Swap motherboard, reinstall windows?

I currently have an i5-6500 and I'm thinking of upgrading to a new coffee lake cpu, probably the i5 again. Currently running windows 10. Anyway, if I do that, will I need to reinstall windows again? Or will the system recognize everything new and just work?

I have windows running on a 512mb m.2 drive, so I was just going to swap that over to the new board. I don't think the other storage drives will be a problem, I was just hoping to not have to reinstall everything all over again
Reply to tkline
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More about swap motherboard reinstall windows
  1. Before you begin it is wise to perform a backup if you don't have one. The new MB will have a chipset driver which probably won't be compatible with your current setup. It's possible it will work, but probably not.
    Reply to t53186
  2. you shouldn't need to whenever I've swapped cpu or motherboard it's been fine just plug it in again and it should just boot into windows
    Reply to ben5768
  3. I have all of my important stuff on my regular sata storage drives, they should be fine but of course I will back everything up first. The m.2 drive just has windows and my apps like Photoshop, etc. It would just be a lot to have to redownload and reinstall. I keep my games and job files all installed on the other drives so they should be fine.

    A long time ago (like 15+ years) the last time I did a big upgrade like this myself, windows wouldn't even boot and I had to reinstall it. I think it was Windows 98 though so hopefully things are better these days :)

    Separate question.. I saw there's a Crucial 1tb sata m.2 drive going for like $270. I thought about swapping to that and having that replace my system drive and separate drives, 1TB is more than enough for me. Is it possible to clone my system drive over to that, or would I definitely have to reinstall everything if I did that?
    Reply to tkline
  4. tkline said:
    I currently have an i5-6500 and I'm thinking of upgrading to a new coffee lake cpu, probably the i5 again. Currently running windows 10. Anyway, if I do that, will I need to reinstall windows again? Or will the system recognize everything new and just work?

    I have windows running on a 512mb m.2 drive, so I was just going to swap that over to the new board. I don't think the other storage drives will be a problem, I was just hoping to not have to reinstall everything all over again


    Swapping motherboards is a 100% maybe.
    It may just boot up, it may fail horribly.
    Anyone that says "it always works" simply has not done it enough times to see it fail.

    Prepare for a full reinstall.


    And for the licensing/activation, Read and do this before you change any parts:
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/20530/windows-10-reactivating-after-hardware-change
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/id-3164428/windows-build-1607-activation.html
    Reply to USAFRet
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