Solved Upgrading motherboard and CPU without reinstalling Windows

October 9, 2016 at 05:05:41
Specs: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, Intel Core i3 @ 3.10GHz | 8GB DDR3 1333MHz
I've been in need of a motherboard and CPU upgrade for some time now, but one of the things that's kept me from actually doing it (Aside from money, of course) is the fact that I realize it's usually a good idea to reinstall Windows when doing major hardware upgrades, especially those involving the motherboard. I've built quite a few computers from scratch, but this will be one of the first times I've replaced a modern motherboard in a working system.

At the moment, I don't really have the time to go through reinstalling Windows and getting everything back to normal with work and such, so I was just looking for some tips from others to avoid any complications this might bring forth.

I'm assuming uninstalling motherboard and chipset drivers beforehand is a given, but is there anything else I should do before installing the new hardware? I don't have anything specific chosen at the moment, but I'll definitely be installing a newer Intel processor on either the 1151 or 1150 socket with either an ASUS or MSI motherboard - my current system specifications can be found in my signature.

A big thanks in advance to everyone!

MSI B75MA-P45 Motherboard
Intel Core i3-2100 3.10GHz
8GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM
EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 8GB
Samsung 840 EVO 120GB SSD (Windows 7 Ultimate)
Toshiba 2TB HDD


See More: Upgrading motherboard and CPU without reinstalling Windows

Report •

✔ Best Answer
October 9, 2016 at 14:33:23
This page claims it can be done:
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorial...

https://kb.paragon-software.com/art...

As Always, take a backup of your important data before doing anything...

message edited by sluc



#1
October 9, 2016 at 05:39:14
If it was an OEM install of Windows then there is no way you would be able to use it on another motherboard at all. Since it is an install of Ultimate, IF it was an install from a Retail Boxed Edition (NOT an upgrade from an OEM version) then you Might be able to use it IF you do a clean install (others will be by and give more details on this) if I remember correctly. I doubt that you will be able to do it without a fresh install (though there may be some suggestions and tutorials out there) and would strongly recommend a clean install.
Other things to consider:
Does your power supply have the 8pin CPU connector that most newer motherboards now require or the older 4 pin connector?
Your new motherboard will either require DDR4 memory or if it is a DDR3 system, still be held back with your 1333MHz RAM (1600MHz min, 1866MHz or higher preferred).
You did not mention power supply brand and model but based on your GPU I assume it should be decent. Post info to be sure.
Your case's front USB ports will be USB2.0 and I assume you will want at least one USB3.0 or 3.1 port so you will either need a new case or a new add on front panel.
I have found that it is nearly always better to build new from scratch rather than patch together one from left overs, especially if it is made through poor compromises like choosing a motherboard that can use some older components like memory rather than choosing components for the balance between features and price. Another point is that you can have your current machine running until you have all set including your files, program, preferences, emails, etc. all set, then switch over your graphics card, update the driver, and you are done. Then you may be able to wipe the drive, reinstall, remove the storage HD if needed, and sell it (unless you have need for a back up machine or for family).
Your choice of course.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


Report •

#2
October 9, 2016 at 06:19:16
Why do you need to upgrade anything? What is it that your current system isn't capable of doing?

Report •

#3
October 9, 2016 at 13:12:16
@Fingers

My computer is completely modern hardware-wise. I'm not really patching anything together, as the oldest parts in it are the motherboard and processor. (Case is a Corsair 750D and the power supply is an HX750, so no problems at all there.)

The Windows install itself is from a retail license I bought quite some time ago for my original build, so there's no OEM problems.

@riider

The i3-2100 is giving me some severe performance issues in several games, mostly games that are notably processor-intensive and manage to max out the processor. (Fallout 4, Grand Theft Auto V, some areas of Final Fantasy XIV.) It's a pretty watered-down processor to begin with, though, and I originally bought it knowing I would have to upgrade eventually.

With a processor upgrade comes a socket upgrade, which inevitably means I'll need to replace my motherboard and likely my RAM.

MSI B75MA-P45 Motherboard
Intel Core i3-2100 3.10GHz
8GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM
EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 8GB
Samsung 840 EVO 120GB SSD (Windows 7 Ultimate)
Toshiba 2TB HDD

message edited by Comguy


Report •

Related Solutions

#4
October 9, 2016 at 14:33:23
✔ Best Answer
This page claims it can be done:
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorial...

https://kb.paragon-software.com/art...

As Always, take a backup of your important data before doing anything...

message edited by sluc


Report •

#5
October 9, 2016 at 21:00:48
My point: Reply#4 --- Your alternate possibility.

"...which inevitably means I'll need to replace my motherboard and likely my RAM."
Yes, RAM will need to be upgraded.
Going with the slightly older chipset/CPU would make it possible to use RAM but not optimal. Replacing the RAM with faster DDR3 would cost nearly the same as DDR4 RAM so you might as well go with the newer chipset MB & CPU and the newer faster memory.
As long as you are upgrading MB, upgrade to the Z series chipset if you can swing the price difference as there are many advantages over the B or H series chipsets.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


Report •

#6
October 10, 2016 at 05:00:00
@sluc

I'll take a look at that article when I'm preparing everything. I have regular backups on an external drive, so I'm not too concerned about giving it a shot. The worst-case scenario is that I have to reinstall Windows if that procedure fails to work.

@Fingers

I'm definitely going with the Z-series. My current board and processor were originally bought knowing I would need to upgrade them in the near future, so I'm going to ensure I upgrade with longevity in mind.

I'll go ahead and set this thread as answered now, as the method that sluc presented seems to be the best option I have to accomplish this.

MSI B75MA-P45 Motherboard
Intel Core i3-2100 3.10GHz
8GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM
EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 8GB
Samsung 840 EVO 120GB SSD (Windows 7 Ultimate)
Toshiba 2TB HDD


Report •

#7
October 10, 2016 at 06:12:44
Enjoy and good luck.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


Report •

Ask Question