Windows 10 migration after motherboard upgrade

My desktop PC has a spec that was decent for its time (2010), but is now long overdue for improvement. Although nothing is actually broken, I'm planning a motherboard upgrade for a number of reasons. That will involve a variety of tasks, and experience has taught me that one of the worst will be migrating my Windows 10 installation from BIOS/MBR to UEFI/GPT. I also multi-boot into a couple of Linux installations, but am expecting the changes there to be more straightforward (not least because I know more about Linux than about Windows).

I've used both EasyBCD and EasyRE in the past to sort out issues on several computers, and have found them to be life-savers - so that's why I'm here.

I would appreciate any guidance on what I can do, both before and after the motherboard swap, to make Windows migration as trouble-free as possible. I have 3 hard drives, 2 of which are GPT formatted - the third (the one where Windows 10 is installed) being MBR formatted. At some point in the process I'll reformat the Windows drive as GPT, but I'm not sure when to do that. If I do it before the mobo swap then Windows will no longer boot (because my current mobo doesn't support UEFI booting). Maybe it will then "just work" when the new mobo is installed - but I've been the IT game too long to believe that. So, should I do the board swap first, and then (assuming my new mobo still supports BIOS/MBR booting) do the GPT formatting at that stage? And finally switch the boot mode from BIOS to UEFI?

I hope the above makes some sort of sense. Does anyone have any useful ideas on the subject - either directly, or pointers to other useful sources of information? Are EasyBCD/EasyRE likely to be helpful to me?




Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Read this
EasyBCD and UEFI
Once W10 is UEFI, you can't use it to boot Linux anymore.
You'll need to let grub take control of the UEFI boot and use it to boot W10.
Incidentally, if you bought a full retail copy and installed W10 yourself, you'll be OK, but if you bought your PC with W10 onboard it'll have an OEM licence which won't be valid on any other mobo and MS won't activate it if you port it across (assuming it contains enough driver support for the updated h/w, which is also unlikely)
In fact I already use grub to boot W10, as well as my 2 Linux systems. Regarding your other point, that's an interesting one. I bought the PC in 2010 with W7 pre-installed (probably an OEM version, but the install media are long since lost). Then I upgraded that successively to W8, W8.1, and finally W10. As far as I remember, when I installed 8 (or maybe 8.1), it was from media that I bought with actual money (from Argos, somewhat improbably). So I'm not sure quite where all that leaves me from a licensing viewpoint. Maybe I'll have to ask MS ...


Mostly Harmless
Staff member
If you're on Windows 10 and you upgraded to it during the "open upgrade period" the transition from your initial OEM Windows 7 license (or any other) would have automatically been converted both legally and effectively to a valid Windows 10 license, no questions asked.
Thanks for that - yes, my W10 system was indeed installed during the open upgrade period. Since the license is associated with my MS id, I'm hoping that when I do my mobo upgrade, I should be able to install from W10 installation media and the license should be recognised. Although my experience with Windows over the years tells me that it probably won't be that easy :wink: