When replacing my motherboard and associated hardware, in what order should I remove and install drivers?

Antonio November 26, 2014
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I currently have a Dell studio 540 motherboard, 4gb RAM, Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q8200 @ 2.33GHz, 2336 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s), and an asus gtx 650.

I am installing a new motherboard – MSI ATX DDR3 2600 LGA 1150 Motherboards Z97-G55 SLI, and a new CPU – Intel Core i5-4690 Processor (6M Cache, 3.90 GHz) BX80646I54690,
and new ram – Corsair Vengeance 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) DDR3 1600 MHz .

I am confused about what drivers to uninstall and how to install the new ones when I install my parts. Do I uninstall all the CPU, graphics card, motherboard drivers and then install all my new parts? Or just the parts im upgrading? Also do I have to reinstall windows 7?

  1. Will Knot
    November 30, 2014 at 4:29 am

    As a Dell Certified repairman, replacing the motherboard will cause you issues. Your Copy of Windows was installed and set to the serial of the board you had. That's the bad news, good news is you can get the Serial number from the bios of the old motherboard and hope that the new board will allow you to install the old serial number on the new motherboard.

    You did not indicate it, but is the system under warranty still because upgrading parts on a system under warranty will invalidate the warranty. From what you posted I belve its out of warranty but just in case I want to warn you.

  2. DalSan M
    November 27, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    As Oron stated, you are building a new computer per the terms of the Microsoft license agreement (new and very different motherboard from the original one). Minor upgrades or replacement generally does not count as being a "new" computer that Windows is booting from.

    Even if you were able to uninstall the drivers from your system and install the new drivers for the new motherboard, you most likely will run into problems and possible BSOD errors. It would be best to start from scratch by reinstalling Windows, though a factory restore most likely would fail. You might try getting a copy of Windows, enter the product key from your system sticker, and then select to call for activation. You might luck out and get activated through the phone system, but technically, a motherboard change would require the purchase of a new product key.

  3. FIDELIS
    November 26, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    Hello, Another thing to consider is the fact that motherboards come with a CD for drivers and programs. Depending on the motherboard, sometimes when you click the setup, it will install all the drivers needed automatically. You also have the option of picking and choosing which one to install.

    Also, make sure to check if there is any update for BIOS/UEFI

  4. ha14
    November 26, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    you should reinstall Windows 7 and activate it again (i think you will need activation via phone), i doubt that you can just boot without at least repair Windows. Best will be format the hard drive or the partition and reinstall Windows. Then you can update drivers if necessary.

  5. Oron J
    November 26, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Just to state the self-evident, tou are essentially rebuilding your computer with all-new components. If your copy of Windows was supplied with the Dell, the licence may not work with the new hardware (I'm not an expert on this question, so perhaps someone else can confirm).

    In terms of drivers, however, the order is not too important, except for a couple of things. Install the chipset drivers (if any) first, and remove the old graphics driver first (the latter is optional, just to keep things nice and tidy). Then, swap over the hardware and reboot Windows. Windows should start up and will probably detect lots of hardware devices and install them automatically.

    For graphics, you'll get the default driver ("VGA", except it will work at a somewhat higher resolution than the real VGA). So, at this stage I'd install the graphics software and restart. Once you have a proper display, you can install all the other drivers and make sure everything is working properly. Drivers that are not needed are simply not used (there are thousands of drivers _already_ on your PC which are not used), so you don't have to worry about the old ones remaining there.

    • Doc
      November 28, 2014 at 5:20 am

      Since at least Windows XP, the "VGA" driver is actually a VESA driver, supporting any VESA-standard modes your graphics card supports (for example, 800x600, 32bpp). You won't get *any* graphics acceleration until the correct drivers are installed, but at least it's not 640x480, 16 colors (unless Microsoft's default nVidia drivers get corrupted, which happened a couple of times to me with XP).

    • Doc
      November 28, 2014 at 5:24 am

      Since your new motherboard isn't a Dell product, the Dell SLIC (software license) won't be in the BIOS, and Windows 7 will not activate. Also, the drivers for the old motherboard will likely cause your system to go into a "boot loop," where Windows will refuse to load even in Safe Mode, and be unrepairable.
      I'd also make sure all of the connectors will work properly, especially the front panel connectors; Dell has been known to put a lot of front panel connectors (power switch, power LED, HDD LED, etc.) together in a group, and you'll have to separate the connections into pairs to get them connected to the new motherboard. Be careful - don't let the magic smoke out!

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