What are the steps I need to take before upgrading my motherboard and CPU?

Navitus

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I'm in the process of picking out parts to upgrade my PC within the next couple of months. I've been reading a lot about how to go about putting it together. I feel comfortable with pretty much everything except the motherboard installation. Physically, I know what to do, but I'm unsure of the steps I need to take BEFORE installing it.

I've got Windows 10 now and I upgraded to it when it was free coming from Windows 7 without a disk. Do I need to uninstall drivers before installing the motherboard? And what about my hard drives? I've got an internal SSD with my OS installed on it and an external HDD. Do I need to completely wipe my SDD and start from scratch before doing it?

I'd really appreciate it if someone can list the steps that I need to take before installing the motherboard as far as software goes and also regarding my hard drives.

Thank you!
 
My basic procedure for master hardware replacement:
1) Back up all internal hard drives.
2) Make sure you're signed into Windows with a Microsoft Account. If not, create one and use it to sign into Windows. Your activation code will be tied to your Microsoft Account and it'll reactivate as soon as you sign back in using said account. There may be a troubleshooting step here, I'll explain below.
3) Always do a fresh install. When replacing hardware, you can confuse Windows and end up with an unstable installation or an installation that won't boot. To avoid this, just wipe the internal drives and fresh install.

If Windows doesn't automatically reactivate when logging in using your account, do the following:
1) Press Windows+i. Settings opens. Go to Update & Security> Activation and hit Troubleshoot. Hit "I've changed hardware" and select your previous hardware. Your activation will now transfer to the new motherboard.
 
first thing make sure you get hold of the driver needed to access the internet on your new motherboard

your ssd may or may not just boot as normal without a reinstall

but you may need to go through phone activation of windows since you changed motherboard--assuming its retail not oem version
 

firefoxx04

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Jan 23, 2009
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You should be able to keep your current install of Windows. This is what I would try:

1) Uninstall current motherboard drivers if possible. Otherwise move to step 2
2) Remove old motherboard with the cpu still installed
3) Carefully remove the cpu from the motheboard
4) Carefully install the cpu into the new motherboard
5) Install new motherboard

6) Bootup into new motherboard bios. Verify proper settings (specficially AHCI mode on the sata controller)

7) Boot into Windows
8) Install new drivers for the new motherboard (preferable up to date drivers from their website)
9) Run basic stability test of your choice to ensure proper temperatures and stability.
 
My basic procedure for master hardware replacement:
1) Back up all internal hard drives.
2) Make sure you're signed into Windows with a Microsoft Account. If not, create one and use it to sign into Windows. Your activation code will be tied to your Microsoft Account and it'll reactivate as soon as you sign back in using said account. There may be a troubleshooting step here, I'll explain below.
3) Always do a fresh install. When replacing hardware, you can confuse Windows and end up with an unstable installation or an installation that won't boot. To avoid this, just wipe the internal drives and fresh install.

If Windows doesn't automatically reactivate when logging in using your account, do the following:
1) Press Windows+i. Settings opens. Go to Update & Security> Activation and hit Troubleshoot. Hit "I've changed hardware" and select your previous hardware. Your activation will now transfer to the new motherboard.
 

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