I have a 5 month old computer with a Seagate drive that has already triped the SMART warning. I voided the warrenty when I opened the box to put in my old secondary drive and my firewire card, so I am on my own. I want to replace the bad drive with a new one, but don't have the Windows 7 disk (came installed on the computer). I have created a System disc and a system image. Will those install Windows 7 on the new drive?
I honestly can't answer your specific question - perhaps someone else will soon.
But most HD manufacturers offer a utility to clone/resize your HD onto a new HD. The utilities work if the target drive is from that manufacturer, sometimes if the source drive is theirs. Just in case you need it, or find it easier to do, here's a sample link from WD:
to answer your original question i think they will install windows 7 on the new disc without having to re-activate as its only the hard drive you changed--if you changed more components or the motherboard then it would be different--if i am wrong about that some one will soon say so--but cloning it may do the job just as well
Thanks for the input. I ran the Seagate disc utility and it verified the drive is bad. The long test did not fix the problem, so I guess I will have to replace it. I am starting to hear irregular spinning too, so even more urgent. It is an OEM drive and like I said, opening the case voided the warrenty, so I think I am on the hook for the new drive. I am hesitant to buy another Seagate, since this one crumped in just 5 months. Will the cloning utilities work on drives from different manufacturers? The instructions for Windows 7 system disc and system image say that it will reproduce everything, including the Windows files, but it is not clear to me if that means the system will be complete or need something from an installation disc.