I have a laptop which came with windows vista installed. It was supplied with both a recovery partition, and Vista/driver discs.
My question is - can I replace the hard drive, with one of the new 160Gb 7200rpm 2.5" laptop drives, and use the Vista disc, to install the OS again - or will it think this is multiple installs on different machines, when I try to use the license key again?
You need to buy Acronis True Image, then Create a Image of the Old Drive with any partitions. This you need to copy to a External Drive. You can then fit the New Drive and Restore the Image. I did it With a Medion Laptop Computer Whent from a 30Gb 4200 rpm drive to a 60Gb 7200rpm drive. Also the Medion Recovery disc still works although I never use it. I tried it just for the sake of trying it
If you first install Acronis on your old drive. in the Programs on the Desktop there is a Part that you can create a Bootable CD, you can then start your computer with External drive connected and The BIOS as to be set to first boot from CD, Hard Drive should be set to second boot device. After starting with the Acronis boot CD let it load and choose Restore Then brows to the Acronis Image that you created and Restore it