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How do I swap motherboards without having to wipe out all my data?

Asked by Fred931 (9404 points ) September 21st, 2012

Early August, I built my first rig (which is sweet) and I’ve had no issues that I could not quickly solve so far.

I have a surprising amount of cash all of a sudden and want to upgrade my still-new-pc-smelling computer some more; I was idiotic enough to buy a B75-chipset board which doesn’t support SLI (I was planning on dual-GTX480 cards within a year or so), so I need to replace the motherboard, along with upgrading the power supply and of course getting the other GPU card. Like I said, it might be another month or two (or four… maybe Santa will be in a good mood) before I actually go shopping.

And, so, I’ve been reading a bunch online about how weird it is for windows to have its entire physical framework shapeshift from underneath; how one would use a new image or back up all data before the swap… I’m still confused as to what I need to do to swap the mobo without losing any programs and files.

I have one 128GB SSD with Windows on it + other programs and files and a 500GB HDD with some more programs and files. The first thing I tried to do was use the “Create a system image” option from the Control Panel to copy the SSD files to the HDD, but my second drive would not show up in the wizard. That was pretty much my only lead, so I am at a dead end as to how to prepare for a swap. Could you please enlighten me?

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