Reinstall of W10 to NVME M.2 ssd, how to preserve settings?


Joined
May 14, 2019
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
I replaced the mainboard of my W10 machine recently, and imaged the running OS [MBR] onto the M.2 drive. It runs OK, but I'd really like to make a clean reinstall to the M.2 with GPT rather than MBR.

1- Can I do this and save the current settings, etc?

2- I have the original W7 media that I originally installed W7 with, years ago. What is the correct way to install W10, since I do not possess any W10 install media? Do I download an image from somewhere, and enter my W7 license code?

Thanks for any advice :)
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Oct 1, 2014
Messages
2,220
Reaction score
324
There is a way to change a MBR configured drive to a UEFI configured drive (MBR2GPT.exe in Windows\System32 folder). It basically changes the configuration and adds a UEFI system partition so it will be bootable.

Since you originally had Win 7, your system is UEFI capable?

The best way is to reinstall. Since you changed out the motherboard, I assume you have taken care of the new license since that normally keeps it from activating. But installing to the M.2 NVMe drive is fairly easy by just booting the install media as UEFI. However, some systems, like Dells, run their NVMe drives using the Intel controller and not the NVMe controller and if you are not aware, it can complicate the install.
 
Joined
May 14, 2019
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
Thanks for answering.

I think I'd rather use your 2nd option, and do a complete reinstall.

Yes, the board is UEFI, it's a Maximus XI Formula, Z390 similar to your Z370, I'd guess. The M.2 is installed, and has the OS on it now, but the setup in the image I used was not UEFI, so that's why I want to make a clean install. Yes, I had some difficulties activating after I switched the MB, but I've taken care of that with MS support already, so that's not an issue.

So, I boot the Win 7 media that I have? Or is there an W10 image I download, and use my Win7 key?

How about saving my current settings, is there a way to do that?

Apologies for basic questions, but I'm primarily a Linux user and it's been a long time since I've actually done a Windows installation, lolz :)
The last Windows install I did was when W7 was brand-new.
 
Joined
Oct 1, 2014
Messages
2,220
Reaction score
324
If the system has already been activated with Windows 10, there is no need to involve Win 7. Just boot to the UEFI version of the install media and install. You can download it using the Media Creation tool and create an USB drive or download just the .iso and create your own. When it asks for a license key, just skip that and it will activate after installed and online, but it may take a day or two. As a note, we are waiting on a new build of Win 10 to be released, but not work exactly when that will happen, but should be soon.

During the install you can remove the other partitions on the drive so it can be converted to GPT by the install or you can use Diskpart by selecting Shift+F10 on the second window of the install process where I think you select a language.

On my board, one of the M.2 slots is capable of SATA or NVMe so make sure and check that plus make sure that slot is set to use x4 and not restricted to x2 lanes.

As far as I know, the ability to upgrade free from Win 7 was terminated long ago. But, as soon as I say that, someone will come along and say that isn't absolutely true but I am not aware of how. Win 7, the later versions, will install as UEFI but the Bios has to be set differently than Win 10 to allow for that.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 1, 2014
Messages
2,220
Reaction score
324
Sorry, I forgot to mention one thing. If you were trying to upgrade from Win 7, you don't need to reinstall but just use the License Key. Since Win 7 will no longer be supported in January, Microsoft may start letting folks have free upgrades in some circumstances.
 
Joined
May 14, 2019
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
Hi, and thanks for the guidance.

No, I 'm not upgrading, I've been running W10 1809 for a while now, and it's already activated on the new mainboard. I'd just like to do a clean install to the M.2 drive [it is in the x4 slot] under UEFI and GPT. I've followed your instructions, downloaded the media tool, and burned a DVD of v1809.

" Just boot to the UEFI version of the install media and install." I have to look into how to do this, because it's the first time I'm working with UEFI rather than BIOS.

I'd like to keep this thread open, because I'm sure I'll have other questions. I guess it's also a good idea to wait for the May version update as well.

Thanks again for the information :)
 
Last edited:
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Oct 1, 2014
Messages
2,220
Reaction score
324
Put the DVD in the drive BEFORE you boot or restart the system. If you have no other bootable device, it should give you one of those "hit a key to boot DVD" type messages. The best way is to go into the Bios and use the Boot device menu to boot to the DVD.

Hopefully you have a newer DVD because I had to replace my Blue-Ray burner because it was not functioning correctly. If the DVD doesn't work, you can use a flash drive.

I think the only to save all your current data is to use the MBR2GPT utility. Resetting won't keep your installed programs and installing Win 10 over the top of that install probably won't change anything. Neither one will reconfigure your drive as far as where partitions are.
 
Last edited:

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top