Question I am upgrading my mother board and reusing my m.2 SSDs. I have a lot of questions!

Aug 19, 2020
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I am upgrading my MOBO and reusing the rest of the components from my current build: CPU, GPU, m.2 SSDs, and RAM. I have an OEM key for windows 10 so it is my understanding that I will need a new key. I am confused if I will need to install windows using the USB boot driver technique or not. Additionally, I want to store Windows on my 512gb SSD that has my current windows OS and other documents. Will these files be wiped if I do a clean install of the OS (again, if I have to)? The current OS is linked to my windows account, will it pull my desktop picture and such? I bought a new laptop and was able to essentially mirror my current PC when I set it up. Will I be able to do the same thing with my "new mobo build?" Is there anything else I need to know? This is my first ever build. I have added more RAM, SSD, and installed a GPU before, but never built a computer like this. Please help!
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Where, specifically, did you obtain your current Win 10 license?

All new hardware, a fresh install is strongly recommended, usually required.

Your personal files? They need to be off on some other storage device during this process.
 
Aug 19, 2020
5
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10
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Where, specifically, did you obtain your current Win 10 license?

All new hardware, a fresh install is strongly recommended, usually required.

Your personal files? They need to be off on some other storage device during this process.
My current PC is a prebuilt from cyberpower, so the windows key is an OEM key.

The 512 SSD was my main ssd before I added in another one. I moved all my games and such to the new one. But there is still some things on the 512. There are also things like AMD CPU drivers and such. I take it I don't need those?
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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My current PC is a prebuilt from cyberpower, so the windows key is an OEM key.

The 512 SSD was my main ssd before I added in another one. I moved all my games and such to the new one. But there is still some things on the 512. There are also things like AMD CPU drivers and such. I take it I don't need those?
Given that, you may need a whole new Win 10 license.

Try this:
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

If this fails, then you'll need a new license for your new hardware.

And whatever happens with the licensing, a clean install with the new hardware.
 
Ok, so "technically" in the spirit of an OEM system, if you change the system in a significant way you are "supposed to" buy new license. Microsoft has chosen to be very lenient in regard to this but often changing the mobo itself is going to deactivate your key. There has been a process by which you could contact Microsoft and talk with a tech for them to give you a code to reactivate on the current license...say for instance that ONLY the mobo failed in a stock system, you changed and need to re-verify. In the case where you upgraded for the upgrade, and or changed other significant parts it would really be in MS court as to whether they will or won't.
There are cases where you can "tie" this specific key/OS to your MS account and pull it across to a new system. IME this has mostly been with a "retail" key than OEM. Where it comes down to it though MS has (as mentioned above) been VERY lenient in regard to this particularly when you consider their ability to have you as part of their ecology and let's face it, they turn a blind eye to one of the largest countries in the world to do it openly as common practice with both the OS and Office suite of products.
 
Aug 19, 2020
5
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10
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Given that, you may need a whole new Win 10 license.

Try this:
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

If this fails, then you'll need a new license for your new hardware.

And whatever happens with the licensing, a clean install with the new hardware.
Awesome, thanks! Also, for my second m.2, I plan on leaving it out of the system while I set everything up, but when I install it on the new mobo will it just immediately have my files accessible to me? All of my steam games and school documents are on this m.2.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Awesome, thanks! Also, for my second m.2, I plan on leaving it out of the system while I set everything up, but when I install it on the new mobo will it just immediately have my files accessible to me? All of my steam games and school documents are on this m.2.
For Steam games, you'll need to install a new Steam client with the new OS.

Then, tell the new Steam client where those games might be.
Steam games location
In the steam client:
Steam
Settings
Downloads
Steam Library Folders
Add library folder
To move an already installed game
Games library
Right click the game
Properties
Local Files
Move Install Folder
 
Aug 19, 2020
5
0
10
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For Steam games, you'll need to install a new Steam client with the new OS.

Then, tell the new Steam client where those games might be.
Steam games location
In the steam client:
Steam
Settings
Downloads
Steam Library Folders
Add library folder
To move an already installed game
Games library
Right click the game
Properties
Local Files
Move Install Folder
Alright you are literally amazing, thank you for all the info!!!
 
Aug 19, 2020
5
0
10
0
For Steam games, you'll need to install a new Steam client with the new OS.

Then, tell the new Steam client where those games might be.
Steam games location
In the steam client:
Steam
Settings
Downloads
Steam Library Folders
Add library folder
To move an already installed game
Games library
Right click the game
Properties
Local Files
Move Install Folder
I just thought of one more question. Do I need to wipe my C drive before I put it in the new build to do a fresh install of windows? Or do I just install it and then delete the partitions before I do the fresh install?
 

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