[SOLVED] How-to on reinstalling Windows after motherboard change

Sentient6

Distinguished
Jan 19, 2010
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Hi,

I'm planning a CPU and MB upgrade, and I could use a guide on exactly how to not mess up my Windows after the hardware change. I read up enough to know that I'll need to reinstall Windows on the new MB, but I'm not exactly sure how to go on about it. My Windows is activated "with a digital license" and linked to my MS account, and I don't have any Windows DVDs or USB drives (updated to 10 from 7 back when you could do that), so I'm not sure how to go about installing it after swapping out the MBs. MS say there's a way to restore my license on the new hardware, but how do I initiate the new installation in the first place? Plug the new MB in and hope it boots up? Doesn't really sound correct. A step-by-step explanation would be greatly appreciated.

A bit more info - I have the OS installed on a separate SSD, with two more SSDs for Steam and general stuff - obviously I'd like to keep the latter two untouched with all my files preserved - that shouldn't be a problem, correct? The Windows installation would only need the OS SSD, and I could plug the other two in after everything's done, right?
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
Hi,

I'm planning a CPU and MB upgrade, and I could use a guide on exactly how to not mess up my Windows after the hardware change. I read up enough to know that I'll need to reinstall Windows on the new MB, but I'm not exactly sure how to go on about it. My Windows is activated "with a digital license" and linked to my MS account, and I don't have any Windows DVDs or USB drives (updated to 10 from 7 back when you could do that), so I'm not sure how to go about installing it after swapping out the MBs. MS say there's a way to restore my license on the new hardware, but how do I initiate the new installation in the first place? Plug the new MB in and hope it boots up? Doesn't really sound correct. A step-by-step explanation would be greatly appreciated.

A bit more info - I have the OS installed on a separate SSD, with two more SSDs for Steam and general stuff - obviously I'd like to keep the latter two untouched with all my files preserved - that shouldn't be a problem, correct? The Windows installation would only need the OS SSD, and I could plug the other two in after everything's done, right?
Start by reading the Tom's how-to guide on doing a clean OS install -- https://www.tomshardware.com/news/how-to-do-clean-installation-windows-10,36160.html
 
Reactions: Sentient6

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
Hi,

I'm planning a CPU and MB upgrade, and I could use a guide on exactly how to not mess up my Windows after the hardware change. I read up enough to know that I'll need to reinstall Windows on the new MB, but I'm not exactly sure how to go on about it. My Windows is activated "with a digital license" and linked to my MS account, and I don't have any Windows DVDs or USB drives (updated to 10 from 7 back when you could do that), so I'm not sure how to go about installing it after swapping out the MBs. MS say there's a way to restore my license on the new hardware, but how do I initiate the new installation in the first place? Plug the new MB in and hope it boots up? Doesn't really sound correct. A step-by-step explanation would be greatly appreciated.

A bit more info - I have the OS installed on a separate SSD, with two more SSDs for Steam and general stuff - obviously I'd like to keep the latter two untouched with all my files preserved - that shouldn't be a problem, correct? The Windows installation would only need the OS SSD, and I could plug the other two in after everything's done, right?
Start by reading the Tom's how-to guide on doing a clean OS install -- https://www.tomshardware.com/news/how-to-do-clean-installation-windows-10,36160.html
 
Reactions: Sentient6

Sentient6

Distinguished
Jan 19, 2010
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18,540
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So that means I should create Installation Media before upgrading the hardware, then use that to install the OS on the new MB, correct? Ok, should be straight forward enough.

As far as the storage/backup - should I connect only the OS SSD , and connect the other two after installing Windows? I assume the OS SSD will be wiped clean, along with all programs - I don't want that to happen to the data on the other two. Or it doesn't matter, and the clean OS installation will only affect the partition the "old" OS was on?
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
So that means I should create Installation Media before upgrading the hardware, then use that to install the OS on the new MB, correct? Ok, should be straight forward enough.

As far as the storage/backup - should I connect only the OS SSD , and connect the other two after installing Windows? I assume the OS SSD will be wiped clean, along with all programs - I don't want that to happen to the data on the other two. Or it doesn't matter, and the clean OS installation will only affect the partition the "old" OS was on?
You want just the SSD you are installing onto to be connected when you do the install. That ensures the installer won't be confused and you won't accidentally format any drive you don't want formatted.
 
Reactions: Sentient6

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