Changing Motherboards - Windows 7

Say, Windows 7 home is loaded on hard disk. Need to change motherboard. Wish to keep the existing programs intact that are loaded into Windows 7.

Can I re-install Windows 7 on top of the existing installation so that it detects the new motherboard?

Please provide detailed steps.

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McKnifeCommented: describes what needs to be done before moving to a new board. The article is for xp but also valid for win7.

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shaunwinginAuthor Commented:
Its not using the same hardware and these instructions assume same hardware.
Old and new motherboard are both ATA.
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
Swapping the preinstalled version of Windows to another motherboard does have other implications though. Unless you are resident in various parts of Europe manufacturer supplied versions of Windows are locked to the motherboard they were supplied with and may not activate on a different board.

The only real exceptions to this are where the board has failed and is replaced with an identical one by the manufacturer.

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First it depends on your OS and location. If it is an OEM version of Windows 7, which is very likely as it is a home version, then you can only move to other hardware if you live in the EU or Switzerland. In that area you can usually get the OS reactivated for the new hardware when you call M$. In other countries the restrictive m$ OEM policies apply and you wouldn't be able to reactivate your license. In those cases you'd have to buy a new Windows 7 license.

The simplest way would be to use one of Paragon's imaging tools to make a backup image of your old HD, and then restore it to the new hardware using the adaptive restore option which takes into account the new hardware.

What would make the most sense though would be to do a fresh installation on the new board, and then carefully only install the software you need (it is very likely that you have a lot of old and useless stuff on the old installation which you don't need, and that just slows things down and bloats the system. There could also be malware etc already installed... A fresh, clean install counters that. Then just restore your data.
shaunwinginAuthor Commented:
This is not an OEM version but a full blown version of Windows Home.
andreasSystem AdminCommented:
So is your old Motherboard still running, if yes here is another tutorial on how to change mainboards.

But the old system still needs to be operational to do this, if the old Hardware dies already its much more hard to move an existing installation.
shaunwinginAuthor Commented:
old mother board is dead....
As I mentioned already, the most sensible thing to do would be a clean, fresh installation.

But you can also use Paragon.
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
As you don't have the old board then a repair (or even running the install of the new motherboard chipset and drivers in Safe Mode) should have you back up again.
"Its not using the same hardware and these instructions assume same hardware." - no, wrong. It assumes different hardware.
my experience has shown me that windows 7 is very forgiving on changing  new motherboards
there can be problems in some cases, but in general, once it starts, it just installs the needed drivers for it.
After this, inspect your device manager and install all drivers you still want installed

Since you have a genuine windows DVD, may i ask why not install it afresh?   that is always the best solution.
then install the drivers - then the needed software + updates
It is no more or less forgiving than xp - no driver for the storage, no booting, as simple as that. Thing is, starting with vista, Windows has generic sata AHCI controller drivers included (MSAHCI) - unlike xp which didn't. that's why it seems to be "more forgiving".
It's not just the SATA drivers. XP used different kernels (or whatever they were called) for different CPU's. If I remember correctly there were at least 3 such versions out of which the correct version got selected and installed at the installation of the system. Later OS's had all those combined into a single file so that wouldn't make a difference anymore.
i found many booting problems with XP in such cases, and not with Windows7
of course, the bottom cause is the same, but it looks like winddows 7 handles it a lot easier
Paragon includes a tool in many of its products called the P2P Adjust OS Wizard (P2P standing for "Physical to Physical"):

The PSP Adjust OS Wizard can be run from recovery media without having to perform a backup/recovery of the drive, although if you don't have a backup of the drive you might want to create one first.

The cheapest program they have with this tool may be Backup & Recovery 15 Home for $39.95:

See page 196 of the manual here:
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