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Old 07-18-11, 01:14 PM   #1
ViN86
 
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Default Changing motherboard w/out reinstalling Windows?

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.
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Old 07-18-11, 05:01 PM   #2
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Default Re: Changing motherboard w/out reinstalling Windows?

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.
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Old 07-18-11, 05:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: Changing motherboard w/out reinstalling Windows?

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Originally Posted by shabby View Post
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?
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Old 07-18-11, 06:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: Changing motherboard w/out reinstalling Windows?

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.
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Old 07-18-11, 06:42 PM   #5
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Default Re: Changing motherboard w/out reinstalling Windows?

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
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Old 07-18-11, 07:19 PM   #6
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Default Re: Changing motherboard w/out reinstalling Windows?

Just switched a X58 to a P67 and no problems.
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Old 07-19-11, 05:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: Changing motherboard w/out reinstalling Windows?

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Originally Posted by ViN86 View Post
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.
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Old 07-19-11, 07:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: Changing motherboard w/out reinstalling Windows?

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.
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Old 07-19-11, 10:09 PM   #9
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Default Re: Changing motherboard w/out reinstalling Windows?

I would feel dirty inside not formatting, I guess I am to picky.
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Old 07-19-11, 10:35 PM   #10
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Default Re: Changing motherboard w/out reinstalling Windows?

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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.
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Old 07-20-11, 12:51 AM   #11
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Default Re: Changing motherboard w/out reinstalling Windows?

20 mins and up and gong.
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Old 07-20-11, 04:27 AM   #12
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Default Re: Changing motherboard w/out reinstalling Windows?

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.
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