I've got a crippled hard drive on my laptop. It works, but it is failing and I need to replace. I want to know if I can install the new one and load the OS (Vista) from the disks to the new hard drive (then do all of the updates and drivers, etc...) and then remove the original hard drive? Will this work? I am trying to avoid a complete manual reload of the OS if possible. I know just enough about this to be dangerous! Also- I am planning to upgrade to 7. I was going to load the vista and then upgrade on the new hard drive. Is this the best way to do this?
If you do, install the new drive, and use a cloning program(like Acronis true image) to copy the old drive exactly to the new. Then you can disconnect the old.
That assumes your failing drive will run long enough to do that.
If not, buy a USB enclosure to hold your new drive to recieve the clone output.
When done, replace the failing drive with the new clone.
What I suggest is that you take this opportunity to make lemonade.
Buy yourself a SSD.
It will absolutely transform your laptop performance.
Go ahead and buy windows 7. Buy the upgrade kit which costs about the same as oem, but is considered retail and is transportable to a dilfferent pc if you want. If you have 2 or 3 pc's needing windows 7, buy the family pack which gives you 3 license for about $130.
But, I would not try to do the vista to windows 7 upgrade, even though it should work. It takes forever, and may leave junk you don't want.
Do you have external usb backup?
If not, you should if you have any data you care about.
Run windows easy transfer which should export all your files and settings to somewhere.
After a clean install, you can import them back. Apps will need to be reinstalled.
Today, buy Intel or samsung ssd's. They seem to be without issues.