Changing Motherboard without reinstalling Windows...


Honorable Member
I have an Intel Motherboard which I am changing to a Gigabyte one.

If I were to do this myself, I would take proper steps to insure that Windows will boot with the new hardware. I would update my Intel Sata controller driver to a Standard AHCI 1.0 Serial ATA Controller. Then, SHUTDOWN the computer (not restart), then install the new Motherboard and all should be fine. Windows should install the new drivers.

The problem is, my computer is being serviced for free at the place I purchased it from. So I don't have access or communication with the lab. I'm sure they are professionals but I want to be sure they don't mess up my C drive or drivers. So I have a few choices:

1. Update the controller driver to Standard, turn off the computer and send it to the lab (maybe with a note, asking that they install the motherboard BEFORE they turn the computer on).

2. Trust them that they know what they are doing and hope they will first turn the computer on, uninstall the Intel controller driver, and then install the new motherboard.

p.s. I know if I tell my concerns to the guy at the computer place (It's a huge Company with a network of stores all around the Country), he will say something like "Don't worry, they know how to change a motherboard. It'll be ok", but you guys know how these big companies work... the lab may not get the message.

So what would you do?


New Member
I wouldn't trust them an inch.
I'd take a full system backup before the machine goes - or even take the HD out and let them do the hardware bit, while keeping the software bit to myself.

Having said that, the chances are that a reinstal will be necessary whatever happens, as the HAL is likely to be different - you will certainly need to re-activate, and since this is likely to be an OEM license, that could present problems of its own, as such licneses are invalidated by upgrading the motherboard. Transfers to a new motherboard are only valid under warranty conditions for failed boards - not upgrades.


Honorable Member
Thanks for the reply.

I don't think the HAL should be a problem since the CPU is the same and It's only the mobo that's changing.
About backups, I always have a week old Acronis Backup on a separate drive so that's not an issue. (Of course, my latest backup will be with the old motherboard).

About the Microsoft license, the licence agreement actually DOES say:

“An upgrade of the motherboard is considered to result in a “new personal computer” to which Microsoft® OEM operating system software cannot be transferred from another computer. If the motherboard is upgraded or replaced for reasons other than a defect, then a new computer has been created and the license of new operating system software is required.

But since I bought the computer less than 2 weeks ago and I am changing the motherboard because of false information they gave me, (I should have done better research) they said they would take care of the new license.

Your suggestion of taking out the C drive is good but I WOULD like them to be able to check if the C can run the OS without error after the new installation.


New Member
I would suggest that as soon as you get the new machine back, you run an MGADiag report and post the results to check that they haven't scammed in a counterfeit copy of Windows.
Unless this machine is a highly customised one, it would probably be cheaper for them to provide you with a complete new one, and resell the old as a refurb, than to do what they seem to be proposing.


Honorable Member
Thanks for the reply.

I doubt that would be an issue, like I said, it is a major network of computer stores - one of the biggest in the Country here and everything is legit with them. It wasn't the licenses I was concerned about. Furthermore, it IS highly customized. I only purchased some components from them and put it together myself. If you're interested, these are the specs:

Intel DP67BA, (Now will be Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3) Intel Core i7 2600k (The 'k' is for overclocking) 3.40GHz, 8 Core, 16GB Kingstone RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB, 120GB SSD HDD for OS, 10 Gigabytes Usable Hard Drive Capacity, 4x1T RAID 0 on Adaptec 2405 controller, 2 x 24" MAG monitors, Viewsonic VT2300 LED monitor on HDMI for third video output, Window 7 Ultimate 64-bit.


New Member
Looks like a fun machine!
This is one reason why Home-builds don't actually qualify under the OEM System Builder license - which you should have read before cracking open the packet :)
Home-builders are expected (if not actually required) to use Full Retail licenses.
See here......
OEM System Builder Licensing

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