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Replacing motherboard and data loss

If the motherboard is replaced, do I lose all the information of my laptop?

Susan KeenanWhether or not you lose your data when replacing a motherboard depends on several factors. As with any type of hardware/software change on a computer, replacing the motherboard has the potential to create loss of your data. However, if you are careful when installing the new motherboard, you shouldn't have any problems. If you have someone else doing the replacement for you, make sure that you tell them not to wipe the hard drive clean.

Where the files, applications, etc are stored

The data stored on a computer can be found on the hard drive. As long as you don't wipe the hard drive clean, you should retain your files, etc. If you back up your hard drive onto an alternative storage media such as an external drive, secondary drive, flash drive, or CD, then you will have access to the information should the worst happen and you lose your data. You could probably use an application that recovers lost data to get it back for you as well.

Replacing the Motherboard

If you replace the motherboard with one that uses the same chipset, this strategy should allow the motherboard to automatically detect your operating system to install it. If not, it might take a bit for the operating system to detect your new hardware and boot up.

Replacing the Motherboard and Installing the Operating System

In some cases, you might need to reinstall your operating system. Therefore, if this happens you'll need to either use the following directions or back up your data first.

If you have the option to run a repair installation or upgrade your Windows operating system, you shouldn't have any problems. You can check your current version of Windows to see if it includes the option to create a repair install or upgrade feature. If it does, you can use one of these to place your operating system back on without losing any of your data.

Tips to consider when installing a new motherboard

Avoid static electricity that can destroy your motherboard by grounding yourself. Touch the metal casing of your computer or wear a static-free band.

Download the drivers for the new motherboard prior to its installation for a quicker install. This usually prevents any problems installing the motherboard and accessing your old data too.

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One Response to “Replacing motherboard and data loss”

  1. 001   Abhilash

    Hi Susan,

    This is a question more than a reply.

    I use a T61 for office wrok, the other day I spilled some tea on the system while starting it form hibernation, and the system shut itself off. Some tea entered the exhaust area.
    I took it to a repair center, where they diagnosed that Motherboard needed a replacement, and have completed the same now.
    However, when I restarted the system, it tried to resume from the hibernation, though it kind of got stuck after completing the progress bar. But, Do you think it is possible that the motherboard replacement did not affect my system state at all and did not wipe the hibernation data?

    Is there any way for me to know that motherboard was even replaced?

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