I replaced my computer’s CPU cooler and mobo at the same time because there was a slickdeal on the ASUS Z97-E/USB3.1 and I couldn’t resist, especially given that I had to dismantle most everything upgrading the cooler anyway.

So the new build is:

  • CPU: i7 4790
  • Cooler: Noctua NH-U12S
  • Motherboard: ASUS Z97-E/USB3.1 (ATX)
  • Graphics: GTX980
  • Ram: 2x8GB DDR3 Corsair Vengeance
  • Case: Black Enthoo Evolv Tempered Glass Edition
  • SSD: 500GB Crucial MX100
  • HDD: Seagate 2TB SATA (ST2000DM001)

Some learnings from this experience:

  1. Boot Repair is outdated in the Trusty repos and I had to install a new live USB to get the latest in Xenial. I found out the hard way; through some bug that strace actually helped me debug (…thanks, Julia Evans!). I actually went to submit a patch on github (because boot repair is really some crufty scripts) before I realized someone had already submitted the patch and that the apt repository was simply not getting the latest anymore.

  2. I forgot to copy down the Windows 10 license before I swapped motherboards, so my new mobo doesn’t have activated Windows 10. However they let you use it for as long as you want from what I can tell, just with a watermark. So I’ll probably stick with that until I find a way to move my entitlement. Technically it’s not possible to move the entitlement but I’ve heard that if you get on customer support with your OEM entitlement copy of Windows 10, they can make exceptions for swapped motherboards. So yeah, Microsoft thinks of swapping motherboards as getting a new computer.

  3. I had to back up and fresh install Xenial to get my boot to work. Dual booting Ubuntu and Windows at the same time, even with each installed to its own disk, is apparently non-trivial. I can’t believe how much time I spent debugging blank screens non-boots and whatnot. It was somehow worse than debugging a Fedora Core 2 installation in 7th grade, because it seems that people are less apt to respond in forums these days :(