Posted 23 April 2011 - 07:42 PM
I almost went with your option - I used a LiveCD of Ubuntu and it was a gorgeous operating system. However, I decided to try to clone the drive, and this is the sequence of events that worked for me:
- Cloned the old hard drive using Clonezilla (the LiveCD didn't work for some reason, so I used a USB stick instead)
- Put the image file on the new hard drive using Clonezilla
- Windows would not load - not even a little. The main partition was not mountable, even using PuppyLinux
- I put in the recovery discs that I received from HP, but it still said it wouldn't work with the hard drive
- Restarted the computer, hit escape and got to a menu of options
- Chose "recovery" from amongst the options, which included things like booting options, BIOS, etc.
- Followed the screens, and it used the recovery partition (which -WAS- mountable, even though the other partition that was C: was not)
- Reinstalled Vista flawlessly
Hopefully this helps anyone else with the same problem, provided that their recovery partition is intact like mine was.
Thank you for your posts and assistance!