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Does ArcInfo 7.x and/or 8.0.x need to be uninstalled before you install ArcGIS 8.1?
Yes, when you install ArcGIS 8.1, you will be prompted to remove any previous versions of ArcInfo workstation. This is because you cannot have two different versions of ArcInfo workstation on the same machine.
You may also manually uninstall any previous version of ArcInfo by using the Add/Remove Programs from the Control Panel. Make sure to remove any installed extensions before removing the core software.
If you have installed ArcView 8.1 or ArcEditor 8.1, you can reinstall a previous version of ArcInfo workstation, but be aware that you will not be able to load any raster data into ArcView 8.1 or ArcEditor 8.1.