Upgrade hardware of Windows 10 PC


Tidbits of hardware upgrade for Windows 10 PC

Upgrading peripherals (mouse, keyboard, video card...) is usually plug & play.

Upgrading disk drive one can use Reflect  to clone a hard drive.

Upgrading CPU and motherboard can be a little tricky, but well manageable:

  1. Assemble the new PC - case, power supply, motherboard.
  2. Move mouse, keyboard and drives (SSD, HD) to the new PC.
  3. Windows 10 is excellent in accommodating such upgrading.  It can automatically detect CPU and motherboard change, and configure it accordingly.  However, Windows 10 needs to be reactivated.   The official instructions on how to associate a Windows 10 license with a Microsoft account, then reactivating it through their server after hardware change may not work.  You may get the following message:

    Unable to activate Windows.

    We can't reactivate Windows as our servers aren't  available right now.   Wait for a few minutes or try adding your Microsoft account again.

          Fortunately, Reddit has an easy and effective solution

  4. Update the motherboard  BIOS and all relevant drivers.
  5. Some memory (e.g. DDR4 32GB 3000MHz DUAL C (2X16GB MODULES) C16 VENGEANCE 1.35V CMK32GX4M2D3000C16 ) cannot handle the default speed at the default voltage, hence causing BSOD.  The remedy is using the memory's  Direct Over Clock Profile (DOCP) or eXtreme Memory Profile (XMP) to raise the voltage from Auto to 1.34V. 
  6. Some software may need reactivation.  Microsoft Office may refuse to recognize the license key associated with the old hardware, so a new key needs to be purchased. It should be inexpensive to purchase a legitimate one on eBay.


RealBench Score:

RAM Speed (MHz) Score
Auto 114500
DOCP Auto 89694
DOCP 2400  136414
DOCP 2666 138560
DOCP 2733 136220
DOCP 2800 142722
DOCP 2866  144255
DOCP 2933 144492
DOCP 3000  144656

One may encounter all kinds of BSOD errors.  They are usually caused by driver issues.  One can do the following to clean it:

  1. Do a repair install of Windows 10.
  2. Uninstall old programs that are no longer used.
  3. Show hidden devices in Device Manager and uninstall those that are no longer used.
  4. Use Display Driver Uninstaller from Guru3D.com to uninstall all display drivers, then install the latest version for the video card.
  5. Go to tab Startup of Task Manager, and look for those items that are no longer supposed to be there, then uninstall their corresponding programs. 




Examples of BSOD caused by memory problems:



They usually can be remedied by updating drivers and securely seating RAM modules and the video card.