Question Switching from Intel to AMD

Biggy Cent

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Jan 14, 2014
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Going to be building basically a new pc (cpu mobo and ram) in the coming weeks.

I’m just not real sure how to go about it.

Do I need to reinstall windows or will everything boot correctly? (I have win10 on my SSD right now). I’ve read where people have had success with a new build booting up fine and others not so much. I believe I have an OEM disc connected to my Microsoft account, will I need to purchase a new disc?

If I do need a clean install do I need to wipe everything on my current SSD that has win10 on it or can I just reinstall over those files so I can keep all my games etc?
 

DSzymborski

Champion
Moderator
A full format and wipe is the best practice for a good reason: you can discover something isn't quite right weeks or even months down the road.

Licenses are not connected to individual disks, they're connected to individual motherboards. What you do depends on how you obtained your copy of Windows 10. Generally speaking, unless it was a Windows 10 that came with a prebuilt, you can transfer your license to a new motherboard.

You'll mainly be able to keep Steam games without reinstalling because Steam is very flexible. But you'll need to have another hard drive to move your Steam directories to while you wipe your OS hard drive.
 
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Biggy Cent

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Jan 14, 2014
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A full format and wipe is the best practice for a good reason: you can discover something isn't quite right weeks or even months down the road.

Licenses are not connected to individual disks, they're connected to individual motherboards. What you do depends on how you obtained your copy of Windows 10. Generally speaking, unless it was a Windows 10 that came with a prebuilt, you can transfer your license to a new motherboard.

You'll mainly be able to keep Steam games without reinstalling because Steam is very flexible. But you'll need to have another hard drive to move your Steam directories to while you wipe your OS hard drive.
Okay well it wasn’t a prebuilt. I bought the disc off of amazon and installed it. My new case won’t have the option for an optical drive, so can I make a bootable flash drive and then use my key from the disc to activate windows on a clean install?
 

DSzymborski

Champion
Moderator
Okay well it wasn’t a prebuilt. I bought the disc off of amazon and installed it. My new case won’t have the option for an optical drive, so can I make a bootable flash drive and then use my key from the disc to activate windows on a clean install?
Your license ought to be associated with your Microsoft account. You should be able to install Windows 10 off a bootable flash drive, log into Microsoft account, and then Windows will automatically transfer your license to the new PC. And if not, then use the key. You can always find this, before you wipe your drive, with something like Magical Jelly Bean, and it's always good to have it saved in a few places just in case you do have issues and need to contact Microsoft.
 
Windows 10 is very good, specifically in relation to OS prior to 7, at finding devices and at least "stock" drivers that will work. It's one of the features that makes installing (since 7) so much simpler. With that said, many of the chipset drivers and such for models between the same manufacturer can work long enough to boot and Windows Update itself will take care of the rest to the best of it's ability. (it's generally desirable to go out and get the newest manufacturer driver sets).
When going from Intel to AMD it's less of a chance that it will just boot, but it might.

As above though, it's going to be far better to back up your personal files, move your Steam folder and do a clean install.

Go to Microsoft site and create the USB. Make sure your current OS is "tied to" your Microsoft account. I am sure there are more in depth articles about it but that will offer the best/easiest way to transfer your license if it will.
 
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USAFRet

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Changing motherboards and trying to use the original drive+OS, there are 3 possibilities:
  1. It boots up just fine
  2. It fails completely
  3. It boots up, but you're chasing issues for weeks or months.
Going from old Intel to New Ryzen, I'd expect #2, with a small possibility of #3.

 

DSzymborski

Champion
Moderator
Punkncat is absolutely correct that Windows 10 is far better at this kind of thing than previous iterations of Windows. You certainly can try, I just don't recommend it as the best practice.

I work remotely and haven't lived within 500 miles of my employer in 15 years. My various PCs working is mission-critical for me, so I have to take approaches that keep my equipment up and working at as close to 100% as possible. There are lots of ways to minimize my exposure -- lots of spare parts, backup power, obsessive file backups, business-class internet service, acting suspicious of the slightest problem with a hard drive. Not skipping any steps when installing software/hardware is one of the things I do.

I want to be working, not chasing gremlins for weeks because I didn't want to set aside the proper time to properly install an operating system. I can choose the time I install Windows 10 and then my crucial software. I have less control over the timing of when some unexpected driver conflict brings my work to a halt.

In the future, there are ways you can make these clean installs faster. I keep an external SSD that has nothing but drivers for each of my PCs and installation files for the most crucial software I use.
 

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