It is theoretically possible - but there's no telling if it's gonna fix the problems that you've had.
Software can always be fixed - but it's a matter of the amount of time and knowledge that's required to do it.
The issue here is that the restore point which should work - doesn't. Figuring out why that's happening is the first step to seeing if it's possible to fix it.
To start with, you'll have to test the bad drive to see if it's able to be recovered. To do this you can download a diagnostic utility from the manufacturer of the hard drive (a list of the more common manufacturer's is here: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/28744/hard-drive-installation-and-diagnostic-tools/
Also, you'll have to hookup the hard drive and run chkdsk /r on it - either from the Windows installation on the new hard drive, or by the Windows Vista Startup Repair (probably using the command prompt to manually start it - rather than the automated process).
If the old hard drive passes the diagnostics, and chkdsk /r also completes successfully - then there's a chance that you may be able to recover it (it depends on what's damaged). If there is damage, you may be able to recover enough of the data off of the drive to enable you to restore the system to the new hard drive - but this could also damage the new Windows installation to the point where it can't boot (requiring another reinstall).
What I'm thinking of here is the registry repair trick that sometimes works in XP. You manually extract the registry hives from the restore point and use them to replace the corrupt ones in the current installation. I'd try that first with the bad drive (backing up the hives before replacing them). Then, out of desperation, I'd try it with the new Vista installation and hope that it doesn't hose that installation also (if you backed up the current hives you may be able to resurrect the installation without needing a wipe and reinstall).
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able. - John
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