I have only 1xPCI slot available after the second one was rendered unusable by the gfx heatsink... so I am planning to replace the mobo with a full ATX one, with 5xPCI connectors. I was thinking innitially that a uATX mobo will require a smaller case, which might be cheaper and looks better, but I am not very convinced about this anymore... and I did not get a proper HTPC case after 4 months, anyway... still sits in an old ATX case. Some soundproofing "modifications" made the sistem really quiet.
Question: is it as simple as removing the old mobo and install the new one, or the whole software needs to be re-installed? With HDD format, Windows re-install and all the rest...? Did anyone actually do this?
Unless the chipset on the motherboard is identical and you put all the parts back as they were you will most likely have to reload, its a right pain in the rear but not a lot can be done. You will also have to reactivate. Its probably easier just to save anything you want to keep to an external hard drive and format your HD, you dont want old drivers conflicting with new drivers.
Remove the ACPI computer from device manager before the final shutdown on the old mobo, that will allow it to start on the standard drivers. You will need your sata ports in the legacy mode not the ahci one to get it running.
But your not going to find 5 PCI anymore, PCI is a dead end, its all pci express now in anycase.