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Installing Windows 11 on a new motherboard/cpu

Level 8

I am planning to replace the motherboard and cpu on my desktop at the end of this year or the begining of next year.  Can anyone tell me how you load Windows 11 into a brand new motherboard cpu setup.  My son in law told me that using my existing SSD 1TB that has the Windows 11 OS on it will not work as Windows will recognize a new device and not work.  Do you get Windows 11 on a Flashdrive and then install through a USB port or can you get Windows 11 digitally and install somehow.  It was easier years ago when all computers had CD drives and you purchased windows on a CD.  Do you change the boot sequence in the Bios to load off of a Flash Drive as the first drive?  

Any help will be most appreciated as I am lost on the subject.  I will continue to see if there is an answer on Google.  


Level 14

You can download Windows 11 from  Use the "Create Windows 11 Installation Media" option to create a bootable USB or DVD.

It's possible to move an existing OS drive onto a new machine, but it's not always trouble free.  I recommend a clean install of Windows for a new machine, it's a good opportunity to clear out the junk.  If your old SSD is a SATA drive, you should be considering using a M.2 NVMe drive for your OS on the new motherboard.

The last part is your Windows license key and product activation.  If your existing key is a retail key, it should be transferrable.  OEM keys from pre-built systems may not be transferrable.  I'm not an expert on the process, so I suggest searching Google for "transfer windows 11 license to another device", or similar.

Customer Service Agent

Hello, @david52548 .

Transferring a system disk depends on the hardware it was built for. If built for specific hardware, transfer may cause compatibility issues.
Therefore, please back up important data and the system before transferring to avoid unexpected situations.
Also, please refer to [Windows 11/10] How to create and use installation media to reinstall Windows 11/10 via USB drive if needed.

Thank you.