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View Full Version : Changing motherboard w/out reinstalling Windows?


ViN86
07-18-11, 01:14 PM
So my dad's motherboard, a DFI P35, has been having serious issues lately with the SATA controller. The drives randomly appear/disappear in BIOS and in Windows all the time, and the reliability isn't there. To make things worse, DFI has folded so RMA'ing the board is out of the question, and I can't simply replace the board with an equivalent one.

So I bought him a new board and I got him a Foxconn G41 motherboard. Now the chipset is different and many of the features are as well. However, we would like to be able to switch the board out with the one he has now. He has many programs installed that he uses for a variety of tasks, and his computer would be out of commission for about a week if he were to format and attempt to reinstall all the programs.

Is it possible to switch the motherboard out? I am sure he would have to reactivate Windows 7. That is fine. But can we uninstall all the chipset/motherboard devices through Device Manager, then swap boards and boot into Windows and let it install all new drivers? Has anyone done this?

Thanks.

shabby
07-18-11, 05:01 PM
Win7 is actually quite good with mobo swaps, it usually sorts everything out upon bootup. Normally i would simply delete the oem ide/sata drivers and use the standard ones, then swap the mobo and let it boot. I went from a c2d to a 2500k without reinstalling windows.

ViN86
07-18-11, 05:24 PM
Win7 is actually quite good with mobo swaps, it usually sorts everything out upon bootup. Normally i would simply delete the oem ide/sata drivers and use the standard ones, then swap the mobo and let it boot. I went from a c2d to a 2500k without reinstalling windows.

Awesome, thanks for the info shabby.

I assume you had to reactivate with the new motherboard?

jcrox
07-18-11, 06:32 PM
The only time I think you might end up with an issue is maybe if you were going from AMD to Intel or vice-versa.

I've switched out motherboards many, many times with no problems, even with Win XP.

zoomy942
07-18-11, 06:42 PM
Agreed. if the chipsets are from different planets (amd to intel) you might have some performance problems down the road. Otherwise, Windows should be able to sort it out.

PZ

Rummy
07-18-11, 07:19 PM
Just switched a X58 to a P67 and no problems.

shabby
07-19-11, 05:45 PM
Awesome, thanks for the info shabby.

I assume you had to reactivate with the new motherboard?

Eventually yes, win7 picked up the hardware swap and asked to reactivate windows.

nekrosoft13
07-19-11, 07:40 PM
I done it many times.

main rig from nforce 680i to X58. on server from geforce8200 to ati 780G to ati 890GX.

never ran into a problem, only thing I do before is uninstall all drivers that are board specific, be it ethernet, audio, or other motherboard drivers.

mullet
07-19-11, 10:09 PM
I would feel dirty inside not formatting, I guess I am to picky.

nekrosoft13
07-19-11, 10:35 PM
I would feel dirty inside not formatting, I guess I am to picky.

try it once or twice, works great, and don't have to spend hours, days or weeks reinstalling everything.

mullet
07-20-11, 12:51 AM
20 mins and up and gong.

crainger
07-20-11, 04:27 AM
If you run into problems I believe Acronis will backup and strip out the required drivers for you. When I used it it was called Universal restore.

XDanger
07-20-11, 01:47 PM
I used the built in feature for returning windows to just before the chipset drivers are installed , whats that called?

XDanger
07-20-11, 01:49 PM
sysprep
Run sysprep with the switches /generalize and /shutdown. After the machine atomatically shuts down swap the motherboard.

rename drives to their previous designations then gravy

nekrosoft13
07-20-11, 02:57 PM
20 mins and up and gong.

then you have nothing installed, for me it would take atleast couple days, I have many applications and games installed on the PC.

ViN86
07-20-11, 04:52 PM
sysprep
Run sysprep with the switches /generalize and /shutdown. After the machine atomatically shuts down swap the motherboard.

rename drives to their previous designations then gravy

Thanks danger, had no idea about this command. I think I am going to try this route.

mullet
07-20-11, 05:12 PM
then you have nothing installed, for me it would take atleast couple days, I have many applications and games installed on the PC.

Well maybe nothing compared to youz guyz. What apps and games do you have installed?
I keep all of my games and apps backups on a 16GB thumb drive USB 3.0.

Office 07
firefox
adobe cs
steam
MSE
malewarebites
music
photos wallpapers & PSD grafix I made.
QTlite

nekrosoft13
07-20-11, 07:42 PM
188 programs/games (not including all the games on steam) installed

mullet
07-20-11, 08:54 PM
good grief. Make image send to NAS.

nekrosoft13
07-20-11, 09:55 PM
good grief. Make image send to NAS.

I do, but changing boards would not be any different in that case.

I make a backup every month, if something gets screwed, I restore it, this way it never gets so bad that requires monthly reinstalls like some people.

oldest program/game on my system is Splinter Cell Double Agent installed 5/5/2007, that is around the time when I last time installed/reinstalled windows. with good maintance you won't have any performance penalties.