Transfer data from old hdd to new hdd
I'm posting this question in this category , I hope it's the right place. Here's my situation and general information. I have a Toshiba L35 S2161 laptop, it's about 5 yrs old, running WinXP Service Pack 3. just got the blue screen, wouldn't boot, tried everything and I only have the factory provided "recovery" disc that will wipe my drive and lose all my data if I use it. I hadn't been doing regular backups, so I want to save as much if not all of my data as I can. I don't want to spend time here going over everything I've tried (boot disc like Knoppix, etc) which didn't work, just need to get to the bottom line and make sure I'm doing the next steps correctly.
Here's my plan:
l. Remove old hard drive from laptop
2. purchase new hard drive - I've been told any drive will work, it doesn't have to be designed for a Toshiba. I've been looking at best prices, etc. mainly Western Digital. I may purchase a larger drive to at least get more memory , although I really didn't have that much on my old drive, but had a lot of apparent memory-related problems, freezes, etc.
3. Install new blank drive into laptop, using the Toshiba factory recovery disc to reformat the disc and get it ready to receive the data.
4. Insert the recovery disc into the drive, turn on the computer and HOPE that it boots it up and installs a fresh install on the new drive. Not sure what the screen willl show at this point - I've never installed a new drive in a laptop, so will be somewhat nervous at this point to see what happens.
5. Assuming the new drive is recognized by the recovery disc and installs a clean version of WIN XP (I'm assuming that's what's on the recovery disc that came with my computer, because it had WIN XP pre-installed), I will now be ready to transfer data from the old drive.
6. This is the step I'm not sure what or how to do next. I would like to clone my entire old drive onto the new drive but I'm afraid if I do that it might load damaged files that would mess up my new install. I purchased a disc enclosure with a USB cable (haven't received it yet), and was going to use that somehow. I presume I will plug it in and it will show up as an external drive and I can access that drive and transfer my priority files or data first and then try to transfer as much more as I can....
I need further help and information about this last step...the critical data transfer method. There are cloning kits that are plug and play and would transfer my entire system as it was before the blue screen, but again, I'm concerned about transferring everything onto a clean install and finding myself with a computer that won't boot again because it transferred a bad file. Also, would it overwrite or interfere with the clean install on the new drive? I'm stuck at this point....hopefully someone out there can walk me through this final step with the best option for transfer. I'm trying to avoid purchasing pricey software like Acronis (which I looked at online and it seemed difficult to use, to figure out what to transfer).
My laptop is obviously out of warranty, being five years old, and I am not interested in taking it in to repair tech, I want to do this myself and I think I can with a few helpful tips. Thanks for any help asap...