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Install Vista to New Hard Drive from Recovery Partition (Gateway T-6859u)

My sister has a Gateway T-6859u laptop computer with Windows Vista Home Premium (Service Pack 2) installed. Its 320GB hard disk is very full.

I have purchased a 1TB replacement drive, but am concerned I won't be able to reinstall her OS as she has no install CDs and no recovery disks. Gateway's website has a Recovery Media Purchase Program, but their form says... "Recovery Media is not available for the serial number or SNID you have entered." in regard to her serial number.

Contacting Gateway support via telephone has been fruitless and I know not how to proceed.

I have external drives to which I could back up her system, but then how to restore? Even if I could figure out how to restore without a boot drive (could I boot from the drive I pull?) I'd much prefer a clean install.

I *think* there is a recovery partition on the installed hard drive, but I'm not certain. I'm hoping there is and that it contains the VHP install as well. If it does, can I pull the drive, attach it via my USB hard drive dock, boot from it and install to the newly installed hard drive?

I'm at my wits' end on this and any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
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    You can connect the new drive either internally or via USB and then use EASEUS Partition Master Free to then Clone the Existing drive to the new one.

    Open up the program and click on Wizard and Click Copy Disk Wizard. Then click the disk you want (The 320GB) and next. It will do a Scan Disk. Then click the New drive and next.

    Now you want to resize the partitions. Click on a partition and then you can put the mouse where they meet and move them. Make sure you put the Recovery drive as small as you can make it and to the end (Right side of the bar when your in the program) and make the C Drive as big as you can. The first part (boot partition) only needs 100 MB or so, so make sure that is as small as you can make it.

    Then click Next and Finish. Now on the Left had side at the top click the Check mark and it will restart the PC (Or ask to restart) and then copy everything over.

    Then unplug the 320GB and plug in the 1Tb inside the PC. Boot from it just to make sure it can boot ok. Once that happens do a Restart the PC.

    Right when it starts up keep pressing on and off the F8 key to get the Advanced Boot Menu. From here click on Repair your Computer.

    Then just follow the steps here

    https://support.gateway.com/s/software/microsof/vista/7515418/7515418su531.shtml

    and do a factory restore. Then once that is done i like to use PC Decrapafier to get rid of any unwanted software. Then copy the files back over! The great thing about doing it this way is that your old hard drive is intact incase you need to boot from it and see some config or something.

    If you need anymore help just ask!
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