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Using Old Hard Drives with a New Motherboard

As your confidence and technical skills improve in the area of fixing computers, you may want to take on the challenge of replacing the motherboard of a computer. When replacing a motherboard, people don't often forget that the operating system on the old hard drive might not work properly.

Similar Motherboard

Replacing a motherboard with similar one is not too hard. All you need to do is connect all the old hardware up to the new motherboard and it should all work right away. There is one exception though and that is the hard drive. With the hard drive, there may be some software problems. We are going to discuss that later.

Different Motherboard

If you are trying to replace your motherboard with a new motherboard that is not similar, you will need to make sure that all of your old hardware is compatible. The RAM and CPU are the 2 key items that you will have to consider. You will probably be able to use the old hard drive with your new motherboard however.

Whether you are replacing your motherboard with exactly the same one or you have a completely different one, you are going to have problem with the operating system and the programs. To elaborate more on that: The files on your old drive, let's say C: drive may not be recognized by the computer.

If you need to get the files from your old hard drive, you will have to install the operating system to a different hard drive. After you have the OS installed, you can access your old files on the old drive. You can access files but running programs on the new drive from the old one is going to be a problem -- the programs will simply fail to run.

To make sure you have your programs running on fresh copy of Windows, you need to have the installation copies of the programs at hand and re-install them on the new drive.

To avoid the entire problem, I advise you only replace your motherboard with the same one. I also recommend that you backup all files and folders you will need. At this point, you can either go to a new drive, say the D: drive and install a fresh copy of Windows or you can reinstall Windows on your old drive. Next, you will need to reinstall the programs.

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