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Steps on Replacing my Motherboard?

I will try to make this quick. I have been wanting to replace my mother board for a while. Here are my current specs:

Mobo: MSi Z87 G43

CPU: Intel Core i5 4670

GPU: NVIDIA Geforce GTX 980

8GB of RAM

PSU: Corsair AX 1200i

OS: Win 8.1

Ethernet card is a D Link wireless adapter. It is internal and uses a PCI X16 slot.

My OS and Drivers are on a Sandisk X110 SSD 64GB, and my personal files such as steam, and all my Adobe application are on a 4TB western Digital Black edition HDD.


Another thing worth noting is when I originally bought the computer I ordered it from CyberpowerPC. I'm assuming their licencing is different and doesn't allow me to replace the mobo. So I'm planning on buying another version of Win.


I want to replace the Z87 G43 with a Asus Sabertooth Z97.

The replacement mobo doesn't have any PCI X16 slots so I would have to get another PCIe X1 wireless adapter. I want to know all the steps I should take to completely replace the board. I know I will have to re install windows, and I know how to physically re install the board, but I'm tripped up on possible driver conflicts and licence issues. I also have some questions about the switch:


-I heard I should completely disconnect my Secondary HDD on the first boot, is this true?

-Is temporarily removing the HDD really as simple as unplug and plug? Or is there more to this I'm missing? Software wise of course.

-Is it even possible to switch from Z87 to Z97 as long as I re install Win?

-Will I even have enough room on the teeny tiny SSD to completely re install Win and driver? Right now it has about 15GB of space left.

-What order should I re install the drivers?

-What should I change in the BIOS?

-On first boot should I boot into Normal Win? Safe Mode? Or BIOS?


Thanks everyone!

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Yes, disconnect any drives other than the one you are installing Windows on to avoid issues. Just unplug it, it's as simple as that and replug it in after Windows is installed when computer is not powered on. Switching to Z97 won't have any effect on Windows as long as you're doing a full reinstall of Windows, all the drivers from your previous Windows will be gone, and you'll be able to install the new drivers that came with the motherboard, (or better yet, download the newest versions from ASUS website). Windows will likely only take 20GB or less for the install, so you should be completely OK on driver installs space-wise and if for the space that Windows uses for other things. Chipset drivers should be first installed, then do the other drivers/utilities. Leave the BIOS at optimized defaults for now, make sure it boots up, and then you can go back and change the memory to use the XMP settings. First boot will normally take you to BIOS first, and once it's there, you can restart and go into Windows. Hope this answers everything for you.

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