Getting a new motherboard and a CPU is probably one of the most exciting things that you can upgrade your PC with besides a new GPU. However, as exciting as it is, there is that one thing no one likes to do, and it is to ask themselves “Do I need to reinstall Windows…again?”. But do you really? Well, let’s find out.
In a hurry? Well, the quick answer this time is that you can, the better question is if you actually should avoid reinstalling windows. In order to avoid reinstalling, you simply have to de-activate your key from the current windows, as it is bound to your current hardware, kind of. Once you do so and implement the new components, simply re-activate it. We still suggest a full reinstall for the best performance.
Do I Have To Reinstall Windows With A New Motherboard?
Reinstalling Windows is something nobody is a fan of, as it can take quite a while to do so, especially if you do not happen to own an SSD.
One of the most common questions towards technicians is “If I buy a new motherboard do I have to reinstall windows?”, and while a lot of technicians are going to tell you that you should reinstall Windows, you do not really have to do it, even if it is probably easier and faster.
However, keep in mind that there are a couple of beginners mistakes, that unfortunately, even some technicians who have been in business for years tend to forget now and then. That mistake is the part where your Windows key is tied to your current “unique hardware profile”.
What does that mean? Well, every PC uses that profile in order to load all the correct drivers as you turn on your computer and make the Windows boot up. If you happen to change a component before you inform Windows about those changes, it will find an error in something called “signature verification”.
What is signature verification? Whenever Windows is installed, it will be attached to your motherboard. If you do something crucial such as to replace motherboard, for example, Windows will not be able to identify that signature, and it will request a reinstall.
So, is the answer to your question “Do I need to reinstall windows with new mobo?” a yes? Not really, if you happen to prepare your current Windows for the new motherboard with new drivers.
Those drivers can either be found online, but it is much safer to simply install them over the disc you receive in the box of your new motherboard.
Another thing that you will probably have to do with the change of hardware is to re-activate your Windows. Before you re-activate the windows, it is important that you check what kind of license do you have.
There are 3 different licenses, OEM, Retail, and Volume. OEM is the one you do not want to have, as it is tied up to the motherboard and cannot be changed to a different one.
In order to check which license you have, enter the Command Prompt, press win key + R, type cmd, and press ok. Then simply type slmgr –dli, and it will tell you what kind of license do you have, or if you have one at all.
If you happen to have a digital license, follow these steps:
- Sign in to your PC with an administrator account.
- Select the Start button and open the Settings menu.
- From the Settings control panel, select Update & Security, then Activation.
- From the Activation menu, select Troubleshoot.
- Click any option that says there was a recent hardware change on your device, then select next.
- Provide your Microsoft Account login details and check the box that states, “This is the device I’m using right now.”
- Select Activate.
In case you do not have the digital license, you can use these steps instead:
- Sign in to your PC’s administrator account.
- Click the Start button, and then select Settings.
- From the Settings control panel, select Update & Security.
- Select Activation.
- Select Go To Store. This will redirect you to the Microsoft Store, where you can buy a new license.
Can You Change CPU And MOBO Without Reinstalling Windows FAQ
Do I Need To Reinstall Windows With A New CPU?
The answer to the common question of “Does changing CPU require os reinstall” is much easier to answer than the “Upgrade my motherboard do I need to reinstall Windows”, because even if it’s a very valuable component of your computer, it is not as crucial as the motherboard, hence the complications are much smaller.
In most cases, if you swap out the CPU, the Windows is going to recognize it, and it will figure out what to do, especially with Windows 10 or 11.
Of course, make sure that your new CPU is actually compatible with your new motherboard because if it is not, even the Windows reinstall is not going to help you with that unfortunate situation.
Do I Need To Reinstall Windows 10 When I Change The Motherboard Or Processor?
If you change your motherboard, you do not have to reinstall Windows, but it is usually recommended to do so, as there is often about 20% decrease in performance.
The decrease is not necessarily always there, but if you really want your machine to run like clockwork, doing so is highly suggested. Sometimes reinstalling takes less time than struggling with the driver updates if you are inexperienced.
On the other hand, changing a CPU does not require a reinstall of your Windows as it is not tied to it at all, where the motherboard is. The new CPU is going to get recognized by your Windows and it will run without issues.
Can I Change Motherboard Without Reinstalling Windows?
Yes, you can, and all you have to do in order to do so is follow the instructions in our article above. However, if you find it too complicated, it is probably easier to simply reinstall the Windows instead of fiddling with activation and drivers only to inevitably end up reinstalling anyway.
Does Changing Motherboard Affect Windows 10?
It does, or better said, it affects the license that your Windows is tied to. Upon changing the motherboard, Windows will no longer register the signature verification due to hardware change. You can go around this by deactivating Windows on your current motherboard before replacing it.
Do I Need A New Motherboard For A New CPU?
If you happen to get a new CPU, the bad news is that you will probably have to get a new motherboard to go with it. The reason behind it is the chipset compatibility that motherboards have. If you are replacing your CPU with an identical one, or one from the same generation, there are chances that it will be compatible, but you should still check it before you do any hardware changes.
In case you upgraded your CPU to a new generation one, you definitely have to upgrade your motherboard if it is an older generation.
This is quite unfortunate, and while discovering the fact that you have to get the new motherboard is pretty bad, the part where you physically have to change all the components is even worse and no one loves doing this.
Final Words About Do I Need To Reinstall Windows With New Motherboard
If you had the patience to go through our article, you have probably discovered the answer to your question of “Do I need to reinstall windows with the new motherboard and CPU”.
If you are experienced with Windows licenses and motherboard drivers, you are probably not too upset as it will be quite a breeze to avoid installing Windows. But if you did not understand any of that, reinstalling is better and easier.