Question Do I have to reinstall Windows 10 changing motherboards but keeping everything else the same. Upgrading and changing companies. From Z370 to Z390

Feb 2, 2019
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Hello. I built my first PC last year in August 2018 and have not had any major issues until now. My current MOBO (Asus - ROG STRIX Z370-E GAMING ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ) died recently or so it seems that is what went wrong with my PC. BSOD then no displaying image at all. My specs are as follows.

i7-8700K (never overclocked)
Corsair - H100i v2 70.69 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler
G.Skill - Trident Z RGB 32 GB (4 x 8 GB) DDR4-3600 Memory (2 pair bought separately)
Samsung - 970 Evo 250 GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive
NVIDIA - GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11 GB Founders Edition Video Card
EVGA - SuperNOVA P2 750 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply
Corsair - LL120RGB LED (6 Fans With Lighting Node PRO) 43.25 CFM 120mm Fans
Acer - XB271HU bmiprz 27.0" 2560x1440 165 Hz Monitor

Other drives in system
Seagate Firecudda 2 TB - for media files
Samsung 680 Evo 1 SSD 1TB (For game installs)


So I was looking to get a better MOBO and decided on the new Aorus Z390 Ulta board since they have the best VRMs right now for the price point and I would like to overclock my i7-8700K to 5GHz. My previous Mobo did not seem like it was recommended for the task so I left it stock. I assume my AIO should suffice to keep my CPU from getting too high. I still plan on to RMA my current one but I will have it as a backup. ASUS is just too expensive still and MSI is not as good at the price point with features.

Anyways as the topic question states. Do I need to do a fresh install of Windows 10 Pro or can I just reinstall my NVME and boot from there and not have to go through the trouble of reinstalling everything. I was reading and there are many different answers. I think since I changed from Mobo company from Asus to Gigabyte and going from the Z370 to Z390 I might have to which is a bummer. I do have a new fresh 970 EVO 500GB I picked up for the same price as my 25G0GB some months ago and was going to clone my drive but it might just be best to do a fresh install? Would it be possible to install the second NVME even if it has Windows in it and transfer at least some of the data I have in there like downloads of files but just reinstall all the apps manually and then format it so I can use it as a back up drive? to install apps and other data.

Many thanks in advance.
 
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Rogue Leader

Titan
Moderator
Is there a chance you can plug your drive in and it boot up and work? yes

However you WILL encounter issues. And as someone who wants to get max performance and overclock your PC, Wiping the drive and starting with a fresh Windows 10 install is imperative.

Yes you'll read stories people will say that i am wrong and that it worked fine for them. They are NOT the majority. 9 times out of 10, you will regret wasting your time trying to make it stable, and get the most performance.

You can plug your old drive in as a secondary drive if you want to rescue some data off it. As long as you're booting from the drive with the new fresh install.
 
Feb 2, 2019
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Is there a chance you can plug your drive in and it boot up and work? yes

However you WILL encounter issues. And as someone who wants to get max performance and overclock your PC, Wiping the drive and starting with a fresh Windows 10 install is imperative.

Yes you'll read stories people will say that i am wrong and that it worked fine for them. They are NOT the majority. 9 times out of 10, you will regret wasting your time trying to make it stable, and get the most performance.

You can plug your old drive in as a secondary drive if you want to rescue some data off it. As long as you're booting from the drive with the new fresh install.
Thanks for the quick response. Yea I am seeing that a fresh install might be better. I have many hard drives in my rig for different things. I have thse as other drives which I just added to the main post.
"Other drives in system
Seagate Firecudda 2 TB - for media files
Samsung 680 Evo 1 SSD 1TB (For game installs)"

I mean I honestly don't have that much installed on there since it was less than half a year and I can just reinstall most of it. I was about. I had half of it used up though. Not sure why. So yea I would do a fresh install on my new 970 Nvme 500GB and then launch from that and have the second older nvme in there to get all the data I can get and format it to start fresh.

How can this be avoided in the future though. Should I eventually just dedicate the smaller NVME and do like a crazy run around or I read somewhere about partitions which I am a little rusty with. Where you partition the main drive to just have the OS separate from everything else and then can just do a fresh install of windows into the partition to avoid having to reinstall everything else. Not sure if I read that somewhere correctly.
 
Feb 2, 2019
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Mine were both Asrock switched up my Z370 Extreme4 to my son's Z390 Taichi board.
I always reinstall myself , but he wanted a quick switch and luckily it worked.
I get you, it might be the fact that I am going from ASUS to Gigabyte myself that might cause some issues. I have some work programs. Luckily I have some files on one drive and dropbox so that should not be an issue for work. At this point I might not mind a fresh install. Hopefully I can reuse my windows activation key again.

My thing would be to get the data from my old NVME before formatting so I clear out the old OS from there. Seems might be a little tedious or having windows on two drives should not be a problem right?
 
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Did you use this method?
Setup a Windows 10 Account ^
I have had a Microsoft account for a while for windows 10 since I have been using a latop for years now and I upgraded from 8 to 10 when it was free. I am currently using the laptop in the meantime. its an old Lenovo Y-50 i believe. If I do a fresh install of Windows 10 can I do that on the same drive I have now and it just rewrites over all the OS files but keeps programs like word, steam, etc in tact as well as data or is it like a clean wipe and format where everything gets erased. ?
 

Rogue Leader

Titan
Moderator
Thanks for the quick response. Yea I am seeing that a fresh install might be better. I have many hard drives in my rig for different things. I have thse as other drives which I just added to the main post.
"Other drives in system
Seagate Firecudda 2 TB - for media files
Samsung 680 Evo 1 SSD 1TB (For game installs)"

I mean I honestly don't have that much installed on there since it was less than half a year and I can just reinstall most of it. I was about. I had half of it used up though. Not sure why. So yea I would do a fresh install on my new 970 Nvme 500GB and then launch from that and have the second older nvme in there to get all the data I can get and format it to start fresh.

How can this be avoided in the future though. Should I eventually just dedicate the smaller NVME and do like a crazy run around or I read somewhere about partitions which I am a little rusty with. Where you partition the main drive to just have the OS separate from everything else and then can just do a fresh install of windows into the partition to avoid having to reinstall everything else. Not sure if I read that somewhere correctly.
You don't need to wipe all your drives, just the OS drive. There really is no avoiding this in the future, you're always going to have to do a fresh windows install on new hardware, and installations aren't going to work. A drive with Steam games can be remapped to a new install though thats usually the painful one since they are so huge.

Don't start messing with partitioning the main drive, all it does is make stuff more complicated, especially when your windows install grows.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
With a new motherboard and old drive+OS, 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.

A clean install is always recommended, often required.


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


For the OS install:
 
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You don't need to wipe all your drives, just the OS drive. There really is no avoiding this in the future, you're always going to have to do a fresh windows install on new hardware, and installations aren't going to work. A drive with Steam games can be remapped to a new install though thats usually the painful one since they are so huge.

Don't start messing with partitioning the main drive, all it does is make stuff more complicated, especially when your windows install grows.
Thanks. Yea I know it was just the OS drive but was just mentioning how I had my things organized. I have decided through another thread to do a clean install. I just purchased a Sabrent NVME enclosure that should get here Monday and I will transfer the important data I have there through my laptop that I am currently using in the meantime. I don't think I have much data on there since I was using it mostly for my programs that were not games and I had my steam games installed on other drives as mentioned. I will keep the 250GB Nvme just for windows and maybe any programs that don't save any data locally that I would need if I have to start clean except for a reinstall and then install my new 500 GB NVME along side it and use that for most of my programs that allow me to install on another drive other than the OS one that way as you said whenever I go through Upgrades and what not in hardware and have to do a clean windows reinstall I will not have to worry about losing anything.
 
Reactions: Rogue Leader
Feb 2, 2019
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With a new motherboard and old drive+OS, 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.

A clean install is always recommended, often required.


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


For the OS install:
Thanks , I will be doing a clean install after purchasing an NVME enclosure to backup my info. Thanks for the links I will give them a read before proceeding to get some more info. Rather avoid more problems. The new mobo has three NVME slots so I am good there.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Thanks , I will be doing a clean install after purchasing an NVME enclosure to backup my info. Thanks for the links I will give them a read before proceeding to get some more info. Rather avoid more problems. The new mobo has three NVME slots so I am good there.
You don't need, nor should use, an NVMe drive in an enclosure for any 'backups'.

Any regular SATA drive will work for that. Dedicating an NVMe drive and enclosure is just excess money spent.
 
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You don't need, nor should use, an NVMe drive in an enclosure for any 'backups'.

Any regular SATA drive will work for that. Dedicating an NVMe drive and enclosure is just excess money spent.
The thing is its going to save me time. I can't get the information from the NVME I am talking about since that has my OS in it and will be fully wiped so to save time I got the enclosure so I can just get the data out of it and then use is as my dedicated OS drive for my gaming rig with the new motherboard. Was it 100% necessary...no but it helps speed things up and also have it in the future in case something happens again. I don't mean to keep an NVME installed in there to back up things just for emergencies.
 
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I think he meant to be able to plug in the NVME drive to his laptop to get any data off it before wiping and installing Windows.
Exactly. The enclosure is just to plug it in and back up before wiping and installing Windows. Not sure what USAFRet meant by what he just wrote about a second NVMe in regards to the enclosure :)
 

rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Staff member
As someone who just upgraded recently, linking your build with your Microsoft ID before you upgrade hardware just means that when you install the new hardware, you just need to log in.

Poof.

Everything is as it once was.
 

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