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Windows 7: can I change my motherboard

30 May 2012   #1
james cullen

Win pro 64bit
can I change my motherboard

Hello all,

I have a machine with a Gigabyte X58A Ud3 in, because I think that it's faulty I'd like to upgrade it to the X58a UD5.

Can I do this without grief? Is it a simple matter of swapping it out, plug in original devices update bios, MB drivers and go, boot up with original c drive?

Am I being optimistic? Could I trash my existing setup?



My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2012   #2

Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1

James, Yes it is most likely possible to change your motherboard out BUT. It does require a bit of technical knowhow as the memory and the cpu will have to be moved to the new motherboard and moving the cpu and cooler is not for the faint of heart. Unless your young and have steady hands and good eyes. It can get sticky uninstalling and moving the cpu to the new motherboad. Damn those pins on the cpu are small

Regarding your hard disk, That could be a problem as the new motherboard has different drivers and such.

But I have seen the hard disk moved to a new mb with a minimum of fuss. First you must backup all of your data and save any install programs with the validation codes or serial numbers.

Also, according to the OEM license. when you change the mb on an oem computer, you need a new copy of windows but if you have a regular copy of windows ie.. full version then you can install it on the new mb.

The most important thing is good backups...

Good luck and may the force be with you :)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit

Good advice from rich.

Personally, I think it's always better to go for a clean install when you replace your motherboard.

Providing you have a retail version of Windows you can use it for the fresh install.

If you have an OEM version of Windows you may encounter activation difficulties, but that can be overcome.

You can also use your OEM product key to clean install Windows, as explained in this tutorial.

Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec

30 May 2012   #4
Victor S

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

If your system is running fine and you have a lot of time invested in getting it set up right:
Windows 7 Installation - Transfer to a New Computer
That will keep your system as it is, except for some minor change in the accounts, and you might have to install some drivers that come with the new motherboard, and you will have to re-activate.
Try this is you're confident your Win 7 is running well.
Nothing to lose, because even if it doesn't work, you can always just reinstall.
It worked for me.
Like always, make sure sure you back up anything important before you start, whether you sysprep, or just reinstall.

If your system is troublesome, and/or you don't mind reinstalling everything you currently have to get it back to what it was, just reinstall Win 7.
Your decision.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jun 2012   #5
james cullen

Win pro 64bit

thanks for all the advice, it's very helpful.

Thanks Rich, all my data is backed up multiple times, been burned before and it really hurts.

I do have a retail copy of Win 7 so hopefully no trouble there, just a register if all goes well.

Thanks for the links guys, I'll have to do a bit of reading.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jun 2012   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

If you are confident that your data is backed up, you can't really do any harm. You also could give Sysprep a try as well. I'm with the others, though, as I prefer a clean install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jun 2012   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64

james cullen,
As the others have mentioned this is very doable but it's like building the system over again from a connection standpoint. If you have a good camera with a close up setting then snap some pictures with as much light and detail as you can get on all the wires and this can be a reference tool if you get a bit overwhelmed. Also take detailed pictures throughout the process and after completion. Anyone with a bit of patience can do this and I trust that anyone with as nice a rig as yours will have little issue. Also remember this is a great time to re-think cable management, also please don't forget to clean the CPU and the Cooler completely and re-apply the thermal compound of your choice. Don't hesitate to ask us for advice.
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My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jun 2012   #8

Windows 10 Pro/ Windows 10 Pro Insider

I have built quite a few computers. But, my first endeavor into working on computers was to replace a motherboard. Like you I was worried whether I could do it. I printed a detailed view of my motherboard out and labeled all cables. As I removed a cable from the motherboard, I wrote on the diagram, the cable number and where I removed it from. That way I knew where all cables went. It gave me confidence that I could reconnect all cables. In the end, I never needed to use it, and replaced the board without any problem. If I can do it anyone can. But, I have to warn you. Once you do it and find how easy it is, you will become addicted. You will anxiously await the time you can build your own and have to do it yourself. And, every time you build one, as you are putting the finishing touches on it, you begin thinking of the next build.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 can I change my motherboard

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