How to upgrade motherboard without reinstalling windows

JAM1NATOR

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Jul 14, 2017
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So I'm upgrading my CPU and motherboard (from AMD FX-8350 with MSI 970 to a new AMD Ryzen 5 with MSI B350). I have windows 10 and some games installed on my SSD and games/files on my HDD.

I'm wondering, can I just upgrade the components and plug in my drives to the new motherboard and will windows run and work properly or will that send me to the blue screen.
Or, will I need to format my HDD and SSD and clean install windows 10 from a USB? (If the latter, what's the best way to wipe a SSD and HDD?)

Any help would be appreciated, just want to know what will be the best option. Cheers!
 
Where is your current Windows???
If it is on your SSD, then simply detach the HDD from the setup. Install your new parts and connect the SSD only. Intsall your Windows and drivers on the SSD. It will give you format option during installation so you do not have to format it separately. Once your Windows is up and running, reattach the HDD and you are as good as before.
 
It simply cannot work.
When you install new hardware, there are accompanying drivers which the old Windows will not identify or throw conflicts if you try to force install.
Also if its a OEM version, its tied to your old motherboard.
It is always recommended to install new Windows fresh with new motherboard.
Installing windows is not that difficult. Just follow the instructions here if you dont have a new copy... https://www.howtogeek.com/244678/you-dont-need-a-product-key-to-install-and-use-windows-10/
You can always activate it later on.
 

neiler0847

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First, since you are likely going to need to load all new drivers (processor, chipset, bios, etc. etc.), I would think that trying to lay these over the old ones is just asking for trouble.

Second, you didn't mention whether your Windows licence is retail or OEM. When you change the CPU and Motherboard, Microsoft generally will not let you carry your OEM licence forward. So you may be buying a new licence.

You didn't mention upgrading memory, but if I'm not mistaken, the FX-8350 is DDR3 and the Ryzen 5 is DDR4.

1. If your SSD has any data on it, copy that to your HDD before dismantling the current system.
2. Go through the system and make a list of the programs you'll want to reinstall afterwards
2. Build your new system with only the SSD connected.
3. Reinstall Windows from USB and choose to reformat the SSD as part of the install.
4. Load new drivers and get the machine running as desired
5. Now connect the HDD and clean up everything except the data
6. Reinstall any software
 

JAM1NATOR

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Jul 14, 2017
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Yes I have OEM key at the moment so I'll need to buy a new key, and yes I have new ram too. So basically, I need to move my files from my SSD to my HDD and then when I install windows from the usb drive it automatically gets rid of anything left on there? Also will the drivers install automatically or will I need to find them. And I am unsure what you mean by clean up the HDD. Thank you for your replies
 
Where is your current Windows???
If it is on your SSD, then simply detach the HDD from the setup. Install your new parts and connect the SSD only. Intsall your Windows and drivers on the SSD. It will give you format option during installation so you do not have to format it separately. Once your Windows is up and running, reattach the HDD and you are as good as before.
 

neiler0847

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Mar 25, 2015
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Drivers do not install automatically... you have to go looking for them and install them manually. Almost all of them will be available in the support section for your motherboard model (on the motherboard manufacturer's website). If you're not sure how to do it, look for some Youtube videos to get comfortable.

You clean up the HDD by manually removing files using Windows Explorer. You can't reformat your HDD because you'd lose your data, but you're going to reinstall software, so manually remove programs that are installed to the HDD, including your old Windows install.

 

JAM1NATOR

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Jul 14, 2017
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Okay so what exactly do I need to do with windows before I put in the new components? Do I just need to move files from ssd to HDD and uninstall current drivers?
 
Your old Windows needs to go completely. There is nothing to be kept from there. What needs to be kept is only and only your personal data. So wherever your personal data is, barring that place or backing that up, you need to wipe out all your Windows and other installations, and reinstall Windows fresh and then the drivers.
 

JAM1NATOR

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Jul 14, 2017
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Okay guys thank you for your help but I'm just going to reset my pc before upgrading the components (keeping personal data and files), then fresh install windows and choose the format option on the SSD and then spend a day reinstalling all apps. Seems easier than getting around any issues with drivers or programs failing and whatnot. I appreciate your replies.
 

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