[SOLVED] Do I have to reinstall Windows 10 after switching motherboards?

Elf_Knight

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Nov 9, 2013
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I switched from a micro atx Gigabyte motherboard on A320 to a B450 Asrock ITX motherboard in a new case. All the other parts besides the case and motherboard are the same. Windows worked fine but my audio is not working though I was having issues cause I am using an audio extension cable and sometimes it glitches the audio causing it to not be detected. It used to work fine but now it's not. I don't think I installed any drivers besides Internet and audio from Gigabyte but should I do a fresh Windows reinstall? Or can I do a windows refresh instead? I was thinking of using Windows 10's refresh system to keep all my files but just reinstall stuff. I don't want to reinstall my games again though I will if worst comes to worse, plus all the AMD and Radeon drivers which are the same still. Do I have to download Asrock drivers and will it uninstall the Gigabyte ones? Sorry for being so confusing. Not sure what to do.
 
I switched from a micro atx Gigabyte motherboard on A320 to a B450 Asrock ITX motherboard in a new case. All the other parts besides the case and motherboard are the same. Windows worked fine but my audio is not working though I was having issues cause I am using an audio extension cable and sometimes it glitches the audio causing it to not be detected. It used to work fine but now it's not. I don't think I installed any drivers besides Internet and audio from Gigabyte but should I do a fresh Windows reinstall? Or can I do a windows refresh instead? I was thinking of using Windows 10's refresh system to keep all my files but just reinstall stuff. I don't want to reinstall my games again though I will if worst comes to worse, plus all the AMD and Radeon drivers which are the same still. Do I have to download Asrock drivers and will it uninstall the Gigabyte ones? Sorry for being so confusing. Not sure what to do.
First things first is do a complete backup of all the files you want to safe exactly like you'd do a clean install. That's just common sense.

You don't have to do a re-install... I'd go ahead and try to start up Windows in the new system and do the refresh, or Repair Install:
https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/16397-repair-install-windows-10-place-upgrade.html ,
exactly like you want to try. If it starts being weird on you then you can still do the clean install but if it works then at least you don't have to go through the hassles of re-installing all your apps and recovering files from backups.

I've changed motherboards on several machines and did the Window's refresh/repair install above... once even going from an AM3 board to a Ryzen board. After the Windows Refresh and installing all the new system's drivers and uninstalling anything that was left behind they worked fine in each case. That's no guarantee it will work as well on your system, but it's worth the try.

But there is one thing a clean install gets you...a truly 'clean' installation of Windows, absent the excess baggage an older install seems to accumulate. You might consider it worthwhile just on that basis.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Changing motherboards, there are generally 3 possible outcomes:

  1. It works
  2. It fails completely
  3. It works, but you're chasing issues for weeks.
I've seen all 3.

Windows 10 is better than previous versions, but by no means 100%.

Also, whether a clean install is or is not needed:
For the OS activation, read and do this before you change any parts:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/20530/windows-10-reactivating-after-hardware-change
https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/windows-build-1607-and-activation.2786960/
 
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