First I am 67 and learning from all you smart people.

I have a VAIO home premium OEMAct Model #vgnar830E. My Toshiba HD died, and my friend gave me the VAIO with the HD removed. So I am starting with nothing as I live on a very limited income, but I am going to try with all your help.

I have ordered a hard drive and I have a recovery disk of the same Vista Home Premium OEMAct from my old Gateway laptop.

Can I use this recovery disk in my VAIO? Along with the new hard drive? Should I try to find Windows 7 and install this rather than the Vista? Then as I understand from all of you, I will need to download the drivers. If this is correct, can you tell me which one I will need?

I have watched a video of installing items and did install memory in the back and keyboard of my old Toshiba so I am not afraid to try things. If there is a list of things to do, send it along and I will keep you updated on my going abouts.


First off, it make a little sense running recovery disk on another computer: most likely, it will have a different hardware, so many drivers will be missing. The other problem is that Windows will detect a different equipment (CPU, motherboard metrics, etc) and will refuse working with your existing license.

So you may either consider recovering on an old computer (changed HDD does not count a critical change), or installing a brand new OS on a new laptop. The choice is yours, depending on what laptop is more powerful and what Windows licenses you have.

Yes, for a new system you will need drivers that are specific to your hardware within the laptop.

Usually, when you purchase a laptop, you will be given a CD with necessary drivers, but it may have been lost, and also never versions of the drivers may have been released since that time, letting your hardware run better.

In you don't have such CD's, just do the following:

  1. Go to the vendor's site (Sony, for VAIO): Link
  2. In the right column, chose "Drivers and Software"
  3. Type in (or pick from drop-down) your model number.
  4. Download everything from there
  5. You may just write the drivers to an USB stick or burn a CD
  6. Now you are ready to install the OS. When it asks for drivers, just insert your media and that's it.
  • Thank you @byte buster for your response. I understand what you have advised. One question, the VIOA is the newest computer and that is what I ordered the HD for to install. My question is should I order a new windows 7 or the Vista OS that came in the computer. I don't have any of the disks that came with the VIOA so I don't know if I have a bit 32 or 64 version as I have an empty shell so I don,t know what to order. If I have a 32 can I install the 64 bit version to just update? Thank you darling for your time. Elizabeth – Elizabeth Dec 1 '12 at 19:32
  • It really depends on what licenses you have purchased (yes, they are specific to x86/x64, versions, etc). If you have never specifically purchased a key, that means you have OEM license pre-installed on a laptop when you purchased it - then you may recover it for exactly the same computer it was sold with, and for same version of Windows; see this post and this – bytebuster Dec 1 '12 at 21:29

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