How to Replace a Motherboard Without Reinstalling Windows

Every electronic device has an expiry time, thereby motherboard as well. Upgrading the motherboard is essential for the speed, performance, and compatibility of the PC. The motherboard is the heart of the computer, which makes connections among other parts of the computer. No matter what, you have to replace the motherboard being in tech-life if it gets damaged at any point.

In doing so, the other thing is the installation of Windows. Usually, every time you replace the motherboard or CPU, you have to reinstall Windows, either 10/8/7 or any older system. Reinstalling windows results in reinstalling applications, programs, retrieving data, and all other things. Now it is a real problem. Also, you can lose essential data without backup. 

Moreover, if you try to replace a motherboard without reinstalling windows, it fails in booting without taking the proper precautions. The reason is that no drivers are there to boot windows after upgrading essential hardware. 

Therefore we prepared a good guide about how to replace a motherboard without reinstalling windows 10/8/7. In this comprehensive guide, we talk about three successful ways to replace MOBO without Windows re-installation. Effective and reliable techniques have been used for making this upgrading problem-free. So, keep your eyes and mind on the article, carefully. 

How to Replace Motherboard Without Reinstalling Windows 10/8/7

The article will discuss three methods for successfully replacing motherboards while preventing the windows re-installation process. The names of the methods are following: 

  1. Replace motherboard without reinstalling Windows with the help of AOMEI Backupper.
  2. Upgrade motherboard without reinstalling Windows by changing registry 
  3. Change motherboard without reinstalling Windows by offline registry editor 

Here we go with our first method details. 

Method 1. Replace Motherboard Without Reinstalling Windows with the help of AOMEI Backupper: 

AOMEI Backupper is the backup software that offers you to restore Windows to any computer through dissimilar hardware; this feature is called universal restore. 

The process ensures that now the computer can boot without making any changes in the windows system. However, the thing you have to do is create a backup of that needed system. Then, restore that certain data once you changed the motherboard. 

There is other recovery software as well, but AOMEI Universal Restore is the most convenient among them. 

Step I: Take a system backup 

  • Download the software named AOMEI Backupper. 
  • Run the software on your PC. 
  • Tap on the System Backup below the backup’s tab.

(All the needed data and files will automatically select as a source of backup)

  • Now, it’s time to choose the destination path to add your backup there. 
  • Start backup button pop-ups on the screen. Click on it. Also, you can take the backup in the original hard drive or any external hard drive. 

Step II: Generate Bootable Media

  • Make bootable media in advance because apparently windows can fail to boot after replacing the motherboard. 
  • Go to tools. 
  • Make a bootable media. 

Step III: Activate Universal Store

  • Tap F2 or DEL at the start of the computer non-stop for changing the boot order. 
  • Now customize the bootable disk as you did before. 
  • Loading of AOMEI Backupper’s main interface will start. Once the loading process completes, you will see the Restore option. Enter the option. 
  • For selecting the created backup, click on the select image file or task. 
  • Then, it will give you two options you must have to go with one of them. The possibilities are to Restore a partition or Restore this system backup. Select anyone to proceed further. 
  • Remember to check Universal Restore before starting the restore process. 

Method 2. Upgrade Motherboard without Reinstalling the Window by Changing Registry 

Must change the msahci key located in the registry after upgrading CPU and Motherboard in Server 2021 or Windows 8/10. While clarifying the reason by experts, the msahci key will be changing after replacement by the StorAHCI in those Window systems. Prepare yourself first hand by making an entire system image backup already. So, that registry modification will not take a sinister turn expected due to improper commands. 

Step I: Link Windows Account to Online Account of Microsoft

Already link your Windows 10/8/7 account to the online Microsoft account. Hence, you will be able to reactivate Windows even after the replacement. Below are the steps by following which you can build this link quickly. 

  1. Choose Start>Settings>Update and Security.
  2. In the left panel, you will get the activation; click on it.
  3. Enter “Add an account” located in the right panel.
  4. Now sign in with your Microsoft account.
  5. Here you are done with building the link. 

Step II: Registry Modification and Motherboard Replacement 

  1. Tap on the “Windows + R” for the Run dialog box.
  2. Type “Regedit” and press enter. 
  3. Navigate the given below key in the Registry Editor.


      4. Exactly on the right panel, double click on the start and edit the given value into 0.

      5. Plus, change the value date of DWORD Key to 0. The Key is given below.


     6. Now save the changes.

     7. Exit Registry editor. 

     8. Shut down your PC.

     9. Change the Motherboard.

    10. Finally, Windows will be able to boot without any problem.

Step III: Activate Windows after Replacing Motherboard 

After changing the motherboard to reactivate Windows 10/8, you have to follow the steps given below. However, Windows 7 might be activated itself without causing any tantrums. 

  1. Go to settings>update and security>Troubleshoot. Then, go with “I changed the hardware on this device recently.” That’s the first step after boot to command Windows 10 for reactivation after upgrading MOBO.
  2. Again sign in to your Microsoft Account there click on the “Active” button. So, the system gets the activation key from your account. 
  3. Now, if you want to change the Windows 10/8 account to a local account again, you can. 

Anyone who wants to move the hard drive to a new PC without the Windows reinstalling process can perform with this method. 

Method 3. Change Motherboard without Reinstalling Windows by Offline Registry Editor 

No problem if you forget to edit the registry before replacing the motherboard and now facing failure to boot. Here, the method which we are going to discuss will help you to overcome this issue. In this way, get ready disc installation to start your PC with the help of it. After this, you can edit the registry offline. Keep your eyes on the following guide:

  1. Get your PC started with the installation disc. 
  2. Enter BIOS. For entering BIOS, keep pressing F2 and DELL repeatedly. 
  3. Set disc as a first boot option.
  4. Tap on F10 to store the modifications and then restart.
  5. Customize the settings the way you want; afterward, choose to repair your PC to go further. 
  6. Go to Troubleshoot>Advanced Options>Command Prompt. 
  7. Then type Regedit and choose the “Enter” for opening the Registry Editor. 
  8. Now check the key, which is HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, and highlight it. 
  9. Select the File and Load the Hive. 
  10. Open the system file by choosing the system drive. Typically, C:\Windows\system32\config\system that’s a path. 
  11. When you type a key name, you get the “Offline” mode; click OK to confirm. 
  12. Check the given keys “ HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Offline\ControlSet001\services\msahci and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Offline\ControlSet001\services\pciide .
  13. Adjust the start values of the keys to 0.
  14. You will have an Offline Key highlight it, and select the file option. Then unload the Hive for making back the changes you did. 
  15. Close the Registry Editor. 
  16. Restart the PC to modify the settings of the BIOS. Finally, remove the disc and use your computer the way you want. 

Windows 10 still has not booted?

If any user still cannot boot Windows 10, then the possible problem is choosing the wrong boot mode. For instance, the new motherboard uses UEFI boot mode while the old or original MOBO works with legacy BIOS. 

To figure out that’s the exact problem, follow the instructions. 

  • Restart your PC and direct towards BIOS.
  • Select Boot and adjust the option of Legacy boot priority to change the mode you want, such as; right now, you should go with UEFI. 

Windows License Key Activation 

Windows license key is of three different types, which are following: 


OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. This license has already been integrated into the hardware you buy to link with the motherboard. 


You purchase this retail license to transfer it among the multiple PCs.


Volume license comes in a significant volume means in bulk which is usually purchased by large organizations. Organizations such as universities, businesses, or governments take this license to activate various installations with only a single key. 

However, if the system’s license is retail or volume, it automatically activates the windows once it connects to the internet. In contrast, if the key is OEM, you have to start it by smartphone. Because this key is locked into the original hardware, it takes only a few minutes to proceed, so have a tea and relax. 

How to Check Your License Key?

It figures out which license key has been integrated into your device, right-click on This PC or My Computer in Windows. You will see certain functions among them choose Properties. Scroll down to the screen’s bottom and check the Product ID. If in the second group you find OEM, then it will be the OEM license key. In case there is no OEM so that it will be volume or retail.

Moreover, if you get a license key from Microsoft, it will be a retail key. OEM key usually comes with pre-integrated windows 10/8/7. While huge organizations usually purchase the volume key. 

 Another way to figure out Windows 10 license type: In the start menu search bar, write Command Prompt. Click on the best possible match. Now, input the slmgr-dli command. Wait until the Windows Script Host screen appears. In the description, you get the type of license key. It will mention the kind of license your system has. 

Activate with Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 product key: With the development of Windows announced, the old Windows system such as 7 and 8.1 will be given a free upgrade of the latest version. However, this upgrading process changed the older systems license key to the digital license for the new setup. 

This process left many users of windows without a particular product key. The only information in the settings remains is that of having a digital license. If Windows 10 is not activated and installed through Windows 7/8/8.1, use the former product key. To do so follow the instructions given below:

  • Tap on the Windows Key + I
  • Choose update and security.
  • Open Activation.
  • Click on the Change Product Key, which is located right under the Update Product Key. 
  • Type the License Key of Windows 7/8/8.1
  • Select Next.
  • Now Windows 10 will activate.

If Windows Still Having Issues 

If windows still have trouble installing on your system, the issue is not in the license activation. Maybe the real issue is the driver conflict which can happen in the replacing process. This problem has been chiefly seen in the 8 and 7 windows, which doesn’t mean it can’t occur in Windows 10. For this, you have to boot into the recovery drive. Plus, troubleshooting and diagnostic tools can prove beneficial in this case. 

Within the installation media, you will get many options that offer you to use the troubleshooter. It will give you access to automatic repair. Use it and fix the problem. If drivers don’t permit you to fix the troubles, go with a boot to safe mode and disable those drivers. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I reinstall windows without replacing a new MOBO and CPU?

However, there are many reasons for reinstalling windows; it doesn’t limit replacing a new hardware device. Maybe, your old system is not responding to your PC, so you have to upgrade to the latest Windows. Also, any internal damage might occur in your system; even then, you have to reinstall Windows. So, you can reinstall windows whenever the need arises. 

Can I change my motherboard without reinstalling Windows 10?

Yes, you can change your motherboard without reinstalling Windows 10/8/7. Above the three ways discussed you can read all of them and find which one is best for you. Still, you must backup all your essential data and applications into any hardware device, such as USB.

Do I move the license of Windows 10 to any other computer?

Yes, you can. For this, you have to remove the license. Once it clears, you can transfer it to another PC. Besides, if you want to move all licenses or look for the free upgrade by older systems, the permit will soon deactivate. While Windows 10 does not contain a deactivation option so you can use the reset option. With this reset option, you can do this. 

Does replacing the motherboard result in computer data loss?

No replacing motherboard, RAM, and CPU will not accept the data of the CPU. Your data remains stored in the hard drive. However, reinstalling new windows will result in data loss so, if you reinstall your system or damage your hard drives, the consequences will be harmful. Don’t worry; this dedicated post on restoring data and reactivating needed windows will save you from the disappointment of data loss. 

Can I change the CPU as well, like the motherboard, without reinstalling windows?

Yes, you can do the same with the Processor. Whenever you replace the hardware, such as CPU and motherboard, test them before. A damaged device can contaminate your PC as well, and you can fail to boot. Falling boots means losing the privilege of a running system. So make sure the hardware is compatible, follow the way mentioned above to upgrading motherboards and CPU. 


A PC is the collection of needed files, data, programs, software, and many more necessary for your work or personal life. At the same time, reinstalling a window would result in losing all this critical stuff you can’t afford sometimes. Mostly you see such a problem while replacing a new motherboard, CPU, or other hardware devices into your PC. Moreover, any damage to such parts may also result in replacing them. Once you change such a device there, you have to reinstall your Windows, and reinstalling Windows results in data loss. 

Therefore, we have prepared a detailed guide about “How to Replace Motherboard without Reinstalling Windows.” The guide talks about three effective ways of changing MOBO with Windows reinstalling and other essential details. Remember, every method depends on a particular situation, so you must read and understand them carefully. 

Now remain your date safe while replacing the MOBO and reactivating a new Windows on the operating system. I hope so; the article will prove beneficial for you. If you find it helpful, share it with your friends and family facing the same issue. Apart from this, if you still have any confusion so comment down. We’ll try to help you best. Best of luck!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I replace the motherboard without reinstalling Windows 10?

Yes, you can replace the motherboard without reinstalling Windows, but often the Windows does not work well. This is why it is recommended to reinstall Windows after changing the motherboard to ensure the PC runs smoothly.

Does changing the motherboard remove Windows?

If you change the motherboard of your PC, Windows will not be able to find the license that matches the device and so it will not be able to run. You would need to activate the Window by adding the digital licenseThis is why it is recommended to reinstall Windows after changing the motherboard.

Can I change my motherboard without reinstalling Windows 7?

No. After changing the motherboard, Windows 7 will probably fail to run. That is why you would need to either reinstall Windows 7 or create a bootable DVD or CD to restore Windows 7.

Can you just swap out a motherboard?

If 100% of your old hardware is compatible with new motherboard, which is rare, then you can just swap your old motherboard with new one. But you will most likely need to install a few new and compatible hardware components along with the motherboard.

Aleem Iqbal
Aleem Iqbal is a hardcore gamer since childhood. He developed his passion for writing due to gaming. He is a graduate of Virtual University. He started writing about 4 years ago.