I might soon have to change my hard drive for a new one as it is starting to show signs of ceasing to work properly. I am running Windows 7 and have a recovery partition on the current hard drive from which I can restore the entire system in case something goes bad. If I replace my hard drive, I will lose this partition. SO, is there
A way to download and reinstall such partition from the manufacturer's site (in my case sony).
A way to back it up and restore it to the new hard drive, perhaps using some other operating system (this has the disadvantage that since my hard drive is beginning to malfunction, some bytes may be copied incorrectly, causing the whole system image to be useless).
Or, do I need to purchase a separate copy of windows and reinstall it on my new hard drive (in which case I would also lose all the sony vaio customizations which came with my laptop)?