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New motherboard + CPU, reinstalling windows how-to

I'm replacing my motherboard CPU but using the same hard-drive so I need to do a fresh windows installs..

All my files are backed up, my question is just how to reinstall?

I know I need to put in the disc and boot off optical drive, I just need a step-by-step of what to click/type/do whatever once I boot up after new motherboard

Thanks!
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  1. Best answer
    If you're installing Windows 8 or 8.1, make sure you have your product key on-hand during the installation. You will not be able to install without it.

    You'll need to go into your motherboard's BIOS first, to set the boot order to boot from the optical drive before anything else. Obviously, after you do this, make sure your install CD is in there when you turn on your computer.

    When you turn on your computer, you'll need to hit a key to get into the BIOS... before it says 'operating system not found'. This is tricky and frustrating sometimes.

    The key you need to press for getting into the BIOS varies from mobo to mobo. Sometimes it's F9, sometimes it's F2, or F10... heck, I've seen it be DEL. Most times it'll say which key during the mobo splash screen. You might even be able to look up which key it is, check on the manufacturer website or Google it.

    Once you get into the BIOS, change to boot order so your optical drive is at the top, before 'hard drive' or 'bootable add-in cards' or anything else. Then, save changes to CMOS, and then restart. Can't give you any directions on doing this as BIOS varies from mobo to mobo, I'd have to see the screen to tell you where to go.

    After you change the boot order and turn the PC on, have your hands on the keyboard, it will ask you to press a key to boot from CD/DVD.

    After that, there are a couple things you can do.

    Since you need to do a fresh install, you can wipe (format) your hard drive and do a fresh install, or install over your last installation. There's a UI tool for this and it's not that hard.

    If you format, Windows will create another partition called 'system reserved'. Don't worry about that, that's normal.

    After you start the install, Windows will do its thing and copy files to the hard drive. The installation will take ~30 minutes, give or take. I've done this a bunch of times for different PCs, but I haven't really timed it, that's a guess. Either way it doesn't take too long, though.

    Good luck.
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