Upgrading mobo and cpu

spyguy

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Dec 3, 2017
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Can someone give me a step by step guide for the do's and don'ts here?
In the near future I want to upgrade from the z270 a pro i7 7700k to the z370 and 8700k unless something better comes out. I just don't know all the precautions to take.
1. Do I need to buy a external hdd for a back up image? My mobo came with windows 10 preinstalled.
2. I have a cd and an external disk drive, will that be enough, if not whats the best way to make a windows 10 bootable usb? The cd cover that has the windows disk in it has numbers on the back but I don't think its the license key, what do I do if I cant find my key?
3. If windows 10 is on my ssd, can I just install a new mobo and boot from my ssd and do some kind of fresh install?
4. Do I need an anti static mat and all that jazz?
5. Any common mistakes to avoid when doing this for the first time?
 
First off, maybe tell us WHY you want to upgrade since maybe it won't actually benefit you much.

answers:
#1 - you should usually be doing a clean install of Windows. Theoretically you might be able to just swap out the HDD/SSD to the new motherboard and boot up which may or may not work fine and may or may not keep Windows activated (according to Microsoft it won't stay activated but some people seem to get lucky)

#2 W10 Boot USB is an 8GB+ USB stick, then download the MS Media Creation tool, run it, and point to your USB stick:
https://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/software-download/windows10

If doing clean install, just boot with ONLY that stick and the target HDD/SSD to put Windows on.. if it has Windows already you will need to boot into the motherboard BIOS to select the USB stick as the boot device... then follow instructions (like your Windows login email/password which should be the same as before likely)

Can't find key?
It's non-transferable. You can attempt to just transfer the HDD as I said and maybe get lucky, or do a clean boot and SKIP the key and W10 may activate if lucky.

Just FYI but if you do a clean install of W10 to a system already activated for W10 then the key is automatically applied when your PC talks to the MS server. You never have to put it in again even if you wipe the drive.

#3 - MAYBE... as I said before you MAY be able to just add the SSD to the new motherboard and boot right into Windows. To repeat myself the following issues that may or MAY NOT happen are:
a) key no longer valid
b) errors due to new hardware

If there are no obvious errors but the key is not valid then you can just buy a new key and put that into Windows (Google) from the desktop.

#4 - Not necessarily. I just do this:
a) attach PSU to case, then PSU cable to wall
b) touch case anywhere exposed (not painted) to ground myself (become neutral)

Unless there is carpet or other obvious static issues that is probably sufficient.

#5 - *always plan carefully, and always backup crucial data.
 
Other:
Depending on what you are doing, but I'll assume it's GAMES there may be a better use of your money. Perhaps a good GSYNC monitor (NVidia GPU) for example. (i.e. 2560x1440, IPS, 144Hz+, 27").

Most games won't see a significant benefit from i7-7700K to i7-8700K. Most should see little to no FPS average gains. At the very least find BENCHMARKS that compare CPU's for your intended games/applications to see what benefit you might expect.
 

spyguy

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Dec 3, 2017
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Your right, this pc is mainly for gaming. I was really using the 8700k as an example. I think I may upgrade in 2 years, at which point hopefully there will be 6 or 8 core intel chips with much better performance. Even though it could be a while before I upgrade, I prefer to do my research before hand so that when the time comes I don't have to rush and do a lot of reading and studying when Im ready to dive in. So from your response if I use my same ssd/hdd and upgrade the mobo/cpu, a fresh windows 10 install will recognize that windows 10 has been installed with a proper key and I wont have to re enter my key. That's great news.

 

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