PC Upgrade - porting the hard drives?

Posted 22nd Feb
I've posted before about upgrading my PC, and didn't go through with it back then for various reasons. But I have a sneaking suspicion that the coronavirus outbreak might have an impact on component prices (my excuse anyway), so I'm looking to do it now. Current setup is an i3-2120 (yes, really!) which, paired with my 1060GT GPU is OK for running even RDR2. But it's so long in the tooth I'm going to refresh with a Ryzen processor, for which I know I'll need new RAM and motherboard.

My question is, will I simply be able to plug my old hard drives into the new mobo and (providing they have the same drive designations) everything will be tickety-boo? Or (as I suspect!) is it more difficult than that?

Community Updates


I can only speak for Windows 7, but a new motherboard will require an os repair (shouldn't take more than 30 minutes).
From experience, you should be fine with most recent versions of Windows (Win 7 onwards). You might find that the OS might update a few drivers but it shouldn't have any major issues providing the installation works ok. Basically, if you manage to boot into Windows, it should be ok.

If you are using Windows 8 or 10, the Windows Product Key is linked to the Motherboard, so when you change motherboard, you will need to reactivate Windows using your actual product key. If you struggle, Microsoft support will help you via chat, etc.
My 5cents, get an M.2 NVME ssd and install a fresh os in it, you will see life with a very very different angle, normal ssd won't cut it, better save for all essential components and then enjoy the speed (there is always a need for speed), as for os, just use win10 with 7 key that will work, 10 isn't that terrible after all.
The rule is: new hardware = fresh OS
Ideally fresh OS install, app re-install and data restoration. Otherwise work on an imaged source drive to see if the OS can sort itself on new hardware. If not, a succinct generalisation would be to use a cloning / imaging program offering "restoration to dissimilar hardware" or similar. Acronis True Image offers that facility via imaging and although a commercial product it is available as a free to use bootdisk and free download direct from the software developer. Throw it on a USB stick (via Rufus?) or quaint CD / DVD and you should be good to go. Prudent to only work on an imaged source disk and assumes you have decent backup regime to fall back on to protect against software/hardware issue (or user error ! ).
650MB d/l direct from Acronis dl.acronis.com/s/A…iso
Optional ISO to USB tool Rufus rufus.ie/
Although it will no doubt work, new hardware probably worthy of a fresh OS install etc.. As mentioned will need reactivating either way.
No chance it will work.

Fresh install needed
markvirgo22/02/2020 20:23

No chance it will work.Fresh install needed

My flabber was ghasted when I shoved an SSD containing an old w10 installation into a new rig and it booted to desktop no issue before I had time to google which was the boot selection F key. Hardware between the systems was a few generations apart. Go figure. But I certainly wouldn't rely on that quirk for a regualrly used machine.
Post a comment



    Top Merchants