Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Replacement MOBO, CPU Upgrade, W8 Reinstall Required?

  1. #1

    Replacement MOBO, CPU Upgrade, W8 Reinstall Required?


    so it appears that my mobo is on it's way out (according to the manufacturer, based on the symptoms i reported) and it will need to be replaced, the manufacturer will be shipping out a replacement this week, same board. prior to my mobo problems i had planned to upgrade my processor and memory, and have since decided that i'll go ahead and do this once the replacement board arrives. so my question is will i have to reinstall windows 8 (pro/64) after i install the new hardware? or, since the mobo will be the same, will i be fine, even with cpu upgrade? about 5+ years ago, with a different pc, using windows xp, i upgraded to a completely different mobo and cpu and xp booted right up, all i had to do was reactivate it, that was all, didn't have to reinstall xp or any of my other programs. iirc i followed some instructions that i found on the net, that outlined how to install new hardware without having to reinstall windows and other programs, worked like a charm. anyway, it would be great if i didn't have to scour the net for the same type of instructions this time around, and that it will be a simple process given i will be using the same mobo, albeit a replacement. any thoughts?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Texas
    Posts : 1,022
    Windows 8.1


    I would think that if you are using the same motherboard, things should work the same. However, changing out the CPU and RAM may make a difference.

    If Windows 8 runs true to form, the new CPU and RAM should be recognized; however, as we all know, Windows 8/8.1 don't exactly conform.

    I'm guessing that you have already checked to be sure that the new CPU and RAM are compatible with the motherboard. If so, then the worst case scenario is that you would have to reinstall . . .

    Is this a self-built system or an OEM?

    If it's an OEM, I would first install the new mobo and the old CPU and RAM. I'm pretty sure you'd get a boot from there. The reason for this is that if your system is OEM, your product key is embedded and if it becomes necessary to reinstall, you'll need that embedded key.

    I use the free version of Belarc Advisor: Belarc - System Management For The Internet Age. Software license management, IT asset management, IT security audits and more. to get MS product keys, and there are some others that have been published here, such as this tutorial: Product Key - Find for Windows 8

    Hope this helps.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    I replaced the Celeron on mu eTower with a Core Duo E4700, it had WIndows 7, I expected it to make me re-activate, but it didn't. Ram and CPU are one thing, Motherboard is another, if yo swap out the MB, you will have to re-install.

    But before you do it, try the DISM restore health command, run it from a command prompt off the install disk, see if that acts like an In-Place Install. Because the only way to really repair the OS is to do an In-Place Install, which you cannot unless you can boot to Desktop and run the Setup.Exe. I don't think it can be done from within Safe Mode.
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  4. #4


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    Windows 8 is very smart about re-installing drivers for your new PC because I've done it. I just took the HD and put in the brand new built PC with different MB, RAM, Video etc... and it will recognize and re-install all the drivers needed for your new PC and all the installed applications will be there. However, You'll need to re-activate Windows with your license key with the new MB. Replacing any other devices will not affect activation.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    Interesting, I'll have to try that. 7 was finicky, although I did move my drive from one system to another and it booted on a few occasions.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by topgundcp View Post
    Windows 8 is very smart about re-installing drivers for your new PC because I've done it. I just took the HD and put in the brand new built PC with different MB, RAM, Video etc... and it will recognize and re-install all the drivers needed for your new PC and all the installed applications will be there. However, You'll need to re-activate Windows with your license key with the new MB. Replacing any other devices will not affect activation.
    yep, that's what i've concluded after doing some more research, including talking to a couple of hp field tech guys who told me that they've done this very thing (mobo replacement, cpu upgrade) many, many times and no w8 reinstall was required, just reactivation. i was also told that a cpu upgrade alone (or other hardware for that matter) would not trigger a reinstall with w8, and that in just about all cases neither would a mobo upgrade, w8 will just detect the new hardware and automatically install the necessary drivers, or prompt for the driver disk. anyway thanks for your reply topgundcp, your assessment appears to be spot on, and thank you to the other posters. also, fwiw, my computer is a hp z1 all-in-one workstation which i use as a pc, it was quite an upgrade from my old pc, can't say enough about these machines, they absolutely rock and are upgradable, especially given that you can often pick them up for a song on ebay, with a great hp business warranty intact that covers all hardware, quick on-site support if needed, and great phone tech support with zero wait time, the difference in support between consumer and business is incredible.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    Thank you for reporting back. Even though Windows will run with the new hardware. Please open the device manger and double check if everything is OK. In some cases, it does not update all the drivers, you might have to install the Chipset drivers for your new mother board.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by topgundcp; 10 Nov 2013 at 11:06.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    well i think that's common practice whenever new hardware is installed, even when doing a fresh install.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Replacement MOBO, CPU Upgrade, W8 Reinstall Required?
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