The Chatterbox => Computing => Topic started by: Zephlar on January 28, 2020, 01:45:35 PM

Title: New Motherboard will require a format?
Post by: Zephlar on January 28, 2020, 01:45:35 PM
Long story short I have new parts and am getting ready to build a new gaming PC. My original plan was to upgrade the parts (and MOBO) in my wife's PC, and use her old parts on the new case I have.

I have never done a MOBO swap like this before so I did some reading and honestly I'm not totally clear if it's possible to replace the MOBO without losing everything.

Her old MOBO doesn't even support DDR4 I don't have the model info in front of me. This is the new MOBO (https://www.newegg.com/msi-b450-tomahawk-max/p/N82E16813144267?Item=N82E16813144267) I bought.

Regardless Spectere I figured you could probably dumb this down enough for me to understand the risks etc.
Title: Re: New Motherboard will require a format?
Post by: Spectere on January 29, 2020, 08:33:19 AM
Nah, nowadays you can swap with reckless abandon without really running into any issues. Windows XP was a bit weird about it in certain circumstances (namely, swapping between single core and SMP—HyperThreaded/multicore/multi-CPU systems) but even that could accommodate swaps better than most people gave it credit for. Vista and newer are even better at handling that.

I can't really think of any risks, as Windows 10 will be able to fall back to generic drivers until the optimized platform-specific drivers get installed. The only driver I would download proactively is the Ethernet driver, since there's the possibility that the board might ship with a newer network card than what Windows directly supports. As long as you have Internet access Windows should be able to take care of the rest of it on its own. You should be able to snag that driver from MSI's site.

I would also recommend getting rid of any board-specific software on your system before you do the swap. For example, a lot of boards will ship with temperature monitors, overclock assist utilities, lighting configuration utilities, and stuff like that. They should refuse to run on the new board, but I'd ditch them early just to be on the safe side.

If you're swapping the GPU, uninstall the AMD/NVIDIA software before you swap the components over. If you're going to be using the same GPU you can safely keep the existing drivers, though I would recommend reinstalling them after the dust settles just to be on the safe side.

Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any more questions. :)
Title: Re: New Motherboard will require a format?
Post by: Zephlar on January 29, 2020, 03:16:04 PM
It does, though I ended up talking to a local store .He's a pretty honest guy, young Korean gentleman, and I've been to him before. He basically told me the risks aren't worth it. I even mentioned uninstalling all the drivers first and he still felt it was too at risk to blue screen with all the new hardware going in.

As honest as I perceive him to be I did get a little suspect of how adamant he was about it.

Regardless I decided not to upgrade her PC and just use all the new parts on the new case. The new case is better anyway and my wife didn't have anything she's tied down to on her current PC that we couldn't just re-install or move so we decided to just switch hers out with the new one. All around that was the easiest path I think for me.

The only thing I want to swap at this point is the Liquid Cooling unit from her old one to the new PC. My sister is living with us and will be using the old PC. She's a big ol lesbo and she's excited about her rainbow fan (https://www.newegg.com/thermaltake-ux100-argb-lighting-cl-p064-al12sw-a/p/N82E16835106593?Item=N82E16835106593) more than anything else lol. That and Stardew Valley.
Title: Re: New Motherboard will require a format?
Post by: Spectere on January 30, 2020, 09:01:24 AM
Some people are still really leery about migrating drives from one system to another, but in my experience you can even swap from AMD to Intel, and vice-versa, on XP if you're careful. I generally don't do that on my personal rigs since I see a new build as an opportunity to clean things up (plus, I do most of my serious work in Linux anyway nowadays, and I'm more than capable of migrating that without reinstalling), but my dad's consistently carried his Windows install across for three systems—including jumping from AMD to Intel when I gave him my old rig—and went through multiple Windows upgrades and he hasn't run into any issues.

Even if you do run into issues, it's not like you're going to lose your data unless you explicitly reformat the drive. Even if you install Windows over itself (Vista and up—XP and under handled this differently) it's good about making a Windows.old directory and dumping all of the stuff that would have otherwise been replaced in there.

To go into a bit more of the nitty gritty, there's a few layers to the way that Windows handles hardware. The first is the HAL—hardware abstraction layer. This is a platform-specific piece of code that determines what kind of PC you're running Windows on. In pre-Vista versions of Windows this is determined by the installer and the system would fail to boot if the incorrect one was installed. Generally speaking, most XP systems either used ACPI multiprocessor PC or ACPI uniprocessor PC, and this is the main reason why XP might refuse to boot if you switched from a single-core/single-CPU build to a multi-core build. When a lot of people refer to having issues during upgrades, this is actually what they're referring to. Swapping hal.dll with the correct one will allow the system to boot.

Since Vista, however, all applicable HALs are now installed and the correct one will be chosen on boot.

As far as drivers are concerned, barring non-plug-and-play drivers—exceedingly rare nowadays outside of things like drive emulators—Windows will only load what it needs. It's been like this to some extent since as far back as Windows 95. If drivers were baked into the system, even swapping a sound card would be a bigger deal than it is. Generally speaking, the only thing that gets impacted when you swap anything out are pieces of software designed to control very specific hardware. Everything else generally falls in line after a bunch of reinstalling and a reboot or two.

Preemptive response! If you ever wonder why Windows has to reinstall drivers for things that you move over from your old system (like your GPU, if you're going that route) it's because the hardware ID for your bus doesn't match the old one. Every device on the bus has its own unique identifier, with the vendor number and product ID baked into it. For example, a GeForce 1080 Ti's ID is 10DE:1B06, with 10DE representing NVIDIA and 1B06 being the unique product ID.

Expansion cards aren't the only part to have a product ID. PCI Express buses also have their own product IDs. Let's say you were upgrading an Intel Z270 board to a X390 board. The PCIe bus for the X270 might have an ID of 8086:A290. When you take the GPU and plug it into the Z390 board, the ID is likely going to be 8086:9DB2. Since the root port's ID changed, Windows is going to have to enumerate the new bus and reinstall the drivers for all of the hardware on it.

Something similar happens if you move a card from one slot to another. Even though the IDs are the same, the path of the device changes, so it's treated as a new device.

She's a big ol lesbo and she's excited about her rainbow fan (https://www.newegg.com/thermaltake-ux100-argb-lighting-cl-p064-al12sw-a/p/N82E16835106593?Item=N82E16835106593) more than anything else lol. That and Stardew Valley.

Who wouldn't be excited over an RGB fan? ;D
Title: Re: New Motherboard will require a format?
Post by: Bobbias on January 31, 2020, 03:02:09 PM
Man spectere, that's such a good explanation. Yeah these days you can pretty much change what you want and things will just work.
Title: Re: New Motherboard will require a format?
Post by: Zephlar on February 03, 2020, 12:29:13 PM
Jesus I'm just gonna start asking you things first before I talk to anyone else. Appreciate the master class lol.

She's finished (https://i.imgur.com/MKT05aG.mp4).


My father in law works on ATMs and had some 500gb barricudas laying around. Tried to keep cost as low as possible using stuff I already had or could get for free so I popped three of those in. The 770 is from my old build, which it's crazy to me how expensive that card is still looking at what it's going for now.

Rosewell ATX Fullt Tower (https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16811147158?Item=N82E16811147158)
MSI B450 TOMAHAWK MAX AM4 (https://www.newegg.com/msi-b450-tomahawk-max/p/N82E16813144267?Item=N82E16813144267)
RYZEN 7 2700 (https://www.newegg.com/amd-ryzen-7-2700/p/N82E16819113498?Description=ryzen%207%202700&cm_re=ryzen_7_2700-_-19-113-498-_-Product&quicklink=true)
GTX 770 4GB Windforce (https://www.newegg.com/gigabyte-geforce-gtx-770-gv-n770oc-2gd/p/N82E16814125463?Description=GTX%20770%20WINDFORCE&cm_re=GTX_770_WINDFORCE-_-14-125-463-_-Product&quicklink=true)
CORSAIR Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4 (https://www.newegg.com/corsair-16gb-288-pin-ddr4-sdram/p/N82E16820233833?Item=N82E16820233833)
Samsung 860 EVO 500GB (https://www.newegg.com/samsung-860-evo-series-500gb/p/N82E16820147674?Description=Samsung%20860%20EVO%20500GB&cm_re=Samsung_860_EVO_500GB-_-20-147-674-_-Product&quicklink=true) for OS and three barricuda 500gb HDD.

Not a shabby gaming build. This is my first time using a Ryzen CPU I'm pretty impressed with it so far. Between the case and the MOBO this build is sitting pretty on USB 3.0, which our other two PC's are limited on.
Title: Re: New Motherboard will require a format?
Post by: Spectere on February 04, 2020, 07:33:02 AM
Lookin' good! Needs more RGB fans. ;)

Those Ryzen processors are beasts, too, especially 2nd gen and beyond. Assuming nothing changes in terms of relative power, I'm probably going to go with a Ryzen or Threadripper for my next build. Honestly, the only reason I went with Intel in my current build (currently rocking an i7-8770K) is because, at the time, Coffee Lake offered better single-core performance, leading to the benchmarks being pretty much a 50-50 split. That's…not really the case anymore. GG, AMD!

I would recommend slotting an M.2 NVMe SSD in there whenever you can. The 860 EVO is about as fast as you're going to get for a SATA SSD (mostly due to bus speed limitations), yet the NVMe 970 EVO still manages to be up to 7x faster. :o

Also, you may want to watch eBay around mid-year. The GeForce 3000 series cards are due to release around then, and if it's anything like the 2000 series launch the market will be flooded with last-gen cards when they launch. I know a couple of people who were able to score cheap (we're talking $300-400—they've gone up since then) 1080 Tis during the last generational leap, and that card still holds up very well.

I wish I could recommend an AMD GPU since their prices are very competitive, but their drivers are still hot garbage. I periodically get hard locks on my laptop, and every single time it's been the AMD GPU driver eating its own head. The most ridiculous part about it is that my laptop has one of their workstation GPUs—the FirePro line—which is supposed to have a more conservative, more stable driver than a consumer card. Yeah, not so much…