Installing An OS From A Partition?

I am a bit confused on this one

I ran a series of tests on my computer, well the computer did it for me as scheduled. It failed a surface scan test on pass two. The error code seemed to indicate the drive will fail soon.

So I’ve backed up my files to my external drive It’s actually an internal drive in an eclosure.

I was all set to go buy a new hard drive, then I thought, “Wait a minute, the OS came installed on the drive that still works, but may fail soon”

So my question is how do I get the OS installed? Since it came installed on the computer and I didn’t get any install CDs, that’s not a choice.

Now on the drive I currently have there is a “C” drive and a “D” drive which is the recovery partition.

OK so here’s where I’m stuck.

How do I reinstall the OS on the new drive?

I thought about putting the drive, that’s on the way out, into my external hard drive case, but then the computer won’t boot up right? I have a boot disk made as well. And I have recovery disks made as well.

At this point I’m lost. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

You cant install windows on a external hard drive. What I reccomend is download a program toget your CD key or look for it on the sticker on your computer and then download the install CD from a torrent site. And use that, since you are using your OWN cdkey that you bought you are not breaking any laws as far as I know

They should have sent you a CD with the OS on it when you bought your computer. With that would be a CD Key (code number) you need to enter during installation.

If you do not have that then what was said just above.

If you do not have a CD-Key you need to buy a new copy of Windows (I was unaware you could extract your CD-Key from your current machine but then can’t say as I have ever looked…never had the need).

And FWIW hard drives tend to get bad sectors on occasion. This can mean a failing hard drive or could be normal. A few here and there is not (necessarily) cause for concern.

Definitely backup your files and continue to do so on a regular basis. As long as you do that then ride it out and see what happens.

Hard drives tend to last a long time so, if your PC is old, might be a good time to just get a new PC money allowing.

You could use something like DriveImage XML or CloneZilla to clone your existing drive to a new one. This will clone your recovery partition, as well as your running OS.

ETA: Many manufacturers include a utility to create an install CD if they don’t include one. For example, on a Dell, Start> All Programs> Dell Accessories> Dell OS Recovery CD.

I’d never heard this before; is it true?

If so, why not?

To answer the OP’s question directly, typically one wouldn’t re-install windows in this situation, you would use software such as Acronis True Image (or whatever it’s called now) to clone the current HD onto the new one. The new one, if purchased retail (not OEM) may come with such software.

Is this a laptop? They tend to use recovery partitions rather than giving you a copy of the OS on CD. Must save them a whole 6 or 7 cents. They probably have other reasons as well - like making sure you never get rid of the crapware they load up with the disk image.

Anyway, you need to call tech support and find out what key to press during boot up to take you to the recovery partition. Once you’re there, you should be able to do a fresh install to the new boot drive.

I don’t know of any way to extract the OS from an installed partition, but you can do the next best thing. You can use Paragon’s GoVirtual utility to create a clone of your existing system and then run the clone inside of a virtual machine such as those used by VMWare Player or Sun’s (now Oracle’s) Virtual Box. I think VMPlayer is much better but they’re both free so you can investigate for yourself.

From what you have said here it sounds like you burned the recovery disks that the manufacturer recommends you do. That being the case all you need to do is stick the new drive in (remove the old one) and boot from the recovery disk(s), this will re-install everything to day one condition as it was when you took it out of the box. Then copy back your personal files you backed up onto the external drive. Simple enough.

Also, you can install Windows onto an external hard drive but it isn’t recommended as the read/write speeds would be painfully slow, this wouldn’t create a portable installation either as the drivers would cause issues if you tried to boot from it on another machine.

If there’s no recovery partition, there may be an install set. Look for a directory called i386 or the name of the manufacturer.

What about the MBR?