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So I've been pretty happy with my computer up until recently. Then the CPU became the bottleneck it always does. I post this so that if you do this soon you won't face the same frustrations I did.

I was running the following system:

i5 - 4500k
16GB of 2033 RAM
RTX 2060 video card from December
2 SSDs
1 HDD

The CPU needed upgrading but I was happy with everything else. So I thought I'd do my first mobo upgrade where I installed the board myself. I needed the new mobo because I was upgrading to an i7-10900 on the LGA 1200 chipset. The plan was to reuse everything else.

Okay, so everything gets photographed, disconnected and then the mobo comes out. Putting in the new mobo wasn't hard. Finding the right spot for all the fan cables and such was a pain but the manual helped a lot. I ended up with a lot of extra power cables internally (this system originally had dual AMD video cards - ages ago) which I moved out of the way.

First problem, what the hell is this 4-pin power connector for the CPU? It says its for the CPU and I have a much newer CPU than before. Crap, my power supply doesn't have a 4-pin connector. What do I do? Well, turns out that 4-pin connector is only needed if you do serious overclocking. the 10900 (without the K) chips can't be overclocked. So, after an hour of digging, problem solved.

Next up, notice that I broke the connections for my super heatsink to mount it to the mobo. It looks like I could replace them with the connections from the stock cooler but I don't risk it and install the stock cooler instead. Annoying but I may see if I can buy the connections by themselves and change out the cooler later.

Time to power up. The next 6 hours are spent solving ONE bloody annoying problem. So let me explain it.

Apparently BIOS is dead. Happened a few years ago. UEFI is the way to go now. It's faster and allows booting from drives larger than 2TB. It also allows the UEFI interface to do all sorts of cool things. All mobos now come standard with UEFI. When you don't know that this has happened, it's a big stepping stone in solving the problem when you do FINALLY figure it out.

When you have a UEFI mobo it won't recognize non-UEFI formatted drives. So, you need to have a UEFI drive you can put Windows on. By reusing my old SSDs and HDD I wasn't going to have that. I never did figure out how to make a UEFI drive and I did try a Windows boot USB but it wasn't recognized either. All very confusing.

So when I finally figured out that I needed to move away from UEFI it was moderately easy. The mobos all have a LEGACY mode (called CSM on MSI boards) that allows you to use older drives. Well I switched to that and voila - nothing. It just hung there. Time to reset the mobo the hard way (shorting out a breaker on the mobo - scary). Try a few more ways and times and nothing. I did get very casual about resetting the mobo - lots of practice.

Then a video mentions that your boot drive should be in SATA Port 1 when in legacy mode. Okay, switch that out and then it finally works! Reconnect both SSDs and the cable for the HDD and at least the SSDs worked. Then I noticed a bad cable on the HDD and I'm back in action.

So it's back working. This'll be the last upgrade for this system. I'll get a whole new one next time with UEFI across the board. I'll buy it assembled. I'm never doing this again!

Of note, when doing this sort of upgrade there is a lot of implied knowledge you're supposed to have. Figuring that out and then what the implications are involves a lot of time on Google and YouTube. At least I had another PC and I wasn't trying to do this on my phone.

Good luck if you're upgrading.

Simon
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