Question I'm upgrading CPU, Motherboard & RAM tomorrow.. keeping the rest. What should I do ?


Apr 20, 2020
Upgrading from a Ryzen 5 3600 and Asus Prime B450 Plus motherboard with 16gb DDR4-3200mhz
to Ryzen 7 5800X3D, Asus Strix B550A ATX, 32gb DDR4-3600mhz

I'm more than happy to wipe my drives and do a new windows install (I have a retail key I bought on microsoft store 3 years ago for this PC) as a new windows install is probably due anyway to clean up stuff.

I just want to know what to do system-wise BEFORE changing the new mobo and CPU in, so that it's just a matter of doing a new install of windows like I would with any new PC.

If you need any more info please ask. I would really appreciate the help as I've never done this before.
If re-using the old drives there is no need to "wipe" or even delete anything before disassembling the system for upgrade.

But as far as what to do before: make a backup of user files that are on the system drive, I like to use Windows' File History for that. The user interface can be a bit weird but once you know how it works it's pretty good. Just remember it only backs up files that are in libraries and only restores them to the same location as before. Alternatively, there are also several free and semi-free backup appss you can download to do it. Or then, you can simply copy them off to a folder on another drive if you want too, that's usually slower and takes more space since most backup programs compress the files in the backup set.

Don't worry about other drives as you can simply attach them to the new board and the new installed OS will see them. You may have to assign them the same drive letter they had before in Drive Manager but once done you use them just like before.

Once you've removed the old motherboard clean out the case thoroughly; you'll be surprised how dusty and grimy it is even though you regularly cleaned it. Also, re-route the existing cabling and wires to match up with the new motherboard so you won't have to do it with the board in. That minimizes potential for damage to the new board.

But before the starting point of the actual upgrade things depend on whether the board comes with BIOS revision that supports a 5800X3d. Most likely it will, but if it doesn't update to the latest using the BIOS flashback: check the manual for instructions on that. Somtimes the processor has to be out so right after installing the mobo, with the PSU only connected up, is the right time to do it. But even if it does come with a supporting BIOS update it to the latest before doing anything else.

Then get on with a Windows clean install. Select the options to delete all old partitions on the old system drive for a true clean install, no need to wipe anything.


With ONE drive connected in the new hardware, full install of your OS.

Section II, Step 6 & 7 speak to deleting ALL existing partitions on the drive.