[SOLVED] Replacing a failing motherboard - process?

Aug 17, 2019
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Hi,

I've concluded, following support on another thread, that my motherboard is dying, the chief symptom of which is an immediate shutdown (normally during graphically intensive activity (both with the GPU card and on integrated graphics)) from which i have great difficulty getting the computer to fire back up. If i operate normally, i.e. not gaming, it generally runs fine. Given i had the same issue when running on integrated graphics, the motherboard seems like the likely culprit.

I have a Gigabyte H55M UD2H card, with a LGA1156 socket. I found, on ebay, a pre-owner mobo at relatively low cost that is essentially a replica, so im able to drop the cpu/gpu/ram etc. into it. Its an Intel board with the same expansion slots, etc.

Before i embark on that, i had a few questions - ive not been able to find a straight answer, so hopefully someone can help!

1) Will i need to reinstall Windows when i power up with the new mobo?

2) I have 2x 500GB HDDs, 1 not currently in use (thats another thing i havent gotten round to setting up!). The HDD in use has 4 partitions, C for windows, D is a small backup, E is a load of data from a previous (old!!) computer (could probably be deleted!) and F is where my games, photos, music, etc., is all located and is by far the biggest (about 350GB i think). I think my Windows /user area is on there also. If i reinstall windows, will it wipe the whole of the C drive, or all of the partitions? Thus - do i need to back up just C, or C and F?

3) There are various suggestions of registry tweaks etc. to avoid the need to reinstall Windows. Ive seen threads that say that a reinstall isnt needed, and others that do. If i do, is the registry editing generally successful? Details here: https://www.ubackup.com/universal-restore/upgrade-motherboard-and-cpu-without-reinstalling-windows-4348.html

4) I saw reference to deleting drivers of all devices before swapping out the board. Is this necessary or, indeed, helpful?

I think i have other questions, which i've forgotten (!), will update if i remember.

Thanks
Steve

Specs:

Gigabyte H55M-UD2H
Intel i5 650 @ 3.2GHz
Nvidia GeForce GTS 450

History:

 
If you can buy the exact same replacement motherboard your task is easy; just swap motherboards.

If the new motherboard has the same chipset, replace the motherboard and you should be able to boot into windows.
At most, you may have to install some chipset drivers.

If you have any problem with activation, there will be several options.
Some are online, asking you to enter a series of numbers.
If all else fails you may have to talk with Microsoft and explain the situation.
 

Stackimaginable

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Jan 18, 2014
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As regards needing to reinstalling windows, you may have to, you may not have to. Either way, make sure to read this before doing any hardware changes:
Reactivating Windows after a hardware change
If you reinstall windows you should get an option to keep files, this should move your Program Files, user, and Windows folders to a Windows.old folder, but everything else should be wiped.

(Make sure you install windows onto the correct drive also.)

Personally, I have never used the registry method so I won't pass any judgment on it.

Once you have your new system set up, you can go into Device Manager and remove any old/not needed drivers.
 
1) Will i need to reinstall Windows when i power up with the new mobo?
Most likely.
2) I have 2x 500GB HDDs, 1 not currently in use. If i reinstall windows, will it wipe the whole of the C drive, or all of the partitions? Thus - do i need to back up just C, or C and F?
Depends on, how you install.
If you have free unused drive, then install windows on that one (other drives disconnected).

3) There are various suggestions of registry tweaks etc. to avoid the need to reinstall Windows. Ive seen threads that say that a reinstall isnt needed, and others that do. If i do, is the registry editing generally successful? Details here: https://www.ubackup.com/universal-restore/upgrade-motherboard-and-cpu-without-reinstalling-windows-4348.html
Try on your own risk. Have a backup before you do this.
 
Aug 17, 2019
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Either way, make sure to read this before doing any hardware changes:
Reactivating Windows after a hardware change

Once you have your new system set up, you can go into Device Manager and remove any old/not needed drivers.
Thanks for the link and confirmation re drivers - there seemed some ambiguity.

If you reinstall windows you should get an option to keep files, this should move your Program Files, user, and Windows folders to a Windows.old folder, but everything else should be wiped.
That will wipe only the C drive, i presume? I.e. the D, E and F will remain as they currently are? I should point out that games etc., including all the install details and various related files (saved games, etc.) and the like are located on the F drive. I tried to limit programs etc. on the C drive as much as possible to keep it 'clean' - whether that makes any difference or not is a moot point.

Depends on, how you install.
If you have free unused drive, then install windows on that one (other drives disconnected).
I was intending that i would reinstall Windows directly only the C drive that is currently installed on - potentially as a clean install by deleting everything on the current C partition and reinstalling into that free space.

I'd rather not put Windows onto the currently unused HDD - i have other plans for that space (possibly a mirror of the other 500GB drive).
 
I'd rather not put Windows onto the currently unused HDD - i have other plans for that space (possibly a mirror of the other 500GB drive).
If you use current drive to install windows and something goes wrong (by accident or something else),
you may end up with lost data.

Anyway - I'd strongly recommend installing windows on SSD.
Doesn't seem, like you have it. Get one. You won't regret it.
 
Aug 17, 2019
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Thanks - i'd been looking at that separately actually - in which case i'll get a small SSD (big enough for the current windows partition) and do that - though whether it'll be ready for this or not is another matter.
 

Stackimaginable

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Jan 18, 2014
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That will wipe only the C drive, i presume? I.e. the D, E and F will remain as they currently are?
You can disconnect any other drives from the system that you don't want altered. Just connect the drive that you'll be installing windows on.

I would agree with SkyNetRising in getting an SSD for your windows install, it will run much quicker, and prices have come down a lot.
 
If you can buy the exact same replacement motherboard your task is easy; just swap motherboards.

If the new motherboard has the same chipset, replace the motherboard and you should be able to boot into windows.
At most, you may have to install some chipset drivers.

If you have any problem with activation, there will be several options.
Some are online, asking you to enter a series of numbers.
If all else fails you may have to talk with Microsoft and explain the situation.
 
Aug 17, 2019
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By way of an update, i sourced a replacement motherboard off ebay of essentially the same spec (Intel rather than Gigabyte) and, after a bit of fiddling and moving of cables now works perfectly - with my random computer instant death no longer an issue (touchwood!).

Happily, Windows 10 was a dream and gave me no fuss at all - within 10 minutes of plugging it back in i was back onto the desktop!

On a related note - if the old mobo is knackered is this something that can be fixed? I notice these boards go for £50 on ebay etc., so wondered if anyone could suggest anywhere that can repair these - or is it best to go in the bin?

Thanks for your help.
Steve
 
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Such an old motherboard is not worth fixing.
The usual cause for a motherboard failure is bent socket pins.
If you have that problem, you may be able to fix it yourself.

Since your failure happened under load while gaming, I would normally think it was a psu failure.
Gaming graphics takes more power.
What is the make/model of your psu?
If your psu is old or a cheap unit, it might be worth replacing.
 
Aug 17, 2019
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I had a budget PSU which I thought might have been the issue, backed up by comments here (see other thread I linked to). I replaced recently with a budget PSU (both Corsair) though one which was slightly more powerful. The issue remained exactly the same. I.e. it wasn't the PSU.

The motherboard replacement was my last hope and worked, the issue has not come back even under intense load.

Thanks re mobo repair, I thought as much though will check the pins - is probably unlikely though as the CPU has never been off the board!
 
I had a budget PSU which I thought might have been the issue, backed up by comments here (see other thread I linked to). I replaced recently with a budget PSU (both Corsair) though one which was slightly more powerful. The issue remained exactly the same. I.e. it wasn't the PSU.

The motherboard replacement was my last hope and worked, the issue has not come back even under intense load.

Thanks re mobo repair, I thought as much though will check the pins - is probably unlikely though as the CPU has never been off the board!
FWIW, it cost me $50 to have a socket pin repair.
Probably anything else would cost at least as much.
 

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