.

 

I get my CPU+Mobo/RAM tomorrow, so I need to know if anything has to be done to the Windows install prior to the upgrade or not i.e. it will "just work".

Also a good idea to uninstall any device drivers via add/remove programs if they will be incompatible with your new hardware.

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Brandon H    2,841
9 minutes ago, Riva said:

Also a good idea to uninstall any device drivers via add/remove programs if they will be incompatible with your new hardware.

easier idea; launch sysprep.exe and do a generalize before switching hardware :)

was also mentioned above

 

generalize will remove all drivers so it detects them again at next boot

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Riva    1,126
11 minutes ago, Brandon H said:

easier idea; launch sysprep.exe and do a generalize before switching hardware :)

was also mentioned above

 

generalize will remove all drivers so it detects them again at next boot

It also removes user profile data and most installed apps. I talked about sysprep without generalisation

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Brandon H    2,841
21 minutes ago, Riva said:

It also removes user profile data and most installed apps. I talked about sysprep without generalisation

no it doesn't; Sysprep does not delete existing user accounts except for the local Administrator account. It doesn't remove apps either; the entire actual point of sysprep is to setup the image with needed apps for image rollouts. it just happens you can use it for switching hardware too thanks to the generalize option.

 

you're talking about sysprep with almost all setting selected. just a generalize only will only affect drivers. trust me I've done before.

 

https://community.spiceworks.com/topic/278818-sysprep-oobe

 

 

for OP you only need to select the generalize option; don't touch the OOBE or anything else and you will be good :)

 

edit: the full sysprep tech guide from Microsoft if anyone wants it https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/manufacture/desktop/sysprep--system-preparation--overview

generalize section: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/manufacture/desktop/sysprep--generalize--a-windows-installation

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SnoopZ    253
21 hours ago, RATiO said:

I'm not too worried about the licensing side of things - I know that can be sorted.

 

My main concern is ensuring the PC still boots after the upgrade. Ideally I would like a way of keeping my current Windows installation without having to format the hard drive and re-install Windows. I know in the "olden" days that was the only way.

 

I'll look into the sysprep option mentioned above.

 

I get my CPU+Mobo/RAM tomorrow, so I need to know if anything has to be done to the Windows install prior to the upgrade or not i.e. it will "just work".

If you contact MS they will ask for evidence that you bought a new MB and CPU and then they will likely provide a new key as they did with me when either my MB or CPU died.

 

Always best to clean install.

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RATiO    13

Posting from my upgraded machine - all went well.

 

Common sense got the better of me and I decided to do a clean install in the end. It felt the right thing to do.

 

Had a retail license tied to my Microsoft account so Windows is activated fine.

 

Thanks to all ;)

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