Sony Vaio Install New HD and OS

Hi. I recently was given a 1 year old Sony Vaio laptop from a friend who had it replaced because of a corrupted HD(damn rich ppl lol). The laptop boots and logs in but soon after gets a critical error from corrupted HD sectors. It uses a WD Blue 500gb HD and I have aquired a new(ish) WD Blue 250GB HD to replace it with. I do not have the original Sony Vaio recovery media for this laptop. I want to get it running again and have tried installing a fresh copy of windows xp pro corp on the new hd but when i try to boot the systems it black-screens on me just after win xp boot screen. I am about to try a fresh install of windows 7 on the new HD and see if that will boot. Then I will try linux mint 14. What are my options, should I just buy new recovery media from sony or is there an easier way? Thanks in advance guys, I will reply when i get home with the details on what version vaio it is. Thanks a lot.

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  1. Try some Linux variant first. Free and easy.
    LinuxMint or Ubuntu.

    Boot into the live, then try to install. If the installation works, then the hardware is good.
    Then you can look to purchasing and installing whichever Windows version you wanr.
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