Question Do i always need to reinstall windows when changing motherboards?

Allen_22

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This is what i read in many threads, to my surprise, because my brother told me it's never necessary, that he never had to do it. For instance he recently changed his mobo, cpu, ram, and simply physically installed the components. That's it.

Does that mean that reinstalling windows is recommended but not necessary?
 

PC Tailor

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Does that mean that reinstalling windows is recommended but not necessary?
This basically.

It's not necessary because assuming it's licensed correctly, the windows can be reactivated after changing hardware (OEM licenses can be more difficult for example).

However it's recommended because when you change hardware, you often need new drivers and new firmware. When you carry over the old software, you're effectively taking residual junk over with it, that can potentially cause conflicts to the new system.

And often, many people have problems and don't even notice it. So it's not always as simple as if there is a conflict, that it will be obvious, sometimes it can cause subtle problems underneath the surface, sometimes it causes crashes, BSOD etc.
 
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USAFRet

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there is no such thing as "never".

Doing this, there are 3 possible outcomes:
  1. It boots up just fine
  2. It fails completely
  3. It boots up, but you're chasing issues for weeks.
I've seen all 3.
The farther apart the 2 systems, the greater chance of complete fail.

That's just for the operation. Licensing/activation is a whole other concept.
 

13thmonkey

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Personally I've done it, and I can't hold a USB 3 device online for more than about 30s, the original hardware wasn't aware of USB 3, new hardware is. Only noticed after a couple of years. Have spent a significant amount of time trying to fix it, have given up and am waiting for my next hardware upgrade to do the reinstall.
 

Allen_22

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This basically.

It's not necessary because assuming it's licensed correctly, the windows can be reactivated after changing hardware (OEM licenses can be more difficult for example).

However it's recommended because when you change hardware, you often need new drivers and new firmware. When you carry over the old software, you're effectively taking residual junk over with it, that can potentially cause conflicts to the new system.

And often, many people have problems and don't even notice it. So it's not always as simple as if there is a conflict, that it will be obvious, sometimes it can cause subtle problems underneath the surface, sometimes it causes crashes, BSOD etc.
Issues such as, say, slower bootup, overall slower windows, and maybe some random crashes?

Also, do i need to reinstall windows immediately? I just need some time to make copies of files i need, but for reasons that would be too long to explain, i need to do this hardware change as fast as possible
 

USAFRet

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Issues such as, say, slower bootup, overall slower windows, and maybe some random crashes?

Also, do i need to reinstall windows immediately? I just need some time to make copies of files i need, but for reasons that would be too long to explain, i need to do this hardware change as fast as possible
You need to capture whatever files you need BEFORE changing the hardware.
It may fail to boot completely, the very first time you hit the power button.

The hardware does not care about your 'reasons'.
 

PC Tailor

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Issues such as, say, slower bootup, overall slower windows, and maybe some random crashes?
Yes, yes, and yes unfortunately.

You need to capture whatever files you need BEFORE changing the hardware.
It may fail to boot completely, the very first time you hit the power button.

The hardware does not care about your 'reasons'.
This absolutely 100%.

Doesn't matter how quick - the firmware, modules and files will load up quicker, which can cause the problems.
This is why even if you don't clean install, a backup should always be performed.
 
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Allen_22

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You need to capture whatever files you need BEFORE changing the hardware.
It may fail to boot completely, the very first time you hit the power button.

The hardware does not care about your 'reasons'.
Thanks for the warning. Even if it fails to boot though, the files will not be destroyed right? In, say, some sort of insane automatic format. That is, if iuse my hard drive in another pc(such as in an external drive case), i will still be able to access all my folders, right?
 

USAFRet

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Thanks for the warning. Even if it fails to boot though, the files will not be destroyed right? In, say, some sort of insane automatic format. That is, if iuse my hard drive in another pc(such as in an external drive case), i will still be able to access all my folders, right?
I'm not sure how much clearer we can say this...
Have any critical files backed up on some other drive before you put this drive in a whole new system and hit the power button.
 

Allen_22

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I'm not sure how much clearer we can say this...
Have any critical files backed up on some other drive before you put this drive in a whole new system and hit the power button.
Got it, will do just that. I was just curious to know whether there's a chance of my files being actually destroyed, if i fail to do it.
Cause in that case i REALLY need to talk to my brother about his future upgrades..
 

USAFRet

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Got it, will do just that. I was just curious to know whether there's a chance of my files being actually destroyed, if i fail to do it.
Cause in that case i REALLY need to talk to my brother about his future upgrades..
'destroyed'?
Probably not. But multiple things can happen.

'oops, I dropped the drive during the assembly'
oops, I used the wrong cable from the PSU'
'oops, I formatted the wrong partition'
'oops, I put it back in the old system, and it also doesn't boot'
opps...
opps...
opps...

(I could find threads here where each of those specifically happened to people. "oops")

Always have a backup of anything you care to keep.
 
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PC Tailor

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Got it, will do just that. I was just curious to know whether there's a chance of my files being actually destroyed, if i fail to do it.
Cause in that case i REALLY need to talk to my brother about his future upgrades..
As USA is saying, problem is, there's no guarantees what will happen in the whole process.
Thus why it's always better to be safe than sorry.

Actually, I'd never turn the PC on without a known good backup. But that's just me...:ROFLMAO:
I guessed - I saw your thread explaining your backup procedure as an info guide.
Jeez. I like to think myself a cautious man with computers, and your process made me brood at my computer with a very sad face for a good 30 minutes.

But, it's a bloody good and fail safe process you have! As we speak I am trying to find the thread again, but can't!
 

Allen_22

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'destroyed'?
Probably not. But multiple things can happen.

'oops, I dropped the drive during the assembly'
oops, I used the wrong cable from the PSU'
'oops, I formatted the wrong partition'
'oops, I put it back in the old system, and it also doesn't boot'
opps...
opps...
opps...

(I could find threads here where each of those specifically happened to people. "oops")

Always have a backup of anything you care to keep.
Already in the process of sending everything into google drive.
Now you got me nervous, what do you mean wrong cable? If it has the correct pin,(e.g 6, 8, 4, etc) it's ok, right?
 

USAFRet

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But, it's a bloody good and fail safe process you have! As we speak I am trying to find the thread again, but can't!


Last December, that whole process and cost justified itself 100%.
One of my SSD's died, a 960GB SanDisk, 605GB consumed. Poof, dead in the space of Power OFF, 5 mins, power UP...dead.
No warning, no slowdown, just dead.
Nothing I tried would work to make it come back to life.
Different cable, different port, USB dock, in a Linux system....nada.

Dead. And I mostly don't care why.

Put in a new drive. 1TB Samsung I had around to go in a different system.
Click click, wait...all 605GB 100% recovered, exactly as it was at 4AM that morning when it ran its nightly Incremental backup.
 
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USAFRet

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Already in the process of sending everything into google drive.
Now you got me nervous, what do you mean wrong cable? If it has the correct pin,(e.g 6, 8, 4, etc) it's ok, right?
Some people, when switching modular power supplies...leave the original cables in with their fancy detailed cable management, and plug those cables into the different PSU.
Smoke appears.

We see that here at least weekly.
 
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Allen_22

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Some people, when switching modular power supplies...leave the original cables in with their fancy detailed cable management, and plug those cables into the different PSU.
Smoke appears.

We see that here at least weekly.
I thought every psu comes with it's own cables... wtf
Does this also happen if i forget to properly connect all pins? For instance, connecting only 4 instead of 6(because i did not push the last 2 hard enough)

Just want to make sure my bases are covered..

By the way i glanced your backup plan thread, is there any reason you don't also have a cloud backup? Assuming i didn't miss it in the thread
 

USAFRet

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I thought every psu comes with it's own cables... wtf
Does this also happen if i forget to properly connect all pins? For instance, connecting only 4 instead of 6(because i did not push the last 2 hard enough)

Just want to make sure my bases are covered..

By the way i glanced your backup plan thread, is there any reason you don't also have a cloud backup? Assuming i didn't miss it in the thread
My "cloud" is a drive with critical data, stored in a desk drawer at work. Refreshed routinely.

Cables - if it's not fully seated, bad things can happen.
And yes, PSU's do come with their own cables. But people routinely think that all modular cables are universal. They are not.
 
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As long as u don't come crying, do whatever you want.

One time I was doing a BIOS update and I know if this fails, I bricked the thing, so with abundance of caution I hooked it up to my UPS, u know like anyone cautious suppose to, thinking am just being annal. Lo and behold, the dang power DID GO OUT! what the chances of that, I am in Silicon Valley, maybe 2 power out a year but dang! if I didn't take the extra step, it would had been toast.
 
This is what i read in many threads, to my surprise, because my brother told me it's never necessary, that he never had to do it. For instance he recently changed his mobo, cpu, ram, and simply physically installed the components. That's it.

Does that mean that reinstalling windows is recommended but not necessary?
I might say nice, but perhaps not necessary.

The key is if the old system will boot on the new hardware.
Way back when, success was not very likely, particular if changing from amd to intel or vice versa.
Today, windows is much smarter about booting and running on different platforms.
If you are changing from amd to amd or intel to intel, your odds of success are much better.

If you are able to boot, installing the motherboard and other drivers will give you a running system.
This is a big time saver if you have many apps installed.
Sometimes, we no longer have the original product disks.
You may have customized in some manner that you can no longer replicate.

It is very easy to recommend a clean install, but for some, it becomes very complicated and time consuming.

If you think you can, go ahead and try running on the old windows c dive.
BUT..... as mentioned above, protect yourself first.
On the times I have done this, I first protected myself by cloning my C drive to a new ssd.
I use the cloned ssd in the new build.
That way, my current system remains un touched.
Of course anything of value should have already been protected by an EXTERNAL backup.
 

FALC0N

Splendid
i have done this a few times, and it worked fine for me. I just think its a better option in the long run to do a clean install. Mostly because it helps to reset any potential software issues that might have developed over time.
 

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