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Replace Vaio HDD with larger one. Recovery partition?

Posted on 2007-11-14
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
Vaio VGN-A497XP (UK). Need to replace HDD (90Gb) with 250Gb.. Sony has recovery partition for XP (SP2) and other programs. I have made recovery Disks. I would ideally like to create the same recovery partition on the new HDD as I spend a lot of time away from home, abroad and this facility could be vital if I get a fail whilst travelling. What I would like to know is whether these recovery disks will install on the new HDD without any changes, will they install but create partitions of the same size as the original disk including the recovery partition, leaving 150Gb unpartitioned, or create without the recovery partition. I can always use Partition Magic to repartition the HDD providing the recovery partition is there to start with.
If none of the above apply any ideas on how to do it. I don't see why I need to buy another copy of WinXP when I already have it and I understand that some of the drivers are not available from Sony to download. Sony support have in the main been pretty useless when I asked these questions.
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Question by:arwood
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11 Comments
 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:mdcsea
ID: 20284607
I have used Sony recovery disks before to load larger hard drives and they do pretty much what you expect, they create the partitions they were originally configured to create and leave the rest of the drive unused.

You can use Partition Magic (or similar utilities) to re-size the partition but those tools give me the willies - I have seen all kinds of problems as a result.  In particular, I'd be concerned about how the recovery partition would perform if it appeared on a different track than originally expected.

A better solution would be to use Windows Disk Manager, Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management > Disk Management and create a new partition in the unused space and assign it a different drive letter.  Sure, you have multiple drives to deal with but zero risk.

When you reinstall from the recovery disks, don't forget to immediately reinstall all services packs, critical updates and other updates from Microsoft (there will be dozens) and others before using the machine.

Good luck!
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Author Comment

by:arwood
ID: 20284730
Hi
Thanks for the quick response. I am not quite clear if you mean that the recovery disks do create the Recovery Partition on the new HDD. If so then that is all I need. I have used Partition Magic dozens of times to resize and reorganise the HDD so that is not a concern. It does work from a boot floppy as well.  I would not change the recovery partition of course.

Regards

Alan
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:mdcsea
ID: 20284775
The recovery disks I have used are a CD set, disk 1 of which was bootable.  Booting to the CD allowed the utility full access to the hard drive.  They actually do a sector overwrite for the initial process so everything on the HD will be lost - you get warned about this a few times - but your drive is new so you don't care.
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Author Comment

by:arwood
ID: 20284819
Hi

That was quick. My recovery disks are 2 DVDs the first of which is bootable so guess that your models were probably a little older if they used CDs. So I take it that it does recreate the Recovery Partition on the new HDD.

BR Alan
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LVL 4

Accepted Solution

by:
mdcsea earned 1400 total points
ID: 20284876
It should.  Honestly, I don't remember if the ones I used were DVDs or CDs - optical media in any event.

Just boot from that first one and follow the instructions presented.  
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LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:PUNKY
ID: 20284984
You wont need to create recovery partition on new hard drive if you have recovery discs. Install new drive, set boot order to boot from CD/DVD, pop in your recovery disc and start to installation.
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LVL 4

Assisted Solution

by:Dozer42
Dozer42 earned 300 total points
ID: 20285537
No need to buy a new copy of XP.

The recovery discs will bring the computer back to as exactly as possible to the condition it was in when you purchased it.

Either way, if you're traveling,  bring an extra copy of those recovery discs just in case. Better safe than sorry.

And of course, backup, backup, BACKUP your data.
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:David Wall
ID: 20287575
Just to add certainly when I rebuilt a Sony recently it recreated the recovery partition and allowed me to change partition sizes.

Of course the advantage of all this is that if it fails you still have the original untouched so you can afford to experiment.

I would go for it and see what happems the worst that can happen is you reinstall the old drive till you sort it out.
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Author Comment

by:arwood
ID: 20288908
Hi Punky

Yes I am aware of that but when traveling it is easier to do it from the HDD especially if the restore disks get scratched etc as is possible when traveling. That is why I prefer to recreate the Recovery partition if possible.

Hi Dozer42
Thanks for the input. That was what I was hoping. Se above re carrying restore disks and I do have good backups on 3 other machines with all data on a separate partition.

Hi WallD
That is a good confirmation. Yes I can affoird to experiment but it is just so time consuming that I try to check out possibilities first rather than fight the system later. I will try it when the new HDD arrives in a few days time.

I posted this question as a result of Sony's very unhelpfull attitude and some of the things they said which made me wonder a bit if there was likely to be any problem.

Thanks all. I will let you know what happens in a few days.

Alan
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LVL 12

Assisted Solution

by:David Wall
David Wall earned 300 total points
ID: 20297227
Yes I know Sonys help seems to use scripts and wants you to send it in for a repair at cost
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Author Closing Comment

by:arwood
ID: 31409238
Received new HDD today and installed. The Recovery DVDs do give the option to restore the hidden Recovery Partition (or not as the case may be). It then creates a 30Gb C Drive as the original and then allocates the rest to D drive. Job done but now starts the hartd part of getting rid of the unwanted junk. I tried to allocate a total of 700 points between you but it would not allow me to allocate more than the original 500. Sorry

Regards  Alan
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