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Windows 7: switching mobos without reinstalling windows 7

19 Sep 2011   #1
tcourchaine

Windows 7 Home premium 64bit
 
 
switching mobos without reinstalling windows 7

the guy working on my computer wants to switch out motherboards and see if he can do it without having to reinstall windows 7. Is it possible? is it advisable?


switching from an MSI X58 Platinum SLI to an Asus X58 Sabertooth


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Sep 2011   #2
gregrocker

 

YouŽll either need to SysPrep the HD on the old hardware so it will assuredly start up on the new hardware: SysPrep to move HD to another computer

or youŽll need to boot Paragon Adaptive Restore CD on the new hardware to prepare the old HD or its image to start on the new hardware.

There is a very slight possibility Win7 might start on the new hardware outright, but rarely..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Sep 2011   #3
tcourchaine

Windows 7 Home premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
YouŽll either need to SysPrep the HD on the old hardware so it will assuredly start up on the new hardware: SysPrep to move HD to another computer

or youŽll need to boot Paragon Adaptive Restore CD on the new hardware to prepare the old HD or its image to start on the new hardware.

There is a very slight possibility Win7 might start on the new hardware outright, but rarely..
I'll pass this info on to him, thank you. I just don't want to have to reinstall all my programs again :P
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Sep 2011   #4
GailLA

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Here's my experience with not reinstalling Windows 7 for motherboard replacements:

My motherboard died about 5 weeks ago. I had no choice but to replace it. I went from one Intel/Asus motherboard and processor to another. (Asus P5Q Pro Turbo with Core2 Quad Q9300 to an Asus P8P67 ver. 3.0 and an Core i5-2500). The new board has DDR3, SATA III and USB 3.0. It also has a UEFI BIOS. The old board had VIA audio and the new one has Realtek. So it is still Intel, but quite different in many respects. I never even removed my hard drive from its bay. I had no problems. I had a little clean up to do to get rid of the old audio control panel. I did no repair install. Just booted right up except for one screen that asked me if I wanted to discard my settings (it never woke from hybrid sleep when the motherboard died). It has been 3 weeks and I'm posting from the computer in question. My typing is still lousy, but Windows 7 is fine. I did some clean up that I'm not going to go into detail about, but that was because I wanted to, not because it was unstable or blue screening or anything like that.

So my husband sees my speedy new rig and he decides his 4 year old stuff is getting pretty slow. But his change is even more dramatic. He goes from a dual core AMD processor on a board with an nVidia chipset to the same board and processor I got. He did have a SATA drive but he had never run it AHCI. He also cloned his drive using Acronis 2010 to a new 1TB SATA III drive. That was the only hang up. He forgot that he had to change that setting. When he changed it to IDE (the default is AHCI these days) he was able to boot. Again, no real problems. He just found a MS KB article about it, fixed the problem in Windows rebooted, set the SATA setting back to AHCI, and is now running just fine.

I'm not necessarily saying anyone should do it, but my experience is that you certainly could do it. No special prep other than backups were done. I didn't even get the chance to do a backup when my motherboard died, but I have a backup drive with daily backups in any case.

It just goes to show how very robust Windows 7 is. No blue screens. No hang ups. No flakiness. After all that Windows 7 can handle it. In fact I'm here and noticed this thread after a long hiatus because I came looking to see how many had experience with GPT and UEFI installs, but I'll save more of that for another thread. If I do a clean install it will be for that reason, not because I have to because of the major hardware change. BTW activation was a breeze. Of course the last time I activated this copy of Win 7 was nearly two years ago.

Before I forget, we are both running Professional. I'm 64 bit and he's sticking with 32 bit.

Now, I'm not recommending this. It may not work for you. If you try it and it doesn't work, don't blame me. I only have two data points here so proceed with caution. And always make sure you have current backups.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2011   #5
aem

Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit
 
 

The OS is on the HDD, i don't see how it will be impacted if you changed the motherboard. At work we swap dead motherboards all the time and no issues. But if your concerned, just do a system backup.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2011   #6
gregrocker

 

You are swapping out to the same mobo model? Because Win7 normally requires SysPrepping before it will start on significantly changed hardware. You can try it but keep the old hardware handy, or use Paragon Adaptive Restore CD on the new.

In addition, OEM licensing is lost due to the mobo change under the EULA and can not be expected to be restored unless MS Phone Activation makes a special exception as they are reported to be doing recently.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2011   #7
GailLA

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Hi gregrocker,

aem may be switching out like motherboards, but clearly my husband and I completely switched motherboards and a number of other components too, such as CPU's and RAM. I just wish I had more than 2 data points. If anyone else has successfully switched out motherboards without doing sysprep, I'd sure like to know. Maybe there are a lot more of us out here than anyone knows.

I tried it knowing I had backups and it worked.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Sep 2011   #8
aem

Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit
 
 

If you sysprep Machine A, and used the image on Machine B (with a change of motherboard or any changes o hardware) i don't think it will work. Any changes to hardware will have to be very small to have any chance of it working. A change in motherboard would be a quite a big change.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Sep 2011   #9
gregrocker

 

SysPrep is for moving the OS to other hardware whether in single or large deployments. That is it's function.

This is the tutorial to look over: SysPrep to move HD to another computer
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Sep 2011   #10
aem

Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
SysPrep is for moving the OS to other hardware whether in single or large deployments. That is it's function.
Part of me work is creating sysprep images for the various laptops and desktops. This is not true (or so what i have discovered).

A sysprep image for a laptop will nto work on a desktop that is with different hardware.

As for the mobo switching, depending on how different it is, you may need to reinstall drivers at the very least if it even work at all.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 switching mobos without reinstalling windows 7




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