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Can I install a new hd and load a new OS w/o disconnecting the orig?

Last response: in Windows 7
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September 30, 2012 4:32:03 PM

Hi all,

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?

THANKS
a b $ Windows 7
September 30, 2012 4:51:04 PM

Do you have two drives in your laptop?

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.
September 30, 2012 5:05:34 PM

I was surprised to see a second hard drive slot when I took the screws out on the bottom...

I have been having errors - i have to run chkdsk and fix just about once a day right now. the hard drive has a bad sector and it keeps frying the same 3 or 4 .dll files. Do I still want to clone?

Everything is backed up to external.

Again- thanks!
a b $ Windows 7
September 30, 2012 5:15:08 PM

tatsie34 said:
I was surprised to see a second hard drive slot when I took the screws out on the bottom...

I have been having errors - i have to run chkdsk and fix just about once a day right now. the hard drive has a bad sector and it keeps frying the same 3 or 4 .dll files. Do I still want to clone?

Everything is backed up to external.

Again- thanks!


I would do a clean install. No telling what you might miss, and upgrade seems to have issues sometimes.

I would disconnect the old hard drive and do a clean install to the new.
If you leave it connected, windows 7 will try to install a recovery partition on it. Not good for you.

And, I really like the SSD. one will cost about $1 per GB. If you can hold all your files and apps on one, that is the way to go.

Otherwise, buy a 120gb SSD, and install the os and your important apps on it. Then buy a larger, slower hard drive to store large files such as video's.
!