In Windows systems, it is possible to disable a core through the system configuration window. Choose the number of processors that should be enabled or disabled and restart the computer for the settings to take effect.Disabling a core in Linux can be done through the grub menu and add parameters to the kernel entry. These parameters are sent directly to the core when the Linux is starting. The Linux system has to be restarted after the modifications to disable a core in a multi-core CPU are made.
It can sometimes be quite useful with a multi-core processor to be able to determine whether a core is working properly during rise in frequencies or for testing purposes. This can be done by disabling a core, thereby isolating the potentially problematic one. Sometimes this procedure is necessary to run certain applications, which are not compatible with multi core processing.
Note that this procedure will not affect physically your hardware, but your OS (Windows or Linux) will simply ignore the core(s) you selected.
When using Linux the procedure is quite different. When starting up your PC, you should find the Grub menu, which is responsible for launching Linux. Select the entry you want to use, press the E key and a menu will appear (depending on the version used).
title Ubuntu 7.10, kernel 2.6.22-14-generic
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.22-14-generic root=UUID=a8a39729-9d2a-425b-b84b-ecc5c7dad104 ro quiet splash
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.22-14-generic root=UUID=a8a39729-9d2a-425b-b84b-ecc5c7dad104 ro quiet maxcpus=1