Changing to a new motherboard with Windows 7

We have a notherboard that is fairly old, and has some issues. We have purchased a newer board, a different brand, although similar configuration as to memory and expansion slots. We will keep the same cpu and peripherals. My question is, will Windows 7 freak out when we change this board? Or will it recognize it in the way it recognizes other hardware changes?

When we put the new board in, should we just start it right up?

If we do have to reinstall windows, will windows 7 reinstall without having to format the drive?





If you are updating the motherboard it would be a good time to add a faster drive and use the
existing drive as 2nd in the computer. Then clean install to the new drive.

If you want to try it (not really recommended).

Make sure you have backups of the data in redundancy in method and manner (several backups
done using different programs/methods and duplicates). Do you have another drive or a big
enough partition you can copy the data?

The danger in trying is you can make the old installation unbootable and then you would not be
able to access the data unless you put the drive into another computer to access it or into an
external hard drive case. Either of those should allow you to copy the data to removable media
such as CD, DVD, or other USD drives (best is in another computer as 2nd drive).

No way to be sure. Windows 7 might work it out - be sure to have the new motherboard CD/DVD
ready and/or have previously downloaded the new drivers, and any upgrades such as BIOS and
low level chipset drivers. If Windows 7 boots you should also do a Repair Installation which allows
you to keep the existing programs and data though redundant backups are always a good idea.

The more the boards are different the less likely it will work - different processors, BIOS, low level
chipsets, on-board sound, video, NIC, WiFi, and other factors come into play. You will likely have
to remove old drivers, flash BIOS and change its settings, install low level drivers and deal with
differences in any on-board hardware or if add-on hardware is changed.

How to Do a Repair Install to Fix Windows 7 (Windows has to be able to run to use this)

Be prepared to have to do a Clean Install, which is best anyway, as sometimes even
duplicate motherboards will not allow the change without one

Here is a guy that succeeded : (the ones that fail rarely post about it)

Another success story

Hope this helps.

Rob Brown - MS MVP - Windows Desktop Experience : Bicycle - Mark Twain said it right.
Rob Brown - past Microsoft MVP - Windows Insider MVP 2016 - 2021
Microsoft MVP Windows and Devices for IT 2009 - 2020

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Question Info

Last updated February 21, 2021 Views 8,834 Applies to: