[SOLVED] Does changing the motherboard, CPU and RAM require a re installation of Windows?

Martino1994

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I have a Windows 10 64 bit system, I am planning an upgrade from an i7 4790k to an 9th gen setup, been told that I should not have an issue with Windows and will not require a reinstall, just want some clarity. Changing the CPU, motherboard and ram...
 

USAFRet

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I don't know where you read that it will not require a clean install, but, doing that level change, 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.
Prepare for #2 and 3.

(edited for correctness)
 
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USAFRet

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I have a Windows 10 64 bit system, I am planning an upgrade from an i7 4790k to an 9th gen setup, been told that I should not have an issue with Windows and will not require a reinstall, just want some clarity. Changing the CPU, motherboard and ram...
That level of change almost certainly requires a clean install.


In addition, your OS license issues.
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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USAFRet

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I don't know where you read that it will not require a clean install, but, doing that level change, 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.
Prepare for #2 and 3.

(edited for correctness)
 
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Martino1994

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I don't know where you read that it will not require a clean install, but, doing that level change, 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.
Prepare for #1 and 3.

Are you suggesting that Windows will break? I have verified my Windows License is linked to my Microsoft account so if it says its a trial, after the changes I will just log in and all will be activated?

Baring in mind I have decided to go Team Red, 3900X was just too good to pass off. I hope it doesn't freak out that I am changing the company as well?
 

britechguy

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Prepare for #1 and 3.
Do you honestly mean 1 and 3 with this level of hardware change, or 2 and 3?

I can't imagine a boots up and runs just fine scenario happening with this much change, but I've never seen it one way or another, either. My experiences have almost universally been scenarios 2 and 3, with 2 being most likely when the hardware changes are this extensive.
 

USAFRet

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Do you honestly mean 1 and 3 with this level of hardware change, or 2 and 3?

I can't imagine a boots up and runs just fine scenario happening with this much change, but I've never seen it one way or another, either. My experiences have almost universally been scenarios 2 and 3, with 2 being most likely when the hardware changes are this extensive.
OOPS

Yes, I meant #2 & 3.
thanks for that catch
 

USAFRet

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Are you suggesting that Windows will break? I have verified my Windows License is linked to my Microsoft account so if it says its a trial, after the changes I will just log in and all will be activated?

Baring in mind I have decided to go Team Red, 3900X was just too good to pass off. I hope it doesn't freak out that I am changing the company as well?
Yes, the OS will almost certainly not boot up.
Clean install in the new parts.

The licensing is a whole different thing than the actual operation.
 

britechguy

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As to licensing, Microsoft's "official position" when I last read it is that a motherboard change, in and of itself, invalidates the license that had been for that machine because, effectively, they consider the motherboard the one thing that won't change under normal circumstances.

There is a dispensation in place, that is not difficult to get, if one has to replace one's motherboard secondary to failure. That's a completely different situation than replacing it "just because" or because one is, essentially, building a new computer inside an old case, which is effectively what you've done.

There have been reports here that some people who have purchased retail licenses and when said licenses are linked to their Microsoft accounts, new hardware has been automatically activated because you are allowed to transfer those licenses from machine to machine. In any case, if you reinstall using the license key you had, and they reactivate it then they reactivate it. You've submitted it to their activation process.

But if the Windows 10 instance you had was an OEM installed instance shipped with the machine, it is highly unlikely that it will reactivate, whether linked to your MS Account or not, because that's not a part of the licensing terms. Those licensing terms allow for a motherboard replacement, and I believe only of the same model, if one fails but that's the only circumstance.
 

Martino1994

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As to licensing, Microsoft's "official position" when I last read it is that a motherboard change, in and of itself, invalidates the license that had been for that machine because, effectively, they consider the motherboard the one thing that won't change under normal circumstances.

There is a dispensation in place, that is not difficult to get, if one has to replace one's motherboard secondary to failure. That's a completely different situation than replacing it "just because" or because one is, essentially, building a new computer inside an old case, which is effectively what you've done.

There have been reports here that some people who have purchased retail licenses and when said licenses are linked to their Microsoft accounts, new hardware has been automatically activated because you are allowed to transfer those licenses from machine to machine. In any case, if you reinstall using the license key you had, and they reactivate it then they reactivate it. You've submitted it to their activation process.

But if the Windows 10 instance you had was an OEM installed instance shipped with the machine, it is highly unlikely that it will reactivate, whether linked to your MS Account or not, because that's not a part of the licensing terms. Those licensing terms allow for a motherboard replacement, and I believe only of the same model, if one fails but that's the only circumstance.
Interesting you mention this, it did used to be an OEM install, but that was many years ago and it has already been through a motherboard replacement and a clean install, it was an off the shelf gaming PC with an *i5 and had an R7 240, I completely overhauled the machine, new motherboard and the 4790k I am replacing now, along 16gbs of RAM, all of which will be put into a NAS.


As for the other replies, we shall see, it appears that people aren't sure what is going to happen xD I will update this chat with what happens.
 

britechguy

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All I can say is that Microsoft's management of its own licensing system is, how shall I say it?, inconsistent.

What they say, and what has been allowed (and I mean without any human intervention or chicanery) seems to differ for different individuals and different systems. It's certainly not up to me or you to figure out if something's OK or not by Microsoft if they automatically activate a freshly installed Windows 10 instance under the scenario you present. If they activate then, by definition, they've OKed it. End users are not responsible for figuring this out, Microsoft is.
 

Martino1994

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So guys,

An update, I did the upgrade from a i7 4790k to the 3900X , (Blue team to the Red team 'shocker)...

Initial boot worked with all drives connected but with the 'Reset this PC' options available of which I tried but but choosing to 'Keep my files' this failed as it saw that Windows was pass word locked...

...However once I powered on with just my SSD boot drive connected, Windows booted, obviously without most of my files showing up which are on other drives. Seeing this I thought I should see what happens if I connected my drives yet again...

I couldn't believe it but my system booted, all drives connected, all files working etc, State of Decay 2 had a couple of issues starting because of some ccount difficulty but after plugging in the Ethernet and booting up and updating various drivers, all was fixed! Everything has adapted and just changed over, task manager etc, Steam games works well, Adobe CC saw it as a new PC so I had to cancel the old license but no reinstall needed so far

What you think guys? @USAFRet appears to have guessed correctly with number 1, I will continue to watch out for BSODs etc but also continually adapt and update various softwares to ensure nothing happens.

I am still baffled by it but if it ain't broke dont fix it.. ?
 

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