Oh my dear holy God above, thank you thank you thank you.
I have just emerged from computer hell. So my 80 GB hard drive is too small. Has been for a long time. My father in law took my hard drive today and test cloned it to a spare he had (he’s the IT guy at his job among other things). I wanted to test the process to make sure it would work in my Dell before I went and bought something bigger. So I pick up the drives this afternoon, pop in the clone. Doesn’t boot. Okay, fine. Didn’t work. Was afraid of that. Popped in the original hard drive. Same problem. WTF? Call my FIL. He doesn’t know what the problem is and has no useful suggestions. My laptop went out of warranty 18 days ago. The computer is one of those that DOESN’T come with a Vista disk ([original expletive deleted] greedy jerks–and they expect you to be able to recover your system HOW when the computer won’t boot that far?). Well after a lot of gnashing of teeth and cursing the powers that be, we finally located the Vista disk for DH’s desktop and managed to run the repair feature and all is well. Everything boots on the clone. I didn’t lose anything. And I just went and bought a 250 GB hard drive off Ebay.
But GOD how stressful. I was terrified everything was screwed. Am going to back up all my documents immediately.
I think I am even more glad now (if this was possible) that I just bought a Mac instead of a Vista-PC.