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Hardware Upgrade require re-format?


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#1
mrtypr

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Hi guys

I want to upgrade my PC:

Motherboard
CPU
RAM
GFX card

Do I need to re-format? I want to upgrade my hardware but really dont want to reformat

If it is possible how would I go about doing it without re-formatting?

Do I remove all the old drivers and reinstall the new ones?

Or simply install the new drivers over the top of the old ones?
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#2
admin

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Does this system have Windows 7 you show in your profile?
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#3
mrtypr

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yes it does, did you want me to post a dxdiag ?
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#4
Digerati

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Understand that for licensing purposes, when "upgrading" to a new motherboard, that is considered a new computer and therefore, you need a new license for Windows, and perhaps other programs you have installed on your current computer too. The ONLY exception is if your current Windows license is a "Full Retail" license - that is, bought separately at a retail outlet AND not an OEM or upgrade license. An OEM (or System Builder) license is tied to the "original" hardware it was purchased for, or came with. Upgrade licenses are tied to the original license - typically an OEM.

Therefore, if your current Windows license came with your current computer, it is most likely an OEM version and cannot be transferred legally to this new computer. And so you would need to buy a new license, or use one of the free Linux alternatives.

But to answer your question specifically, since you are using a new motherboard (which consists of MANY distinct hardware devices on one board), new RAM, new CPU, and new graphics card, I would urge a new format and fresh install regardless. Remember, when any operating system is installed, it is configured for the hardware it expects to see with the hardware-specific drivers already loaded and configured in that installation. And simply slapping in an old harddrive with an OS configured for totally different hardware is likely to cause the system to choke upon first boot. A fresh install ensures proper configuration for all the new hardware.

So I recommend you copy off any data files you don't want to lose, then, with your new copy of Windows, format the drive and do a fresh install. That assumes your old harddrive is a nice SATA 3.0 drive - otherwise, if it is old technology, it will just be a bottleneck for your new hardware.
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#5
admin

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Digerati is spot on, and makes a good point regarding licensing. However, this has been my experience. Before Windows XP, you had to reformat and reinstall when changing to a different motherboard. With Windows XP, you could do a repair install after installing the new mobo. Windows 7 and Vista I've been successful just installing the hardware and rebooting. No special steps needed. Windows will take longer than usual to boot, and may offer a message on startup that it needs to reboot to repair startup issue, but other than that it's been pretty seamless. Of course, your experience may vary.
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#6
mrtypr

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cool thanks for the info

My version of windows was bought separate and I installed it onto a new SATA drive I also bought with it. Just not sure what version of sata it is? 2.0 or 3.0? Is there anyway I can find out without looking pyshically looking the hard drive?
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#7
Digerati

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Check in Device Manager under Disk Drive. It may report the model number, then plug that into Google. Note that SATA 3.0 is the same as SATA II. The first version supported 1.5Gbit/sec transfer, and 2nd version 3.0Gbit/sec. They are both totally compatible, but of course, faster is better.

You say you bought Windows with the drive. That is often how OEM versions are bought - with hardware. You need to look at the disk itself. If it says OEM or System Builders, then it was bought for your old computer.
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#8
mrtypr

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No i didnt buy it with the drive

I bought it separately, and I had a new 1TB hard drive already installed which still had no data on it, and I installed Windows 7 on that

that is what I meant

I checked online and i think its SATA 3.0 because on the Western Digital site under the model no (WDC-WD10EADS-00P8B0) it says its SATA 3 Gb/s
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#9
Digerati

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Then it sounds like you are good to go.
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#10
mrtypr

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As in being able to upgrade without re-formatting?

Or still recommened formatting?
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#11
mrtypr

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As in being able to upgrade without re-formatting?

Or still recommened formatting?


??
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#12
Digerati

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As admin indicated, you don't have to reformat.
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#13
mrtypr

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OK ill give it a go when i get my hardware

Worst case Ill just re-install
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