Planning to have a Motherboard swap done. Also want to see if I can without reinstalling windows. — Micro Center

Planning to have a Motherboard swap done. Also want to see if I can without reinstalling windows.

So as it says in the title, I am planning on having my motherboard swapped at Micro center. I am making this post because I wanted to try calling the store, but every time I tried calling these past two weeks, the hold line was always full, so I'm trying again here on the community page.

I have done some research that this is a risky thing to do since booting on dissimilar hardware could damage the windows installation, especially if one mobo is AMD and the other is Intel. While mine are both AMD, my new motherboard is from a different manufacturer. These are the specs for each:

Old:

  • Mobo - ASUS 970 PRO GAMING/AURA
  • CPU - AMD FX-8350
  • GPU - EVGA GeForce GTX 960

New:

  • Mobo - MSI B450 GAMING PLUS MAX
  • CPU - AMD Ryzen 5 3600
  • GPU - MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Super
For further info, I started with an OEM copy of Windows 7 when I first built my computer in 2016, but after I upgraded to Windows 10, my license became tied to my Microsoft account, which according to this, should be fine.

I do hear that most people would just reinstall Windows due to something about the boot drivers possibly conflicting, but not only would that mean having to reinstall every program I have, I would also lose Windows Image Viewer (which carries over from 7) as I do not like 10's default program for viewing images. Additionally, there do seem to be ways to do a swap and keep your installation as shown herehere, and here, but I also want to be walked through the most reliable way of doing so, especially since I don't want to uninstall the wrong things with the latter two, as they involve uninstalling your old drivers before doing anything.

I also want to know if I can just simply load a system image on the reinstallation process if I do have to go through with that, or if Sysprep works with Windows 10.

Sorry if this is a lot, since this is something I really want to be careful about. Any help would be appreciated, thanks!

Comments

  • The best answer we're going to be able to give you here is probably, maybe. There are a couple of factors to consider. First windows 10 is definitely an improvement. Windows 7 would boot or crash and that was it. Windows 10 will at least halt the startup and it will install your new hardware or at least attempt to, like on an initial installation. Windows 10 generally does fine with this, but it's never guaranteed.

    Main thing to watch out for that will cause a BSOD is your storage controller mode. Check the old BIOS and see if it's in PATA/IDE, AHCI or RAID. You should match this on your new board. It can be changed later on, with Windows 10 you just need to get into safe mode and it'll boot fine then automatically install a driver for the storage controller type. The one to watch out for is the PATA/IDE, it won't exist on your new board. If you run into that, let it crash until you're in the recovery environment, then go into safe mode. If it boots, it'll load a driver. You'll most likely be in AHCI though.

    I looked at the first guide you linked. They do reference what I mentioned about the storage controller modes. In Windows 7 you had to edit the registry in safe mode to fix this, Windows 10 does it automatically. It looks like they're suggesting creating a backup image first. However, it's a cloned image. If the install crashes on startup, the image is going to do the exact same thing. It is a good idea to have a backup just in case though.

    Sysprep is for repacking installs. You'd use in a fresh install if you were installing software for someone then wanted to repack it so they could have the out of box experience, but still have those programs already installed. Not relevant for what we're doing here. It is still present on Windows 10 though, works the same as it did before.
  • BC795BC795
    edited June 20
    TSMikeW said:
    Main thing to watch out for that will cause a BSOD is your storage controller mode. Check the old BIOS and see if it's in PATA/IDE, AHCI or RAID. You should match this on your new board. It can be changed later on, with Windows 10 you just need to get into safe mode and it'll boot fine then automatically install a driver for the storage controller type. The one to watch out for is the PATA/IDE, it won't exist on your new board. If you run into that, let it crash until you're in the recovery environment, then go into safe mode. If it boots, it'll load a driver. You'll most likely be in AHCI though.
    Thank you. and if I do have to switch the storage controllers, I can just switch it back to something else once it's up and running, right?

    Also, I checked my BIOS, and the storage controller is on AHCI.
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