How to Change a Motherboard and Keep Windows Untouched

I have been wanting to upgrade my Motherboard, CPU and ram for a while now but I had been dreading re installing Windows and all of my applications. After searching around, I came across a built in system preparation method which seemed interesting. It prepares Windows in a way so that the next time it boots, it re installs any new hardware just like when Windows first installs. This allows for Windows to accommodate itself nicely on the new hardware. Sysprep

All you have to do is:

  • Open Command Prompt as administrator
  • Run: “%windir%\System32\Sysprep\Sysprep.exe”
  • Set the action to OOBE, Generalize, and Shutdown
  • Wait for Shutdown
  • Install New Hardware
  • Boot up and install specific drivers

Changing My Old, Dry Thermal Paste

As I rebuilt my computer, I realized that the heat sink had been dislodged during travel and that the thermal paste had dried out and possibly even become dirty. The CPU was idle at about 60 degrees Celsius and it would reach almost 100 degrees within less than a minute of running Prime95. I ordered a small tube of Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Paste and as soon as it arrived, I cleaned and changed the thermal paste. The temperatures are now around 40 while idle and in the 60s while at full load. Finally, I can game without worrying about the CPU overheating. The process was easy and all I needed were Q-Tips and rubbing alcohol according to YouTube. Pictures of the process can be seen below.

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Old Dry Paste
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Old Dry Paste on the Heat Sink
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Cleaning the CPU
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The Cleaned Heat Sink