When I change the drive of my laptop, I remember WinXP can handle only so many changes to the original configuration it first got installed on.
Now that my drive's broke, I'm planning to install a new drive of another type, which is larger than the first one in size (and presumably faster too).
Do you think the Sony Vaio's recovery software will install on another harddrive, or will it requireexactly the same drive?
In the end I'm facing the options:
Or: Buy a more expensive identical drive (120GB)
Or: Buy a cheaper, more modern drive, that's more energy efficient, and probably will work a tad better; but could possibly give problems recovering data from the recovery DVD's.
Unless you need/want a clean install of XP, if you buy a new WD or Seagate drive you can download a copy of Acronis true image which will copy everything (all partions etc) onto the new drive and allow for the size increases.
I did this with my girlfriend's Vaio laptop as I upgraded the hard drive from 160GB to a new WD 500GB scorpio drive. It took a little time to do, but had no problems in cloning the drive. In this case it was Vista but the OS reports the new hard drive correctly and everything works great.
The question is did you create recovery DVDs and CDs when prompted, when the laptop was working? If you did you can use them to recreated the partitions on the new drive. The data on ther original drive would be copied over to the new drive, if it is still readable. If you are using the recovery partition on the original drive, it will recreate the OS partiton as it was when the laptop was new. All of your files that were created currently and programs installed would be lost.
The issue lies with the recovery data software from the DVD's.
I can understand that it can not recover to a smaller HD, but if the disk is larger, or differs too much from the original configuration, I fear that the recovery data (Sony soft + winXP 2002 MCE) won't work, much like you can not copy an installation DVD from one laptop to another laptop.
There's where I fear the issue might be.
I should spend the extra $30 in an original HD (toshiba MK 1234GSX HD), but will be much pleased with a better model out there, if it would work!