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Windows 7: Reinstalling after changing motherboard

12 Jan 2010   #1

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 
Reinstalling after changing motherboard

Hello. I had to take my computer into the shop because of hardware problems. The motherboard was replaced.

I have two questions:
Since my motherboard is the same kind will my CD key still work?

The shop said I will have to reinstall the operating system because of the motherboard change. If I reinstall will my vista files in the windows.old file still be present?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

12 Jan 2010   #2

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Welcome!

Yes, your key should still work.

I wouldn't think Windows would need to be reinstalled, but what Vista files are you referring to?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2010   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

If you do decide to reinstall - probably best to make an image of the existing partition first.

Download and install Paragon Backup & Recovery 10 Free Edition on a working pc.

Run off the Paragon recovery cd. Boot the Paragon cd on the machine you want to image - select Normal Mode and make an image - store it on an external drive ( or even another partition).

When you reinstall 7 , install Paragon on there and you can browse the image and copy back anything you need from the image.

Hope it helps.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Riptide0999 View Post
Hello. I had to take my computer into the shop because of hardware problems. The motherboard was replaced.

I have two questions:
Since my motherboard is the same kind will my CD key still work?

The shop said I will have to reinstall the operating system because of the motherboard change. If I reinstall will my vista files in the windows.old file still be present?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


12 Jan 2010   #4

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Well, I first had Vista 32 bit home premium on the hard drive already and I told Windows 7 64 bit to do a clean install. It then informed me it would take any files from a previous Windows OS installation and place them in a folder called windows.old. So basically, all my programs and personal files from my Vista installation are in that folder.

It isn't a big deal if that folder is deleted though- I still have the old computer (which I am on right now actually) and putting all the files back is a few USB transfers away.

EDIT: Oops, a poster snuck in before me! Thanks for the program link- I'll be sure to look into it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2010   #5

Windows 7 Pro X64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Riptide0999 View Post
Hello. I had to take my computer into the shop because of hardware problems. The motherboard was replaced.

I have two questions:
Since my motherboard is the same kind will my CD key still work?

The shop said I will have to reinstall the operating system because of the motherboard change. If I reinstall will my vista files in the windows.old file still be present?
If the new motherboard is exactly the same type as the old one, I believe that you shouldn't need to re-install the OS.

If it uses an onboard network adapter, it will have a different MAC address than the old one, so it may trigger re-activation. (The NIC is one of the major identifiers for the hardware.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2010   #6

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Oh that isn't good... Will this still happen if I use a wireless card instead of the ethernet adapter? (Then again I was using the ethernet when I activated..) Will I be able to call microsoft about it? I have the full retail version so will I still have to pay? (I know it costs 70 dollars to get a new key for an OEM version, I heard retail was free but.. )

Still, I wonder why the shop claimed there was no OS on the operating system if the harddrive would supposedly not be reset...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2010   #7
Microsoft MVP

 

If he could make an image from HD from boot, couldn't he reimage it too?

And why couldn't he start it up?

Just askin...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2010   #8

Windows 7 x64
 
 

I suppose there are two questions, does he need to reinstall? If the motherboard is the same, I would say no, the current install should work, at least as far as the drivers and other devices.

Will he have to reactivate? It seems that will be answered when the process is complete. Will you be able to activate if there is no prior OS installed once you have already activated? This is a question that has been one of the great mysteries of the Win 7 process, and one that will be coming up more and more as current installs age.

Try it without reinstalling and see what happens without using the old OS. It might even take a call to Microsoft. If it cannot be reactivated for some reason, then you might have to go through the trouble of proving a prior OS is available. , but please let us know what happens.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2010   #9
Microsoft MVP

 

I swap out HD's with Windows 7 to completely new hardware and have had good luck so far.

To reactivate, try Changing Key at Computer>Properties link.

You can also run a Repair Install to reset activation while reaclimating Windows 7 to the hardware change.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2010   #10

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Well got my computer back and the tech was right- Windows wouldn't boot to an OS. It gave me a message about inserting a disk but since you all assured me the OS was there I decided to take a peek at the bios.

Turns out the boot order was set to CD/DVD and then CD/DVD.. so the bios was told to never attempt to boot to the hard drive!

Changed the setting and everything was there. Of course, I also already convinced myself to get a faster hard drive so I ended up taking the thing back anyway.. Thank you to everyone for saving me an extra windows install though! When I reinstalled 7 on my new hard drive my key was indeed invalid, but the nice computer lady on the Microsoft phone line sorted that out in no time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Reinstalling after changing motherboard




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