Question New motherboard and other components, won’t boot

Sep 3, 2022
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Hi all

I recently installed a new motherboard, cpu, gpu, power supply. I fired up the machine and everything looked good first try! I then get to the boot menu in BIOS and it’s stuck. I then realized that a friend of mine who lives almost 100 miles away has the thumb drive with my windows key as he did the original build for me.

I can see my M.2 SSD (only drive I have in the system) listed in BIOS but the system won’t let me select the drive as a boot location. I’m assuming at this point that I need the original windows thumb drive to get things going.

Is it possible that a place such as Geek Squad would have a “dummy boot device” to get things going and then have the OS on my SSD run things from there, or am I going to have to make the drive to get my thumb drive from my friends house?

Thanks for any replies, it’s been a very long (~20 years) time since I’ve built/re-built a computer.
 

USAFRet

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New motherboard, etc...you almost certainly need a fresh OS install on your drive.

Doesn't have to be the "original" thumb drive.
Just any newly created Win 10 USB to install with.

Yes, this is a fresh install, which WILL wipe out everything on that drive.

 
Sep 3, 2022
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Welcome to the forums, newcomer!

Can you please parse the specs to your build? Since you performed an upgrade(of sorts) please parse a before and after set of specs for your build.
Before:
MOBO: Asus B-350
CPU: Ryzen 5 1700x
GPU: MSI NVIDEA 1080 ti
RAM; G.Skills (8GB x2)
PSU: EVGA 750W

After:
MOBO: Asus Prime Z690
CPU: Intel i7 2700x
GPU: EVGA NVIDEA 3090ti
RAM; G.Skills (8GB x2)
PSU: EVGA 1000W
 
Sep 3, 2022
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New motherboard, etc...you almost certainly need a fresh OS install on your drive.

Doesn't have to be the "original" thumb drive.
Just any newly created Win 10 USB to install with.

Yes, this is a fresh install, which WILL wipe out everything on that drive.

Can you define “newly created”? I don’t want to buy windows again. I’m assuming that I shouldn’t have to as my OS was purchased on its own, not part of a pre-built.

Could I get a cheap HD of some sort to boot with or even an external HD that I might have laying around and use that as a sort of sacrificial device to get things going and then make my M.2 the primary drive after the fact? I don’t want to lose data I have on the M.2.
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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Can you define “newly created”? I don’t want to buy windows again. I’m assuming that I shouldn’t have to as my OS was purchased on its own, not part of a pre-built.

Could I get a cheap HD of some sort to boot with or even an external HD that I might have laying around and use that as a sort of sacrificial device to get things going and then make my M.2 the primary drive after the fact? I don’t want to lose data I have on the M.2.
The OS install is freely available from Microsoft.
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

You'll need a blank 8GB flash drive.
And of course some other system to use to create it.

You use that to do a fresh install on your M.2 drive.

The OS license is the part that costs.

Was the license from your previous system linked to your MS account?
If so, you can transfer that license to the new PC.
Or, if you have the license key written down, just enter it during this new install
 
Sep 3, 2022
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The OS install is freely available from Microsoft.
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

You'll need a blank 8GB flash drive.
And of course some other system to use to create it.

You use that to do a fresh install on your M.2 drive.

The OS license is the part that costs.

Was the license from your previous system linked to your MS account?
If so, you can transfer that license to the new PC.
Or, if you have the license key written down, just enter it during this new install
My desktop is listed as one of my devices when I sign in to my MS account. Is that an indication that the license is linked to my acct?

If I use the link provided above and use it to load it onto a fresh M.2 ( I was thinking about adding another one anyway as I also use this machine for business), is it safe to say that I would also be able to salvage all of the data on my current M.2?

In a scenario that I get things running on a new M.2, will there be any issues integrating the old M.2 into the new system? Ideally, I’d be able to assign the old M.2 the C: designation and the new one the D: designation.

Sorry if these questions seem elementary but I’m trying to mitigate any foreseen issues before they present themselves.
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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My desktop is listed as one of my devices when I sign in to my MS account. Is that an indication that the license is linked to my acct?
Yes.

If I use the link provided above and use it to load it onto a fresh M.2 ( I was thinking about adding another one anyway as I also use this machine for business), is it safe to say that I would also be able to salvage all of the data on my current M.2
If you install the new OS on a different drive, you can almost certainly recover your personal files (not applications) from the original drive.

Ideally, I’d be able to assign the old M.2 the C: designation and the new one the D: designation.
No.
The new drive, or whatever drive you install the OS on, will be the C drive.
Any other drive will have a different drive letter. D, E, etc.



But...this speaks to a bit of a deeper issue.
No backup.

With a fresh OS install, you should never have to go through any gyrations to recover your previous data.

 
Sep 3, 2022
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Yes.


If you install the new OS on a different drive, you can almost certainly recover your personal files (not applications) from the original drive.


No.
The new drive, or whatever drive you install the OS on, will be the C drive.
Any other drive will have a different drive letter. D, E, etc.



But...this speaks to a bit of a deeper issue.
No backup.

With a fresh OS install, you should never have to go through any gyrations to recover your previous data.

That is a good point about backup. I do use OneDrive for the business files that I need (nothing sensitive) because it’s so convenient to be able to access it all from literally anywhere I have a cell signal. Other than that, it is primarily a gaming rig. My wife has an external HD that she uses to store photos and what not. I’m just not 100% sure that everything I need is on OneDrive. That’s my only hesitation with just wiping the M.2.

On the subject of backing up sensitive data though, how secure is the “personal vault” on OneDrive?

I might just download the OS file above and just wipe my drive like you suggested. I am 99% sure that anything that would be a problem if it disappeared is on OneDrive.
 
Sep 3, 2022
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And that is why I simply do full drive backups. All physical drives in the various house systems, individually.
Can't forget or omit something.
Thank you for your help. I’ll let you know how it goes. I’m about to try to boot this thing up with that OS install link.

Data backup is something that has been on my mind for years now, just haven’t got around to actually doing it for the same reasons other things in life get neglected I guess. Is there a write up somewhere you can point me to for a simple back up of any and all computers in my house? We have several Windows and Mac machines between myself, wife, and kids. I’m sure it’s not too complicated as many things are not. Just a matter of education I suppose.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
159,398
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Thank you for your help. I’ll let you know how it goes. I’m about to try to boot this thing up with that OS install link.

Data backup is something that has been on my mind for years now, just haven’t got around to actually doing it for the same reasons other things in life get neglected I guess. Is there a write up somewhere you can point me to for a simple back up of any and all computers in my house? We have several Windows and Mac machines between myself, wife, and kids. I’m sure it’s not too complicated as many things are not. Just a matter of education I suppose.
My link above (and here) outlines my personal routine.
Modified a bit since I wrote that, but the basics.

And I have had to use that after a physical drive death.
Not the OS drive, but critical data on it.

960GB SanDisk SSD, 605GB data on it. Lots and lots of family pics, among other things.

Put in a new drive, click click in Macrium...all 605GB data recovered exactly as it was at 4AM that morning, when the nightly Incremental ran.
 
Sep 3, 2022
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My link above (and here) outlines my personal routine.
Modified a bit since I wrote that, but the basics.

And I have had to use that after a physical drive death.
Not the OS drive, but critical data on it.

960GB SanDisk SSD, 605GB data on it. Lots and lots of family pics, among other things.

Put in a new drive, click click in Macrium...all 605GB data recovered exactly as it was at 4AM that morning, when the nightly Incremental ran.
Up and running with some issues. There are files in certain directories that still have a "placeholder" for lack of a better term but the file is not there. System won't let me delete them. Other than that though, running flawless. Now I need to get a new monitor so this new GPU can really show what it's capable of.
 

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