Upgrading motherboard w/o reinstalling Win 10?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Engr62, Apr 14, 2018.

  1. Engr62

    Engr62 [H]Lite

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    I'm upgrading the motherboard in my home theater PC from an ASRock H81M-ITX to an ASUS H87I-Plus. The H87I has more serial ports (6 vs 2) and also has a USB 3.0 header to route USB to the front of my NCASE M1. I intend to use the same CPU (Xeon E3-1231 v3 -- i7-4770 equivalent).

    Back in the day (circa Win 98), I could never just pop in a new motherboard without re-installing windows and have it work reliably due to the motherboard drivers.

    Can I do the swap without re-installing Windows 10? My reasons for not wanting to re-install the OS are two-fold:

    1) I have a copy of MS Office 2016 Pro installed on the computer, and I can't use the activation code again.

    2) When I install a fresh copy of Windows 10, it invariably gets stuck at some point during all of the updates (especially the big ones), and I have to jump through hoops (removing some of the updates) to get it to go forward.

    The new motherboard has a Win 10 license tied to it. So, will it activate and update any motherboard drivers?

    Thanks!
     
  2. MacLeod

    MacLeod [H]ardness Supreme

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    I still think it's always best to install a fresh OS when you do a motherboard swap but you don't have to.

    You can drop the motherboard in and use the chipset drivers that come with the board if you have an optical drive or download them off the Asus website and everything should work fine. I've done this before and had no problem but it was always on systems running stock setups with no overclocking or tweaking.
     
  3. Zepher

    Zepher [H]ipster Replacement

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    Windows 7 was good with hardware swaps, and so is 10.
    I am not sure if Sysprep is part of Windows 10 but that is what I used on XP, and 7 had it but I never needed to use it.
    Sysprep will remove the drivers and basically do a mini-setup once the system is booted back up.

    Not sure what will happen with activation, if it fails, just give MS a call.
     
  4. lesterf1020

    lesterf1020 n00bie

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    I have good and bad news for you. I recently did exactly what you did but with different hardware. Windows 10 had no trouble with the motherboard switch and booted fine and installed most of the drivers. I installed the new ones with no trouble. I had one issue with my soundcard but a reinstall of the drivers fixed that.

    Now for the bad news. Both windows and Office 2016 needed reactivation. Neither of them told me that up front so I had to actually check to find out that both of them failed activation and were in their respective grace periods. I had to buy another Windows 10 license but fortunately I had a spare Office 2016 license so I could use that. None of my other programs had an activation failure.
     
  5. owcraftsman

    owcraftsman Gawd

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    I recently upgrade a Z170 to a Z270 moving all the other components to the new system. I had to call in and comfirm my old board took a crap and the new one was the replacement. Pain in the butt but it worked fine. Office 365 ws still activated and no changes were required.

    After several Blue screens due to over clocking I decided to do a clean install. As per usual I use a minimum config and bios optimized defaults when installing the OS. Meaning onyl the devices necessaey to boot were used. For example; One OS drive one GPU CPU Memory PSU and standard keyboard and mouse. In others words leave the junk for after OS install.

    Once OS is Install, I setup the same username and used the same email and password to my Microsoft Account as was used on the previous system. NO activation was required. I logged into my MS account to download and install Office 365 and again no activation was required but I did have to deactivate the old system found by using a unique "Computer name."

    I've been doing this for years as far back as windows 98. Since Z97 & Windows 7 it has become wayless complicated. I have swapped out same chipset moved from Z97 to Z170 and Z170 to Z270. That said, I do take percautions learned over the years. Such as uninstall chipset drivers, removing addon devices and there drivers, using a minimum config but all is relitively painless these days with Windows 10.

    I do recommend downloading the latest drivers for your stuff and putting on USB stick ahead of the fresh install. The minimum config though is the key. Let windows update it self not all your drivers for all you devices. Add those non essential devices after the OS install using their latest drivers and it all should go smoothly.
     
  6. Dermen

    Dermen Limp Gawd

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    I went from an FX-8320 to an i5 2500k to my current i7 6700k with the same windows install. Had no problems at all. I think I may have had to activate windows afterwards but I didn't have to call or go through any hoops, just clicked activate. This is with retail Win 10 Pro.
     
    pendragon1 likes this.
  7. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    h81 to h87 should be a matter of a couple reboots to get drivers going and then maybe reactivate win10.
     
  8. Engr62

    Engr62 [H]Lite

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    Thanks for all of the help. However, it turns out the H87 itx board had a bad DIMM slot. With only one DIMM slot populated, the board would boot. However, with both DIMM slots populated, the fans would spin up for a second, then down for a second--repeating endlessly. I tried several DIMMs in both slots, and no matter what, it wouldn't boot with the DIMM slot closest to the ATX PSU hook-up populated.

    I'm really disappointed. I was really hoping to replace my desktop PC with the ITX (NCASE M1) build. But I just can't do that with the H81 board (with no USB 3.0 header for the front panel and only two SATA ports).
     
  9. MrGuvernment

    MrGuvernment Pick your own.....you deserve it.

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  10. Engr62

    Engr62 [H]Lite

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    Not sure what you mean. ????

    Nevermind. I see you were talking about using "sysprep". I thought you meant I failed to do something that mind have caused the 2nd DIMM slot to act up.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018