Motherboard Exchange — Micro Center

Motherboard Exchange

Having issues finding a solid answer. Not really a fan of the Aorus Master mobo I got for my build and looking to exchange it. Gigabyte Fusion is a nightmare and faulty software as well. My only concern is putting the new mobo in. Will I have issues with just putting the mobo in? Will I need to do a fresh install of windows? Thanks

Comments

  • Hello @Tpat57!  Welcome to the Micro Center Community!

    I feel you when it comes to the Aorus motherboards, I personally want to swap my Aorus Ultra z390 for an ASUS motherboard.  Disliking the aesthetics and placement of the nice parts are all blocked by my GPU. 

    Anyways, back to going back to the motherboard, you do not need to reinstall windows since it's all installed on a drive that you reconnect to the new motherboard.  Unfortunately however, is that Windows License keys tend to be tied to the motherboard and it is possible that your Windows will not be activated upon swapping your motherboard.   

    What I would suggest doing before swapping your motherboard is linking your Windows License to your Microsoft Account.  You can do this by: 
    1. Opening your Settings
    2. Select Update & Security
    3. Select Activation
    4. Ideally you see "Windows is activated with a digital license linked to your Microsoft account".  If not, click Add an Account and go through the prompts of signing into your Microsoft Account.
    Once linked, you can swap your motherboard.  Sometimes Windows is smart and will auto-activate after recognizing the rest of the hardware has not changed.  If not, you will need to use the "Activation Troubleshooter".  Follow steps 1-3 above, but instead of doing step 4, you click on the Troubleshoot option.  A box should come up with an option at the bottom of it saying “I Changed Hardware on This Device Recently", click on this and follow the prompts.  

    Keep in mind Windows can be a bit wacky at times and if this doesn't work, we recommend contacting Microsoft and explain that you swapped out your motherboard and want to reactive your Windows License.  

  • RGB software in general can be finicky. There's no standard and each manufacturer has the own method. So far as swapping the board, generally you'll be fine. So long as nothing drastic has changed on the board, mainly the storage controller mode. As an example if your existing board is AHCI, and you swap in another board that defaults to IRST/RAID, it's going to BSOD on startup. Easy enough to fix, pop into safe mode for a minute and let it install a driver for you.   You'll be good to go on a reboot.

    Windows 10 does a pretty good job of this. Older operating systems like 7 would either boot or die. Windows 10 will stop during the boot, it'll install the additional devices that have changed and then boot. Treats it almost like the OOBE in this regard and works quite well. I would backup your data, or make sure you have a SATA bridge, or external enclosure to easily recovery your data with just in case, but you most likely won't have any problems.
  • TSPhillip, Thanks! I already have my windows linked to my Microsoft account so no concerns there. I kinda regret going with the Aorus one now. My last build was with a Hero X mobo, should've just gotten the Hero XI for my new computer. Lesson learned. I still have my activation code and such from the packaging too. Here's to hoping I don't have to make new tube bends when the new mobo goes in. Off to drain my loop. 
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