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Offline Ghost Spaghetti

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Replacing a motherboard
« on: December 09, 2016, 02:17:59 PM »
So, the motherboard of my current PC crapped out on me and I'm considering the options of either attempting to replace it or just giving up and buying a wholly new one.

I don't have a lot (read any) experience in undertaking hardware replacements or upgrades, so my question is, is this something I should attempt and risk throwing a motherboard's worth of cash away, or is it a relatively easy process that any monkey who can work a screwdriver should be able to complete?.

Re: Replacing a motherboard
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2016, 02:32:46 PM »
Its easy enough.  Screws, cabels, cpu.  Just gotta make sure you have the right cpu and memory for said motherboard.

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Offline SexWarrior

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Re: Replacing a motherboard
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2016, 02:34:22 PM »
I'd say it's relatively simple, so long as you buy the right motherboard. Depending on how techy you are, that may or may not be a minor challenge. Long story short, you'd need to ensure that your motherboard is the right form factor for your PC chassis, and that it will be able to support all your other components. That challenge would pretty much disappear if you were going for a like-for-like swap.

No doubt there are plenty of general guides online, and the actual execution of the tasks should be simple. Pretty much just a glorified shape sorting puzzle. As long as you're relatively self-confident and patient, I'd say go for it.
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Offline Ghost Spaghetti

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Re: Replacing a motherboard
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2016, 02:37:29 PM »
One problem I've seen reading guides online is the potential need to re-install windows. Since I don't have the windows disc, this could be an issue. Is it a problem if I'm not changing the processor or the hard drives?

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Offline SexWarrior

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Re: Replacing a motherboard
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2016, 02:57:01 PM »
One problem I've seen reading guides online is the potential need to re-install windows.
Ah, I forgot about Windows.

Getting an installation medium (USB stick or disc) is not necessarily a problem (Microsoft offers a tool* that will automatically download and create a USB stick for you). It might also be unnecessary to reinstall. If you're replacing like-for-like, it should still all work.

However you might run into licencing issues. I'm not completely up to speed with that part, so please double-check me, but I believe most OEM Windows licences ("I got my computer and Windows was already installed out of the box" would be the most common example of an OEM licence) are bound to the motherboard. If I'm not mistaken, this might mean that replacing the motherboard could imply having to pay for Windows again.

* - Older versions of Windows available here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/software-download/
« Last Edit: December 09, 2016, 03:02:57 PM by SexWarrior »
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Re: Replacing a motherboard
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2016, 04:32:17 PM »
Yeah, windows will bitch unless it's similar enough that you have the drivers.

BUT you might be able to boot into safe mode to install the drivers needed.

SW is right about the OEM though, depending on which one.  But if you have a dell PC or something you can usually get the install disks sent to you.

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Offline SexWarrior

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Re: Replacing a motherboard
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2016, 04:34:14 PM »
I really don't think the discs are the problem. Most OEM licences bind themselves to the unique identifier of the motherboard, which gets checked online during activation

When something like that happened to me some 6 years ago, I managed to talk it out with Microsoft, but I really can't vouch for how successful that is these days.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2016, 04:36:00 PM by SexWarrior »
<Parsifal> Jesus Christ
<Parsifal> Do I really have to write 6000-word sentences just to remove all ambiguity from everything I'm saying?

Where live, do the offer adult reading classes?

Re: Replacing a motherboard
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2016, 07:17:25 PM »
I really don't think the discs are the problem. Most OEM licences bind themselves to the unique identifier of the motherboard, which gets checked online during activation

When something like that happened to me some 6 years ago, I managed to talk it out with Microsoft, but I really can't vouch for how successful that is these days.


Yeah but couldn't hurt to have the disk anyway.

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Offline junker

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Re: Replacing a motherboard
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2016, 07:38:54 PM »
If you swap with a different model of motherboard, then you will run into driver issues. If you don't have media to restore it handy, you can try running sysprep before you swap the motherboard, which will purge custom drivers. Not guaranteed to work but is your best shot without a reinstall. Open an elevated command prompt, navigate to \Windows\System32\Sysprep and run :

"Sysprep.exe /oobe /generalize /shutdown

It will shut down your computer when complete. Don't turn it back on before swapping motherboards.

SW is correct regarding OEM Windows licensing. It is bound to the motherboard. Depending on how old your hardware is, you may simply be able to use the key on the license sticker (if you have one). This is not in compliance with MS licensing but it will get you functioning until you can figure something out. Newer hardware doesn't even come with a license key sticker, as SW mentioned it runs a check against an ID on the motherboard.

Windows usually prompts to reactivate with a significant hardware change, but there's usually a 3 day grace period to give you chance to figure something else out.
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Re: Replacing a motherboard
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2016, 07:57:03 PM »
If you swap with a different model of motherboard, then you will run into driver issues. If you don't have media to restore it handy, you can try running sysprep before you swap the motherboard, which will purge custom drivers. Not guaranteed to work but is your best shot without a reinstall. Open an elevated command prompt, navigate to \Windows\System32\Sysprep and run :

"Sysprep.exe /oobe /generalize /shutdown

It will shut down your computer when complete. Don't turn it back on before swapping motherboards.

SW is correct regarding OEM Windows licensing. It is bound to the motherboard. Depending on how old your hardware is, you may simply be able to use the key on the license sticker (if you have one). This is not in compliance with MS licensing but it will get you functioning until you can figure something out. Newer hardware doesn't even come with a license key sticker, as SW mentioned it runs a check against an ID on the motherboard.

Windows usually prompts to reactivate with a significant hardware change, but there's usually a 3 day grace period to give you chance to figure something else out.
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