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  1.    23 May 2017 #1
    Join Date : May 2017
    Posts : 11
    Win 10 Pro

    Changing Motherboard - Does This Require a Reinstall for Win 10 Pro?


    Hello,

    I am looking to change my motherboard due to some issues. It is currently an Intel LGA 1150 based board built by MSI. I am running Windows 10 Pro 64bit. I obtained this OS via the free upgrade last summer and did a clean install via the Windows 10 installer/downloader. The product key I had used was from a Windows 8 Pro OEM copy I had purchased previously.

    I am planning on replacing the board with an AM4 based system, and I am not too sure what manufacture it will be - MSI, ASrock, Gigabyte or ASUS yet. My questions are the following:

    1) Can I uninstall motherboard drivers, shut down the PC, perform the hardware swap, boot up PC and download new motherboard drivers without reinstalling Windows 10 Pro? Any precautions to take, or a detailed process to ensure this goes as smoothly as possible?

    2) Reactivating Windows 10. Obviously the motherboard will require a re-activation process. I am wondering if this is possible since I obtained Windows 10 Pro via the free upgrade program. During install I entered my old Windows 8 product key; I am wondering if I will need to use this key again when re-activating?

    3) Assuming the two above are possible, is there any reason to continue using MSI motherboards? Is going to an MSI motherboard to an ASrock motherboard more likely to cause an issue necessitating Windows re-install than buying another MSI board?

    Do note that I will be making a back up of important data and will likely be making an image of my OS drive beforehand in the event of problems. But any advice is appreciated.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    23 May 2017 #2
    Join Date : Apr 2017
    Posts : 8,884
    windows 10 professional version 1607 build 14393.969 64 bit

    As long as you upgraded to the free version of Windows 10 you should be okay making hardware changes. This link may be useful:

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/20530/windows-10-reactivating-after-hardware-change

    How to Use Your Free Windows 10 License After Changing Your PC’s Hardware
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    23 May 2017 #3
    Join Date : May 2017
    Posts : 11
    Win 10 Pro
    Thread Starter

    Thank you for the reply. So essentially I need to make a Microsoft account which seems fairly simple. That covers the activation issue part of the question. How about swapping motherboards without reinstalling the OS?

    And after the hardware change, I'd like to go back to using a local account. Do these steps still work for removing the Microsoft account in current builds, and will the OS stay activated once the Microsoft Account is removed? :
    How to close and permanently delete your Microsoft account | Windows Central
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    24 May 2017 #4
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,416
    Windows 10 Pro

    I've moved Windows 10 from computer to computer with no driver problems with the hardware change. All of the computers in question already had digital licenses for Windows 10 so they just activated themselves. You will have to use a Microsoft Account and the activation troubleshooter to transfer the license.

    Once you have Windows 10 activated with a digital license, you can switch the user account back to a local account and it will stay activated.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    25 May 2017 #5
    Join Date : May 2017
    Posts : 11
    Win 10 Pro
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for the reply. Should I uninstall any possible motherboard drivers beforehand, or will Win 10 uninstall and reinstall the new drivers on its own?
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    25 May 2017 #6
    Join Date : Dec 2015
    Posts : 5,994
    Windows10

    hi
    Quote Originally Posted by Flogger23m View Post
    Thanks for the reply. Should I uninstall any possible motherboard drivers beforehand, or will Win 10 uninstall and reinstall the new drivers on its own?
    Well it will probably work but no 100% guarantee. If it was me I would clone old drive to a new one, and try it first. Personally if I had a new pc or mobo, I would not use an old drive with it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    25 May 2017 #7
    Join Date : Apr 2017
    Posts : 8,884
    windows 10 professional version 1607 build 14393.969 64 bit

    In this link they recommend uninstalling all drivers related to the motherboard (sound, usb etc) before switching motherboard to reduce or eliminate any potential driver conflicts: Change Motherboard Without Fresh Install of Windows; Britec) Change Motherboard Without Fresh Install of Windows - YouTube
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    25 May 2017 #8
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,416
    Windows 10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by Flogger23m View Post
    Thanks for the reply. Should I uninstall any possible motherboard drivers beforehand, or will Win 10 uninstall and reinstall the new drivers on its own?
    I did not uninstall anything first. I built my desktop computer, and had my old desktop computer left over. The hard drive from my father-in-laws computer got moved from his desktop to my old desktop because it was an upgrade. That went fine. Then my daughter's laptop needed to be sent in for repair. I took her SSD, moved it to a spare laptop - completely different make, model and hardware. That move went just fine. Then when her laptop came back from repair, that same SSD was then moved back. All with no problems at all.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    25 May 2017 #9
    Join Date : May 2017
    Posts : 11
    Win 10 Pro
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
    I did not uninstall anything first. I built my desktop computer, and had my old desktop computer left over. The hard drive from my father-in-laws computer got moved from his desktop to my old desktop because it was an upgrade. That went fine. Then my daughter's laptop needed to be sent in for repair. I took her SSD, moved it to a spare laptop - completely different make, model and hardware. That move went just fine. Then when her laptop came back from repair, that same SSD was then moved back. All with no problems at all.
    Thanks for the reply. Seems like Windows 10 will, for the most part, not have any problems. I'll still do the image as a precaution. Thanks for the insight!
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  10.    25 May 2017 #10
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    Posts : 49
    Windows 10no

    If your Windows license is oem then a motherboard change would require a new license as the oem version of Windows is tied to the motherboard.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 
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