Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Upgrading Motherboard and CPU with Window 8.1

  1. #1


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1 64 bit Full Version

    Upgrading Motherboard and CPU with Window 8.1


    Hello,
    I am having a hard time getting a clear idea of what to expect when I change out my motherboard and cpu. I currently have a M5A99FX Pro 2.0 (AM3+) with a FX 8320 processor. I bought the full version of Windows 8.1 and installed the 64 bit version on my computer. I still have the install disc and product key. I am going to install the MSi z97 Gaming 5 with an Intel i5 4690k processor. I want to have access to everything that is currently on my HDD, my games, certain programs, and Word. What is the best way to transition? I have read about re-installations and re-activations, but how do these processes impact my data and my access to this data? What should I do before I shut down the computer and put in the new mobo/cpu? What should I do when I turn the computer back on with everything installed and the old HDD plugged into the mobo? A thorough answer would be much appreciated. Thank you.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10


    There are a few issues you are going to face..
    One is the hdd has all the machine specific info, hardware id's and the such.
    There is also a chance that the system will lock you out, once the mobo change happens.. Backup your Data before playing with hdd data and info
    This info should be cleared from windows by using this command when you shut down - > Sysprep /generalize /shutdown

    Another issue will be activation - since the activation is based on hardware - you change your hardware - your activation will fail..
    You will have to activate by phone and let them know you change out a dead MOBO and receive an activation code.

    As far as other software activations or licensing - some yes and some no..

    But all in all, you should pretty much be able to keep your data..
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 2,627
    win8.1.1 enterprise


    What should I do when I turn the computer back on with everything installed and the old HDD plugged into the mobo
    backup any data thats important to.

    its been awhile since I did something like you are doing , I did not change hardware ,just a hdd that I took from another [different ]tower also had win8.1 on it, it worked for me ,but I really don't remember what issues I had if any ,but I do not remember having to call to reactivate activate though
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1 64 bit Full Version


    Quote Originally Posted by KYHI View Post
    There are a few issues you are going to face..
    One is the hdd has all the machine specific info, hardware id's and the such.
    There is also a chance that the system will lock you out, once the mobo change happens.. Backup your Data before playing with hdd data and info
    This info should be cleared from windows by using this command when you shut down - > Sysprep /generalize /shutdown

    Another issue will be activation - since the activation is based on hardware - you change your hardware - your activation will fail..
    You will have to activate by phone and let them know you change out a dead MOBO and receive an activation code.

    As far as other software activations or licensing - some yes and some no..

    But all in all, you should pretty much be able to keep your data..
    I spoke to a Microsoft representative today. He didn't appear very knowledgable and said that I might have to reactivate, which would only involve calling Microsoft. He said that would be the only possible issue. He didn't mention machine specific info or anything about drivers.

    Can you clarify about the machine specific info on the HDD? How do I enter in that command? Is there anything else I need to do after I enter it?

    Also, what do you know about drivers? Should I uninstall drivers before making the switch? If so, which ones? Your help is much appreciated, thank you.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1 64 bit Full Version


    Quote Originally Posted by caperjack View Post
    What should I do when I turn the computer back on with everything installed and the old HDD plugged into the mobo
    backup any data thats important to.

    its been awhile since I did something like you are doing , I did not change hardware ,just a hdd that I took from another [different ]tower also had win8.1 on it, it worked for me ,but I really don't remember what issues I had if any ,but I do not remember having to call to reactivate activate though
    Thanks for your response. This gives support to the possibility that there won't really be any issues. I have heard that Windows 8.1 makes these transitions easy.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 2,627
    win8.1.1 enterprise


    Quote Originally Posted by anerickso View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by caperjack View Post
    What should I do when I turn the computer back on with everything installed and the old HDD plugged into the mobo
    backup any data thats important to.

    its been awhile since I did something like you are doing , I did not change hardware ,just a hdd that I took from another [different ]tower also had win8.1 on it, it worked for me ,but I really don't remember what issues I had if any ,but I do not remember having to call to reactivate activate though
    I have heard that Windows 8.1 makes these transitions easy.
    I was surprised it went so well actually
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Marion
    Posts : 111
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    If you do move your hard drive to the new system, Windows 8.1 should install all the device drivers for the new system, however, you will have to reactivate Windows, due to its a different motherboard.

    I've done this before, and this is what I've experienced. Transitioning Windows 8.1 from one machine to another is not an easy task. Windows 8.1 is currently configured to your AMD machine, and is configured to be optimized for that machine. I moved a hard drive and the processor to a new intel motherboard, and Windows 8.1 installed all the device drivers for the computer, but it had a few troubles with the boot configuration, power configuration, and the overall performance of the computer was very poor. I ended up Refreshing the PC, as it will keep all her files, but uninstall all programs, and return Windows to factory defaults like a fresh installation. I had to reactivate Windows, but it ran fine after the Refresh.

    When I get a new machine, I always just install a clean copy of Windows and reinstall all my programs, and if I want my data transferred to the new computer, i'll just do a manual transfer, or restore the files from the file history from the other computer.

    Hope this helps.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1 64 bit Full Version


    Quote Originally Posted by lmaneke View Post
    If you do move your hard drive to the new system, Windows 8.1 should install all the device drivers for the new system, however, you will have to reactivate Windows, due to its a different motherboard.

    I've done this before, and this is what I've experienced. Transitioning Windows 8.1 from one machine to another is not an easy task. Windows 8.1 is currently configured to your AMD machine, and is configured to be optimized for that machine. I moved a hard drive and the processor to a new intel motherboard, and Windows 8.1 installed all the device drivers for the computer, but it had a few troubles with the boot configuration, power configuration, and the overall performance of the computer was very poor. I ended up Refreshing the PC, as it will keep all her files, but uninstall all programs, and return Windows to factory defaults like a fresh installation. I had to reactivate Windows, but it ran fine after the Refresh.

    When I get a new machine, I always just install a clean copy of Windows and reinstall all my programs, and if I want my data transferred to the new computer, i'll just do a manual transfer, or restore the files from the file history from the other computer.

    Hope this helps.
    Great thank you for sharing. I have been waiting to hear something like this. This is has been my fear, that the operating system will have poor performance without a refresh. I am going to start preparing for a refresh and accept that I will have to just re-install everything. I don't want anything disrupting the performance, performance is why I'm getting a new processor! Thanks again.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Marion
    Posts : 111
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    You're welcome. I had done this with my wife's computer, and it was not a fun process.

    Good Luck.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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