Replacing CPU

My PC is a 3 yr old HP Pavilion Desktop running 64 bit Windows Vista
Premium. CPU is AMD Phenom X4 9550 Quad-Core CPU. I believe the CPU
has been damaged by overheating and plan to replace it.

My question is: can I simply take out the old CPU and insert a new one
without any other changes, such as updating the BIOS? Will Windows
accept a different CPU (of the same type, or compatible different
type)? I understand that if you take a hard drive out of one PC and
install it in another, Windows will not work, so there must be
something in the original hardware that the Windows OS recognizes. Is
it the specific CPU, or something else on the motherboard?

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