Question Is it possible up upgrade CPU & MB without reinstalling Windows and all my programs?

MetalFoX

Honorable
Jun 2, 2013
8
0
10,510
0
Hi all,

I'm wondering if it's possible to change out my CPU and MB without touching any data on any of my drives so that my OS, all programs etc. would still work as normal.

The way I have it in my head is I would literally just switch out the board and CPU, reconnect everything like it was before, set the boot drive in BIOS and boot order and then just carry on as normal. Obviously I would need to change / install my new MB and chipset drivers but, can it be done?

Thanks.
 
Can this be done? ... well kindda yes.
Is it recommended? - absolutely not.

You're going to face several issues with this approach.
1. Boot mode compatibility issue. Boot mode (UEFI/legacy) on old and new system has to be the same. Also sata controller mode settings have to match, if you're using sata boot drive. Otherwise new system will not boot.​
2. Drivers compatibility issue. Incompatible drivers can and will cause crashes/bsods and performance issues. You will have to manually remove old drivers and install appropriate ones.​
3. Windows activation issue. Simply windows may refuse to activate, no matter that you do. And you'll be forced to perform clean install anyway.​
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
Hi all,

I'm wondering if it's possible to change out my CPU and MB without touching any data on any of my drives so that my OS, all programs etc. would still work as normal.

The way I have it in my head is I would literally just switch out the board and CPU, reconnect everything like it was before, set the boot drive in BIOS and boot order and then just carry on as normal. Obviously I would need to change / install my new MB and chipset drivers but, can it be done?

Thanks.
The best answer is "maybe" . What MB you are coming from vs the new one, etc.
There are fourpossible outcomes
  1. It fails to boot
  2. It boots but bluescreens
  3. It boots but you chase problems forever
  4. It works.
Any of those are possible.
The BEST approach is to assume you will have to reinstall. Collect all the screen prints, key values, installed program list, etc from the current computer. Install onto a new disk (so the old config and data is safe) with the new computer. Do Windows updates and MB driver install. Then shutdown and connect the old disk. Use that disk for data. Copy files as appropriate.
 

jon96789

Upstanding
Aug 17, 2019
335
41
240
12
It really depends on the motherboards... If you upgrade from an Intel to an AMD (or vice versa), then you are probably going to have a bunch of problems since the CPU and chipsets are completely different. If you going from an Intel to a newer Intel, it might work if the chipsets are not much different.

I did a AMD X570 motherboard swap from a MSi X570 MPG Gaming Pro Carbon to a ASUS X570 ROG Crosshair VIII Hero recently. Since the chipsets were identical, I did not have much of an issue except that Windows, Microsoft Office, Norton AV all recognized it as a new system. I was able to get Windows fixed by re-entering my license key, but my MS Office forced me to buy an new license and Norton's had me do a reinstall using an additional license (I had a 10-license version).

Remember, a motherboard swap is technically a new computer. Some software will work but there will be instances where it will not...
 

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