Rather than suffering the life-shattering disruption of an unrecoverable drive, I called a Code Blue...and here's what I did:
Background: I have Win7 64-bit running on a Dell Latitude D830 with a bay-mounted SATA external 500GB drive and an external USB 500GB drive.
- Download Paragon Backup & Recovery Free Edition; install
- Use Paragon B&R to create a full backup of my existing hard drive (including MBR/Master Boot Record) onto my external USB drive (about 1/2 the size of my total hard drive)
- Use Paradon B&R to restore from the external USB drive to the external bay drive
- Shut down Windows7
- Swap primary hard drive with external bay drive
- Start up Windows7
- Order new hard drive to replace old, busted, Kerklunk drive...
Unbelievably, that's it. Everything (including Windows Activation) just worked. I will shout to the hills about the awesome-ness of Paragon's tools. Yea Paragon. Seriously. Booyah.