Right now I've got a hard drive with Windows installed on it. It's attached to a motherboard, processor, and RAM that I want to change. I've got a PSU, graphics card, hard drive and dvd drive that i want to keep. If I buy the new mobo, ram, and processor can I just plug the hard drive in and have everything work (windows find the new drivers on its own)...Probably not, unless the board you are replacing is very similar to the new one.
, or do I need to do a clean install? Try the Repair install first.
One friend suggested that if windows doesn't boot that I might be able to run repair from a cd....Probably your best option - boot to the Win install CD (or USB stick. etc). Follow the screens to repair the install, not Recovery Console. Then you'll need to visit Win update to download and install all the security updates. You will likely have to re-activate windows at some point.
Whatever has to be done or doesn't have to be done, I would appreciate someone who knows almost exactly what my experience would be. If you need more specific data I can provide. Thank you very much for your help.