Swapping motherboards LGA 1150, keeping all other components the same

Hi everyone,

I built my first PC almost a full year ago and everything works perfectly, but looking to make a small upgrade. These are the components I currently have:

Intel i5 4460
MSI h81m-p33 motherboard
8gb ram
120gb ssd
1tb wd hard drive
evga gtx 1060 3gb

Recently picked up a nice Asus h97 motherboard on the same LGA 1150 platform and looking to swap out my MSI motherboard for it. Am a little bit of a noob on the process of swapping motherboards. I have Windows 10 on my ssd and about 10 games on my hdd. If I delete all of the motherboard drivers on the control panel can I boot Windows 10 from my sdd without reinstalling it? Can I keep the games on my hdd without uninstalling them and reinstalling them? Any insight would be very appreciated.
Reply to btenn4
6 answers Last reply
More about swapping motherboards lga 1150 keeping components
  1. A new motherboard may dictate a new OS install.
    Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not.

    Prepare for if it does not.

    In either case, 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
  2. Thank you for the reply and providing me with the links on the Windows 10 reactivation. I read through the instructions but still a little bit unsure. Under Settings > Activation, it shows Windows 10 Education Edition and below that "Windows is activated with a digital license". I have a 25 digit Windows 10 code with Windows 10 installed on a CD-R.

    Besides the OS, I am curious also about what will happen with the data on my HDD if I do the motherboard swap? Can I still play the games on there without reinstalling them? I have GTA V and the 5 or 6 installation disks on there and it would take for ages to reinstall again.
    Reply to btenn4
  3. btenn4 said:
    Thank you for the reply and providing me with the links on the Windows 10 reactivation. I read through the instructions but still a little bit unsure. Under Settings > Activation, it shows Windows 10 Education Edition and below that "Windows is activated with a digital license". I have a 25 digit Windows 10 code with Windows 10 installed on a CD-R.

    Besides the OS, I am curious also about what will happen with the data on my HDD if I do the motherboard swap? Can I still play the games on there without reinstalling them? I have GTA V and the 5 or 6 installation disks on there and it would take for ages to reinstall again.


    If you have an actual purchased Win 10 with a valid license key, you can use that.

    Currently, is everything on one drive in a single partition?
    If so, and if a reinstall is needed....all that is "probably" gone.
    Reply to USAFRet
  4. USAFRet said:
    btenn4 said:
    Thank you for the reply and providing me with the links on the Windows 10 reactivation. I read through the instructions but still a little bit unsure. Under Settings > Activation, it shows Windows 10 Education Edition and below that "Windows is activated with a digital license". I have a 25 digit Windows 10 code with Windows 10 installed on a CD-R.

    Besides the OS, I am curious also about what will happen with the data on my HDD if I do the motherboard swap? Can I still play the games on there without reinstalling them? I have GTA V and the 5 or 6 installation disks on there and it would take for ages to reinstall again.


    If you have an actual purchased Win 10 with a valid license key, you can use that.

    Currently, is everything on one drive in a single partition?
    If so, and if a reinstall is needed....all that is "probably" gone.


    I have games only on my 1tb hard drive, no games on my solid state drive just windows 10. I have seen videos on youtube of people that test games just swap hard drives between pc's
    Reply to btenn4
  5. btenn4 said:


    I have games only on my 1tb hard drive, no games on my solid state drive just windows 10. I have seen videos on youtube of people that test games just swap hard drives between pc's


    Videos on utube are not representative of real life.
    Sometimes it works, sometimes it fails horribly.
    Sometimes it works, but with lingering issues you only see later.

    Prepare for a full reinstall. And leave the other drive disconnected until everything is up and running with the new hardware.
    Reply to USAFRet
  6. Just wanted to put a finale to this thread and say I successfully installed my new motherboard, did not need to reinstall windows, did not need to merge it to another account, and I did not have any problems accessing my games on my hdd. Everything went without issue and was way easier than I expected. All I did was remove the drivers from the old motherboard, swapped hardware, installed new drivers and was good to go.
    Reply to btenn4
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