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Windows 7: If I were to switch my motherboard, etc...

16 Mar 2011   #1
SquirrelTakos

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 
If I were to switch my motherboard, etc...

I have been using the same basic setup for the past 3+ years, and I was wanting to upgrade my motherboard/ram to keep up with the newest games, and I was wondering if I would have to reinstall windows and start from scratch. Or if it is possible to simply swap out the motherboard and RAM and continue on with my life.

I'm not asking what should be done, but more if it can be done. I really don't want to install windows AGAIN. I just got everything the way I want it on my new Vertex 2, and I'm not looking forward to going through all of that again.

To note, I am not using an OEM system builders copy of Windows, so that shouldn't be an issue.


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16 Mar 2011   #2
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

You can always buy more RAM, assuming your OS and motherboard will support it. No need to reinstall anything. It's a 5 minute job, assuming you bought the right RAM.

Regarding the motherboard. You say "I'm not asking what should be done, but more if it can be done".

The answer is yes.

May work fair, poor, or well, depending on whether you also changed chipsets, how lucky you are, and whether your advance preparation helped--such as possibly removing all drivers before the swap or running Sysprep. That's a Windows utility that I think is intended for that type of thing.

You will find most people here will say to not even attempt it, but what have you got to lose?

Worst case scenario---you waste a few hours and ultimately decide you are going to reinstall Windows. Or maybe it works fine for 2 weeks and then goes in the toilet.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2011   #3
SquirrelTakos

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Excellent, that's what I was hoping to hear. So I should just remove drivers right before I power down to swap the board? Should I also install the drivers for the new motherboard at the same time? Or do I install the new drivers after I do the swap?

I'll make sure to back it up prior to doing anything. I am using 4 sticks of DDR2 800, and I would have to buy all new RAM if I wanted to upgrade to 8gb, and I figured I might as well get with the times and go all out and get 8gigs+ of DDR3 and a new board. Then I can also be ready for future SATA III devices and USB 3.0 devices.
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16 Mar 2011   #4
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SquirrelTakos View Post
Excellent, that's what I was hoping to hear. So I should just remove drivers right before I power down to swap the board? Should I also install the drivers for the new motherboard at the same time? Or do I install the new drivers after I do the swap?

I'll make sure to back it up prior to doing anything. I am using 4 sticks of DDR2 800, and I would have to buy all new RAM if I wanted to upgrade to 8gb, and I figured I might as well get with the times and go all out and get 8gigs+ of DDR3 and a new board. Then I can also be ready for future SATA III devices and USB 3.0 devices.
I'm no guru on the topic and since the idea is so unpopular, I'd guess there aren't many people in captivity who have even attempted it, especially on this forum.


I have heard it is more successful on W 7 than on earlier OSes.

Bang google on the topic. I'm sure there are techniques to increase your odds.

I think there may be a Sysprep tutorial on this site. Gregrocker is familiar with it.

I suspect you wouldn't install new drivers prior to the swap, but I don't know.

You'll get an education. Then you can post back here and straighten us out.

Stand by for lots of people telling you that you are a fool. I'd love to see you prove them wrong as the "nay nay" crowd may have zero personal experience on the topic.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2011   #5
SquirrelTakos

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Alright, when the time comes I guess I'll find out. Thanks a bunch for the tips and optimism.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2011   #6
profdlp

Main - Windows 7 Pro SP1 64-Bit; 2nd - Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

I agree with ignatzatsonic, It will almost certainly work.

Have your drivers for the new hardware downloaded and handy before you begin. You won't be able to install them until the new stuff is in place, but it will streamline things after that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2011   #7
mlevy

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

I have done exactly what the OP wants to do. I had to swap the MB due to blown capacitors on the old one. Installed all the new parts (went from an Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe to an Asus M4A87TD EVO), first boot got right into windows with basic video output, next boot had normal video output, I then had to install LAN drivers and USB drivers and it's been fine since, as far as Windows is concerned. I did nothing except plug in the drive and boot the machine, no sysprep needed, nothing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2011   #8
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

It can be done, but honestly, I think you'd be wasting your money at this point. Simply swapping out the motherboard and memory won't amount to much at all, in terms of increased performance. The video card and the proc are the two things that will affect this most, so keeping those the same won't yield any real differences.

As for the swap, yes, it can be done. Windows 7 is much better at handling this than XP was. Should it be done...most would say no. People try often, and then complain about all the clean up work they need to do after, and random troubleshooting. I'd much rather just do a clean install. It takes me about 2 hours total to do so, and it is never as big of a chore as people make it out to be.
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18 Mar 2011   #9
unifex

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64)
 
 

I would also vote for a clean install. It probably would take the same amount of time as removing/re-installing drivers and so on. The only caveat is, if you have lots of programs installed and you have customized something in them, then you'll have to re-install them as well. That may be time-consuming. But at the same time, this might be to your advantage as well, you might update your apps while you're at it, if you're so inclined and have time to waste .
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Mar 2011   #10
SquirrelTakos

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

I understand both of your reasons not to do so, but I keep my system very customized, and it is a huge pain to reinstall Windows for me. It takes literally an entire days worth of time to get everything back to how it was. Whether or not it's my fault it takes this long, I'm not sure. Maybe I'd be more inclined to do a clean install if I knew of a way to expedite this process.

Firstly, I have a good amount of programs that I have to reinstall (which is a given). But after that I have to completely reconfigure my iTunes, which in turn destroys my library setup, only saving my music, not my settings, and also making me resync my phone. And without the "bahhh I hate iTunes, use winamp" crap, I'm not looking for an opinion on that, but a way to more easily transfer everything. I have my library saved on a different drive, which complicates everything. Also, I highly doubt any program will actually get updated. I honestly have OCD with updating software. It's bad.

Another problem is that my games don't seem to cooperate after the C drive is redone. I have all of my games saved on a separate drive 'G:\' and in theory they should all work, but most of them run of off either Steam or a Windows client. I thought there should be no problem, but there are always missing files. Not to mention, the start menus lack all of this information that used to be there.

I also have several shares, and a profile that is used to backup router logs. And lastly, all of those pesky SSD tweaks that need to be in order, all have to be done over again. While I have a tool that tweaks most of them, it's still not optimal to have to do.

I'm sure I'm missing things (which I always do when reinstalling), but I'll save my crying for another day. If you made it this far, I'd love any input on making these procedures less painless. I know it's a bit off topic from what I originally stated; however, if I am to do a clean install instead, I'd love some input.

Also, I realize that this won't make a staggering impact on my performance, but that's not exactly the point. I am preparing myself for any new upgrades I plan to make as well. If I keep upgrading my video card and processor, my motherboard will be the bottleneck anyways. I'm preparing myself for Battlefield 3, and Skyrim. Though I'm not a huge PC gamer, I would love to have my PC up to date again. Currently, I can play any game just fine, but with this new generation ahead, it's not looking so bright to get the desired results.

Thanks again for the input though, guys.
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 If I were to switch my motherboard, etc...




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