It's really risky not having a complete backup. It might not be helpful, but it's true. That's the way PCs work.
As for the OS, it depends on your current PC and how it is set up. Is the drive partitioned?
Meaning, is the OS on C: and the data on D:?
What are you changing from, and what are you going to?
Frankly, I would put off the OS change until I did have a backup. 1TB exHDs can be had for less than $70, 500GB for around $40. Assuming all your music can fit on a 500GB drive, it would be silly to not wait and then kick yourself later for any losses.
My question wasn't what should I do, it was who was right/would I lose my music permanently if I were to change OS without my music being backed up. That's why your mini lecture wasn't helpful. Of course things should be backed up. If I'm going to lose my music, of course I'm going to wait until I have the ability (not when I stop refusing because it's not stubbornness that has held me back) to back it up before changing. I'd just heard conflicting statements and came here to see who was right.
Now you can answer another question if you feel like it (and if you actually have the ability to answer the posed question and not one you think of on your own) why are Apple product users so pretentious?
based on your informations I cannot tel you who was right.
I can only tell you I had 2 iPods (touch) and 1 iPhone (which is basically an iPod with telephone).
I upgraded several times the OS and I never lost a song or a file.
If for some other reason you lose your files or songs stored in your iPod you have no chanche to recover them unless you have a backup.
To receive a better help from us you should give us some more information:
Which iPod - which OS are you now running and which you NEED (?) to install.
Are you connecting your iPod to iTunes ? If yes you should already have a backup in your computer (MAC or PC on which iTunes runs.
If you use an iPod you are an Apple product user too. Welcome in our group.
I'd just heard conflicting statements and came here to see who was right.
In theory, if your hard drive is partitioned with the Windows operating system on C: and everything else on D:, you supposed to be able to reinstall Windows without losing anything. In theory. There are many stories where it did work, and many stories where it did not. That's why you're hearing conflicting statements.
roaminggnome is a windows user, not a pretentious Apple user who told you to "buy a Mac". RG just cuts to the chase. You need a full backup.
Like Walter pointed out, you'll get better help if you provide more details. The first being, what OS are you using now, and what OS do you intend to go to? Just as I asked in my first reply.
Walter has a success story becuase he upgraded his OS and I suspect his drive was partitioned correctly before he did the upgrade. For all we know, you're planning on going from a non-partitioned Windows XP installation to Linux, which would result in disaster.