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Windows 7: Changing My Motherboard

20 Apr 2009   #1

Windows 7
Changing My Motherboard


In the next couple of days, I am changing my motherboard from a Gigabyte GA-965P-S3 to a GA-EP45-UD3L. I use Windows 7 and would like to keep my setting and programs e.t.c. when I install the new motherboard.

Does anyone know of a way to do this? I don't really want to have to do a fresh install of the OS.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2009   #2


Actually, it is fairly easy. Uninstall the various drivers directly associated with the original motherboard model just before you shut it down the last time. If any of the "un-installations" ask you to reboot, ignore the request responding that you will do it later. Continue until you have gotten rid of them all. Then shut down.

Once everything is connected to the new motherboard and you power up the first time, Windows will begin looking for all the needed drivers and either find the ones it needs or not find them and allow you to supply them, either from Gigabyte's driver CD, or from the Internet.

That's pretty much all there is to it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2009   #3

Windows 7

So when you say remove the drivers, do you mean uninstall them from device manager? Pretty much everything that is installed there? the IDE controllers too?

Thanks for your quick reply.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

20 Apr 2009   #4


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by blinduncledallas View Post
So when you say remove the drivers, do you mean uninstall them from device manager? Pretty much everything that is installed there? the IDE controllers too?
Yes, that is exactly what I mean. Even "un-installed," the drivers will continue to work until Windows is "re-booted" -- which it will never be. Instead, you are shutting down and starting over with a new motherboard.

It is possible to do this after changing the motherboard, but there are often lockups that can be annoying. It is much easier to just uninstall as a last operation before doing the tear down. Then Windows is free to do the re-installs unimpeeded.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2009   #5


Actually, sometimes it is not possible - I changed mobos from a Tyan Trinity 510 to an MSI 865PE Neo-2 Platinum edition back when Vista was just out and once I made the change it was all she wrote - no more ability to boot into either Safe Mode nor regular boot. It failed epically every single time, and I was forced to manually install everything from scratch....

Therefore, you're best bet is to do it *before - b/c you may not have the opportunity after.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Apr 2009   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate Vista Ultimate x64

I have had it work when I went from a Gigabyte motherboard to an Asus motherboard but I wasn't able to do when I went from the Asus motherboard to the EVGA Motherboard and even when it worked the first time, I found that it was very buggy and ended up doing a fresh install anyway.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Apr 2009   #7


The OP is going from one motherboard to another in the same family -- essentially, all the various mobo subsystems are newer versions of the same thing. And Gigabyte is very consistent in their circuit designs. That makes it much simpler. I've made the same transition several time from i965 to i35 and i45 chipset based Gigabyte boards with no problems. Getting rid of the existing drivers before Windows has to deal with inequalities makes it essentially painless.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Apr 2009   #8
Crunchy Doodle

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Much to my surprise, I have had some success doing this with modern motherboards. My greatest triumph was when my desktop PC motherboard died some months ago. It was sudden and with no warning. The old machine was a Shuttle SP35P2 V2 with a proprietary Shuttle motherboard based on an Intel chipset (945?) and a Q6600 Quad-core. I replaced it with a DFI LAN Party JR X58-T3H6 with an i7 Core 920 in a Thermaltake LANBOX Lite case and all the same hard drives. Though this is quite a change, Vista Ultimate managed to sort it all out. At first it looked like it had failed as it sort of started Windows and just sat there for many minutes doing very little. It took almost 30 minutes for Windows to start. Amazingly, it had changed out all the chipset drivers so it could run. I was able to then use the CD that came with the new motherboard to update the chipset drivers for the new X58 stuff. Of course, I had to re-validate Windows and many other installed applications. Luckily, I do keep track of that kind of thing.

On another occasion I had temporarily installed Windows 7 on a spare hard drive in one machine. I then moved this hard drive to a new machine I was building and repeated the experiment successfully. The difference here was Windows 7 and the two machines had similar motherboards and chipsets, as well as few installed applications. It still took a while for Windows 7 to sort things out.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Apr 2009   #9

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers

Actually you don't even need to uninstall the old drivers.

Boot up and one of 2 scenarios will happen

1) You'll get loads and loads of "New Hardware found" messages. If the hardware can't be found don't worry -- allow the boot up to finish -- could be quite a while.
When this has finished install the missing drivers manually == you'll see a yellow exclamation mark against the devices in the device manager.

TIP here -- if the Network adapter isn't working install this MANUALLY from your MOBO install disk. (Network cards are usually integrated on the MOBO).

Connect to the NET and allow windows to find and update as many missing drivers as possible. Use your MOBO install disk to install any missing ones if you've still got some exclamation marks against the devices.

2) it BSOD's on boot -- this can happen for instance if there are HUGE differences in the new hardware.

In this case boot your W7 Disk and attempt a repair system. This should on the whole work very well.

BTW that's why I like the ACRONIS backup program because you can do a "Universal Restore" to unlike / different hardware. Boot the "Bootable Restore disk and specify a directory where you can load any new drivers from (your Mobo CD). It will use Windows one's if it can't find any and finally the HAL from the old system.

Backup software for data backup and disaster recovery in Windows and Linux - Acronis

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Apr 2009   #10

Windows 7

Thanks guys for your replies. I will see what happens when I install the new motherboard. Hopefully as Jimbo45 says, it will look for new hardware. If not, I'll just do a fresh install.

I'll come back and let you know what happens.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Changing My Motherboard

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