Do I Have To Reinstall Windows With A New Motherboard?

Do I Have To Reinstall Windows With A New Motherboard

Are you planning to upgrade your motherboard or even CPU? Then you must be asking- uh do I have to reinstall Windows with a new motherboard? Then know that the answer is that- it depends.

If I Buy A New Motherboard, Will I Have To Install Windows Again?

You should know that Microsoft thinks of a new CPU or motherboard as a whole new machine. So generally, you will need to install Windows again. However, there is another thing at play here, and that’s the kind of Windows installation you have. So if you have Windows 10 or 7, then you might not need to install another Windows by buying it.

Also, note that if you are installing the very same motherboard model and version (but new), then it’s possible that you might not have to reinstall Windows. However, this isn’t a guarantee.

I know that this is plenty confusing, so let me tell you about two significant scenarios and what you will have to do in such cases.

New Motherboard + OEM Windows

Have you installed OEM Windows 10 by using a system-builder disc on an old system? That too before deciding to use a new CPU and motherboard?  Then get ready to buy Windows 10.

Also, a note- know that OEM means Original Equipment Manufacturer. So if your system is HP, Dell, Compaq, or something else like this, then that’s an OEM version of Windows. If you installed OEM Windows 7 before upgrading to the 10th version, then that upgraded Windows will get considered as OEM as well. So it will not be seen as a different Windows version.

New Motherboard + Newly Bought Retail Windows

If you bought Windows 8 or 7 on DVD before upgrading to Windows 10, it would still get considered a full-fledged retail version. As a result, you will be able to transfer that to a brand new machine or motherboard. But do note that you will still have to reinstall Windows from the beginning. After all, the older installation won’t work at all on the newer hardware.

Note that you will have to activate your Windows over the phone in this scenario by calling Microsoft simply. Once you do that, you will have to inform them that you have upgraded your CPU or motherboard.

After this, the activation code attached to the old system will get revoked and be made invalid. Then, you will get a new code for your new system from Microsoft.

Can You Boot In Your Windows On The New CPU And Motherboard?

The truth is that you might be able to do that. However, it won’t work correctly or work well in the long term. Know that you might experience system crashes or see weird error messages. This happens because every Windows installation is unique and specific to just the computer where it’s getting installed on.

As such, it contains specific hardware and driver for just that computer. So if you change that, then those settings aren’t valid anymore.

What Is The Best Option?

If you are moving to a brand new PC or using a new motherboard, you need to create a virtual machine or disk image of your existing system. Note that this upgrade should happen before you carry out the upgrade.

After that, copy the user data straight from your virtual machine/backup or new system. Know that this is simply the only 100% method that will work without creating problems.

Whether you have to reinstall Windows with your new motherboard or not depends on a lot of conditions. I have listed all the possible scenarios above. Choose the option which works best for you. If you encounter issues, then you can call Microsoft support as well. They will guide you on how you can use your motherboard with Windows.

About the Author Michael E. Yates

Hi! The words you are going to read comes from me! A geek passionately and a writer of 5+ years professionally. If you ask about my likings, well, I love to tag along with upcoming technology trends. Though I also have contributed to many more technology sites through my writings. If you ask about my dreams, then one of them is finding an instant solution for every device malfunction, so I am creating a blog post. A blog post that will help more people like me. I, introduce the result of my hard work and patience. Do not worry, with me and my team behind the computers will make sure every vital information related to technology reaches all of you people. So, if you are ready to go on an adventurous ride with and me, let's get started!

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