My old laptop came with an OEM Windows Vista license. However, the laptop is all but dead now due to a power supply issue. In addition, the HDD that was being used with it, which contains that installation of Vista with the OEM license, seems to be failing. The drive also contains installations of other programs, such as Microsoft Office, that I am only licensed to have installed on 1 machine. I want to rescue my data from the failing drive. Would it be legal for me to connect the drive externally to my new PC and clone it onto a USB HDD with a 3rd-party utility? My concern comes from the fact that (if my understanding is correct) I am only licensed to have that copy of Vista installed on that one original machine, and after the clone, both Vista and those programs with single-user licenses would be installed on 2 HDDs, neither of which would be being used with the PC that the Vista license is for (both drives would be connected to a different PC). After the clone, I would be deleting all the OS and program files from the destination drive and only keeping my data (documents/music/pictures/video/etc.), however, so I would never actually run Vista or any of my old programs from either of those drives.
Would it be legal for me to clone the drive like this? Would it be a violation of any EULAs?
You don't need to clone the drive. Simply attach the drive as a secondary drive and copy the fills to another. If the drive its bad enough that you can't cloning it won't work either.
I'm having a difficult time doing this. It won't mount in Windows, and only occasionally mounts in Ubuntu. When it does mount there, the transfer is so painfully slow; it says it will take a week to copy ~52 GB of data, and I simply cannot hold up my computer in Ubuntu for that long. I was asking because I read that it's best to clone damaged drives and then try to repair the original one so you have a backup in case your repair efforts make things worse.
Do you know if cloning the drive as I described in the first post would be legal, or if it would violate any EULAs?
Do you expect the clone to take any less time? Cloning usually takes longer. For data recovery on a failing drive anything you do it jeopardizes the possibility of data recovery. If your problems where software related then cloning the drive isnt a bad idea, but you have a hardware issue and valuable data the best idea is to do nothing to the drive and contact a data recovery firm. As for the EULA where you wont be running the OS on another system just cloning the drive for a backup Im fairly certain that you are not violating any EULA's. If you where going to boot and run the os on another system then yes but for what you are doing I highly doubt it.