I think my hard drive is on its way out. My computer came from pc world without a windows Vista disk, so if I buy a new hd, am I able to keep my windows install or do I have to go and buy a disc?
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Great, how much time did it take?
It depends on the amount being transferred and how fast your CPU is.
I transferred 250gb to a new 1tb drive in about an hour.
It then made a partition by itself so the rest of the new drive's free space was assigned to drive letter E in my setup.
I was hoping all my data would simply be on one virtual drive (drive letter C) so I tried it again but it still needs to make the new partition.
Like I said, you may get some program or download link included with your new hd to assist you but if you don't, try HDClone free.
When you clone the old drive to the new drive you usually get the option of scaling the original partition to the size of the new drive. So if you had an old drive with one 256 GB partition and bought a new 2 TB drive you could clone the old drive to a new 2 TB partition. If the old drive has multiple partitions you can choose to scale them proportionally, clone individual partitions to whatever size you want, or clone them all at the same size.
If you bought a new boxed drive the cloning software should come with it. Otherwise just go to the web site of the manufacturer of either your old drive or the new drive and download their disk cloning tool.
In my experience it takes about 4 hours per TB of data on your old drive.
Last edited by jagabo; 3rd Jan 2012 at 19:28.
If you happen to end up with a smaller partition, you can easily expand the partition to the size of your new HD in Disk Management. I am running Windows7, but I would assume it would be the same in Vista.
The whole hard drive copy/transfer process to a new disk usually works pretty good, I've done it a utility that came with a disk drive. Having said that, if you search the internet there might be ways of buying the OEM disk from the PC manufacturer or making your own Windows Visa disk with files from the hard drive. It's no different from buying anything else that comes with a PDF file and no printed manual, and if you want a printed manual, you can print one yourself (my new digital camera is like that).
For computers manufactured and sold in 2006 or later, based on the Microsoft licensing agreement, you can create a personal recovery disc to restore the computer to its original operating system. If you cannot create a set of recovery discs, you might be able to order a set of replacement discs from HP.