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Windows 7: How to Upgrade Motherboard & CPU without reformatting

05 Mar 2014   #1
Bob22

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
How to Upgrade Motherboard & CPU without reformatting

Need a little assistance. I am going to upgrade my CPU and Motherboard. Currently I have an AMD Phenom II X2 555 with an MSI 870A Motherboard. These are socket AM3.

Replacing with AMD FX 6300 and MSI motherboard Socket AM3+.

I would like to do this upgrade without reformatting my hard drive. Any suggestions on how to do this?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Mar 2014   #2
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

That will be difficult without a reinstallation. First you will probebly get driver problems and then you also have a Windows activation problem if your current OS is an OEM edition. In that case you'll have to convince Microsoft that they activate it again. Reactivation with a retail edition is no problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Mar 2014   #3
Bob22

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Retail version. I guess I was wondering if I could just do a repair without having to reload all of my programs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Mar 2014   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

You can try, if you get past boot. What can you lose.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Mar 2014   #5
NoN

Windows 7 Professional SP1 - x64 [Non-UEFI Boot]
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bob22 View Post
Need a little assistance. I am going to upgrade my CPU and Motherboard. Currently I have an AMD Phenom II X2 555 with an MSI 870A Motherboard. These are socket AM3.

Replacing with AMD FX 6300 and MSI motherboard Socket AM3+.

I would like to do this upgrade without reformatting my hard drive. Any suggestions on how to do this?
I've done it once, swapped motherboards of the same Brand & same Gen (H to Z) but was same cpu. Whenever you unmount a CPU it will tells you this is a new hardware anyway.

Though i've done it manually by uninstalling most of the drivers & softwares of previous branded Motherboard to boot onto the new one & OS better.... I bump onto corrupted OS after few months and later it leads me to reinstall my OS retail version. Was something to do with "System Peripherals" in Devices Manager that got corrupted.

But you can have a look here:

Make Windows 7 bootable after motherboard swap
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Mar 2014   #6
Mellon Head

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 10 Pro x64 dual boot
 
 

I've done it without a reinstall. I had no issues with Windows, but I did have to install the motherboard drivers. Windows picked up the new CPU just fine. My machine ran without trouble for about two years, until I replaced it.

I would advise you to do a system image first before the swap, just in case anything goes seriously wrong.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Mar 2014   #7
MrWhoopee

Windows 7 Ultimate x86 and x64
 
 

I would suggest running Sysprep with the generalize option before replacing the components. No guarantees, but should work. Not sure how it will affect the existing user account(s), maybe run Easy Transfer and save the file to external storage. Also do a manual backup of your data just in case Easy Transfer fails (don't ask).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Mar 2014   #8
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Here is an excellent sysprep tutorial from our friend Kari. But for one system only it may be faster to reinstall.

System Preparation Tool - Use to Customize Windows
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2014   #9
Bob22

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I did the upgrade without much of a hitch. I did the following in this order:

1. Upgrade drivers
2. Clone boot drive
3. Used cloned boot drive to make sure it would work
4. Removed video card
5. Removed all cables to motherboard marking where they were attached
6. Removed motherboard leaving cpu & ram installed
7. Installed CPU, cooler, and ram in new motherboard
8. Installed the new back panel template
9. Installed new motherboard and all cables
10. Booted system-system stopped saying "ram was replaced"
11. Went into bios
12. Selected proper boot drive. (SSD, plus 3 SATA, 1 SATA CD/DVD) and Rebooted
13. System stopped saying "Repair install (recommended) or boot windows normally
14. Tried repair install, wouldn't work, tried boot windows normally and it worked fine.
15. Installed motherboard cd with chipset, etc.

The problems I had were the normal ones that people have in building a system:

1. I didn't pay close enough attention when installing the back panel template and some of the springy standoffs prevented me from plugging in my LAN and USB connections.
2. It took me too long to figure out the pins on the JFP1 & JFP2 connections for the front panel connectors. (All motherboard manufacturers should provide the little plastic piece for those pins. It is so much easier.)
3. I had to use all of my SATA connections on the motherboard. Only 2 of them were straight plug in types. The other 4 were the built up horizontal types. I kept trying to install those cables the wrong way, but finally figured it out.

Here's a link I found that was helpful: Upgrade Your Motherboard the Easy Way | PCWorld
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2014   #10
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Very good. And thanks for the feedback. That will be helpful for others.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How to Upgrade Motherboard & CPU without reformatting




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