I am looking at going from a quad core to an 8 core. I was told that making these changes might cause me to have to reload a fresh version of Windows 7. I am not changing the hard drive...am I incorrect in thinking that since there is no new HD the new equipment should just take and no need to re-install EVERYTHING I have on my HD right now.
Storage Devices: Barracuda 7200.10 SATA 3.0Gb/s 320 x 2-GB Hard Drive
Other Info: Optical: Super Muliti DVD burner w/lightscribe, Hauppauge WinTV HVR-1800
Yes...It's all ways best to do a fresh install when changing out CPU's. But windows 7 will pickup the new cpu hardware change and ask some questions and you just follow the onscreen prompts if I remember correctly when I first did my cpu upgade. I used it for a month that way with no prblems and then reinstalled my OS. There are some stories, horry stories about how it messed up there system. That's why it's best to do a clean install with a cpu upgrade.
I am not sure I agree it is that simple. A quad to an 8 core? What 8 core, or more importantly, what motherboard?
Understand the motherboard is considered the heart and soul of the computer and as such, replacing a motherboard (with anything other than an "exact" replacement during a repair action) is considered an "upgrade". And for licensing purposes, an upgraded motherboard is considered a new computer. And a new computer requires a new Windows license. The exception is if your current license is a full, boxed "Retail" license - NOT an OEM license that came with, or was purchased for another computer or motherboard.
If you are using the same motherboard, then I don't believe you will need to reinstall Windows. I have never had to reinstall the OS when upgrading to a new, supported CPU. I have had to, however, upgrade the BIOS first, to add support for that new CPU.