I run various OS's: 7, XP and Linux Mint currently (w/a hard drive tray), and am going to upgrade video, try to unlock 1 or more cpu's and possibly change motherboards. From what I understand Windows has something called the Hardware Abstraction Layer baked in that hoses your Windows OS if you change components from what gets in the list when you first install.

It may not happen for video cards but I think it will for most anything else. Just want to be sure what I'm getting into. Both these OS's are academic versions and I don't want any screwy bs from MS. My data is backed up but all the appls and other crap would have to be reinstalled as I understand it (can't just reinstall over the original OS).

Anyone have definite experience on this? I would think academic ver or not I at least have the right to reinstall everything if say, I changed any part or went for a new build. I've never found a cloning appl w/o detractors so I'm hoping I don't have to go thru reinstalling just for a new card and cpu, for example. I imagine unlocking a chip won't involve HAL roadblocks but then I'd be on a different mobo so same diff.

Thanks in advance for any input,