Hi there. I am new to this forum - but I wonder if someone may be able to help.
I have a Sony Vaio notebook running Windows XP SP2. The hard disk is getting full and my PC is running slowly. The disk runs at 4200rpm. I would like to clone my hard disk to a new faster 7200 hard disk - which I understand should speed things up. I can clone the partitions that Windows can see - without problem. However Sony has set aside some ?7Gb of my hard disk as a hidden Recovery Partition.
I have three questions:
(1) Are there any (preferably free) programs out there which will clone a hard disk, sector by sector allowing me to copy my entire hard disk to a new external USB drive?
I have found loads of programs that will clone / copy partitions - but they won't allow me to copy the hidden Recovery Partition.
(2) Is there any way to make the Recovery Partition visible to Windows, temporarily? My plan would be to make this partition visible - clone the hard disk - and then hide the Recovery Partition again. Might this be possible?
(3) I have created Recovery DVDs many years ago when I bought my Sony PC. Do I actually need to clone / copy the recovery partition? Will Windows boot / my PC work without it?
I would be grateful for any help / suggestions that anyone may be able to offer.
Many thanks in anticipation.