Upgrading motherboard/chipset on Windows 7 without reinstalling.
One of the biggest annoyances for advanced PC users is upgrading your motherboard, or the “guts” of your PC. When you install windows, the setup program gathers details about the low-level components in your system and includes the appropriate drivers into the initial installation. Normally, if you simply swap out these components, say an AMD processor for an Intel, and an nVidia motherboard chipset for an Intel chipset, Windows will offer up a BSOD (Blue-screen-of-death) on boot. You may get away with doing an over-the-top “repair” installation to fix your motherboard, you may not. This method below is even easier, and if done correctly will allow you to simply reboot and have all your drivers for the new motherboard installed for you. And especially avoid having to spend 2-3 days reinstalling/customizing your PC again when you give up and do a fresh install.
- Read all the steps before doing anything.
- Do a complete image/backup of your system and create a system restore DVD if you haven’t already, just in case something goes wrong. Don’t skip this step. Just don’t.
- Shutdown your PC and unplug all but your system drive and your DVD drive.
- Boot from the windows 7 install DVD or USB. Have your new motherboard DVD ready, or prior to step 1, download the drivers for the motherboard to USB.
- Choose repair, and Command Prompt
- Where X: is your DVD/USB drive and assuming C: has been detected as your system drive, type dism /image:c:\ /add-driver /Driver:X:\ /recurse
- You can specify specific folders on the DVD drive to parse: /Drive:X:\drivers\LAN /Drive:X:\drivers\Chipset etc depending on where they are on the DVD.
- Dism will parse all .ini and include them on boot. Any new devices will be automatically installed after boot and probably just “work” if you’re lucky.