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Moving Windows 10 to new hardware motherboard and drives

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by TCBCrider, Mar 9, 2019.

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  1. TCBCrider

    TCBCrider Thread Starter

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    I am planning to install a new motherboard and drives, an upgrade. Old one is 5 years old. I want to retain all my apps and data without having to reinstall everything or in some cases replace with new. Currently Windows is on an M.2 180 GB drive and data on a 1 TB HDD. I used the option to separate OS and apps from data for performance. I also have a graphics card that I will upgrade too. I would like to keep the same setup. I will replace the current M.2 drive with a new bigger M.2 that operates on PCie rather than SATA. The HDD I can replace either as an SSD or an additional M.2, the new board has 2 M.2 slots. I know that there are many cloning or recovery type apps available.

    • Since Windows is installed in old configuration, what happens when the new one starts up with a new and different hardware configuration?
    • Does Windows just go through a detect new hardware thing? Or would Windows fail and not startup at all? Since Windows was setup to put the OS and apps on one drive and data on another will that cause an issue? Should the old 1 TB HDD be installed in the new system to get through the initial startup?
    • Would it be better to remove the graphics card and uninstall all its drivers before starting anything?
    • I think I need to clone Windows and apps on the old M.2 drive onto a separate drive and install it into the new system. Then once getting Windows to complete installing on the new system, clone the old HDD on to something new?

    I might be making this all more complex than necessary. I fear losing Windows, apps and data when making the upgrade.
     
  2. dlipman

    dlipman

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    1. While the latest NT OS' are more forgiving in major changes to hardware infrastructure, it is possible that the changes are too much for the Hardware Abstraction Layer ( HAL ) to work as expected and may cause the system to go into a BSoD condition. Additionally the OS License is tied to the Motherboard and Serial Number. It would be seen by Microsoft as transferring the license to another system and thus cause the OS to indicate an invalid Windows 10 License. As if one license was installed on two platforms.

    2. Yes, windows will Plug 'n Play. However under the HAL conditions previously described.

    3. Not really but, It can't hurt.

    4. Instead of cloning, make an image. The difference is an Image is a disk file representation of that hard disk. You can then use that Image to restore it to a different drive. The effect will be cloning but now you have an Image "snapshot" of the system as-is at the point prior to making all the changes. "Just in case"
     
  3. Macboatmaster

    Macboatmaster Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Is the present installation on the existing board on UEFI firmware with GPT partitioning of drive
    If it is and presumably the new one will be then you will have less problems

    If the existing one is on traditional BIOS and MBR then you cannot change that to UEFI on the new one

    Firstly you MUST set up if you do not have one a Microsoft account, as that will make the activation on the new hardware far easier than with just a local account

    I presume the existing Windows 10 is not on an OEM licence eg with a branded computer and you are upgrading that because if you are with the new board and the new processor - presumably that will be new as well as the board, then it may be that 10 will not activate.

    The reason you need the Microsoft account before the upgrade is
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/help/20530/windows-10-reactivating-after-hardware-change

    You should basically follow the method here in respect of the windows 10 drive
    https://www.minitool.com/backup-tips/upgrade-motherboard-without-reinstalling-windows.html

    There is a chance, that the existing 10 will find most of the drivers and after a couple of restarts possibly on startup repair in recovery options it may boot, but I would suggest you follow the procedure above on the link AND if possible make a completely separate backup of anything important on the C drive - eg personal data - before trying that method
     
  4. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    Actually you can. From version 1803 [I think] on, you can convert a mbr install to gpt without losing anything.

    The above is good advise. Before doing anything, have a current backup of anything important.

    For the original poster. If you really really want to change boards without a clean install, first read the guide at the top of the hw forum for just this task.
    Do understand that you are going to have to reactivate win10 with the new motherboard. If your win10 is a full retail version, no problem. If your win10 is an OEM type version, then you may have some problems. MS is actually much more lenient now on activation than they used to be.

    FWIW I highly recommend you clean install windows, install your programs, then copy data files back over. Up to you. A board swap even going from mbr to gpt is possible however it may not be as stable as a clean install.
    In addition, IF your case is as described above [mbr to gpt] you are going to have to have at the very least an above normal level of skill AND be comfortable working in CLI.
     
  5. Macboatmaster

    Macboatmaster Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Re activation I agree
    and it will be a lot easier if you establish the Microsoft account as described - not that it will necessarily solve an activation problem, but methods are available with a Microsoft account that are NOT with a local account
     
  6. Macboatmaster

    Macboatmaster Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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  7. TCBCrider

    TCBCrider Thread Starter

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    Thanks for all the tips, I appreciate all the help. I built this system up nearly 5 years ago and all the hardware is original.
    • Intel 4th generation i7 processor.
    • I believe the BIOS is UEFI, American Megatrends.
    • Originally Windows 8.1 retail version updated to Window 10 now with update 1809.
    • I do have a current Microsoft account.
    • All data is on a WD Black 1TB HDD, OS and all apps on Intel M.2 180GB
    • ASUS Z971 Plus mini ITX circa 2014
    • ASUS graphics card, 970 I think also circa 2014
    My plan is to go to all new hardware. I am considering an ATX MB rather than another Mini ITX. More slots for memory. To prepare I think I will remove the graphics card, uninstall its drivers and revert to native graphics. Get the latest Windows updates. Empty the recycle bin and delete temp files. There maybe more I could do to minimize any potential pitfalls. I have looked at Acronis software to make the transfer. On their website they describe using their tools move a system to dissimilar hardware. One of their tools is a bootable USB utility.
     
  8. Macboatmaster

    Macboatmaster Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Use Acronis if you wish, personally I would not recommend it, unless you have OR are buying the paid for version
     
  9. TCBCrider

    TCBCrider Thread Starter

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    I am sure there are other utilities. I think I would buy it I may have a future need. What other ones are out there?
     
  10. Macboatmaster

    Macboatmaster Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    I sent you one on my first reply
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
  11. TCBCrider

    TCBCrider Thread Starter

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    I see that now, thanks
     
  12. Macboatmaster

    Macboatmaster Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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  13. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    You do not even have to buy acronis. You list a WD drive. You can download the WD version of acronis from the WD support site. Completely free; the only catch is that one of your drives must be WD.
    https://support.wdc.com/downloads.aspx?p=119

    FWIW I would make the bootable usb drive and do all imaging, cloning, whatever from the boot disk. That is how I image ALL of my systems.
     
  14. Macboatmaster

    Macboatmaster Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    I will stand corrected but I did not think the WD edition had that capability
    https://www.wd.com/en-gb/products/features/acronis.html

    I do however think that my good colleague crjdriver was not actually referring to the same aspect of Acronis WD

    EDIT MAYBE I am wrong if so accept my apologies - See there is a 2018 edition of WD
    Cannot determine - quickly - as I am signing off - if universal restore is on that edition of WD
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
  15. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    I have not checked lately however universal restore is usually a paid option.
    Again I recommend a clean install however if you really do not want to clean install, you should be able to swap boards if you follow the guide then shutdown. Boot with the boot usb and make an image of the system as is after you have removed drivers, proprietary software, etc, etc. Shutdown and swap the boards, ram, etc. Pw ON and it should boot into windows however windows will setup will need to restart at least once. When it is complete, then install all of your drivers, ie chipset, lan, sound, monitoring software, etc, etc.
     
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