Recently I dropped my Dell Inspiron 1545 and while it worked for about 10 minutes, it then froze and would no longer start up past the Dell load-up screen. Having consulted with relatives who do computer work for a living (unfortunately not in the same province), we figured out that the hard drive had likely sustained some damage. I've since managed to put the hard drive into an enclosure and connect it to my Dell netbook to recover my data and files (using Getdataback software which I highly recommend after Windows Explorer said my drive was inaccessible and needed to be formatted).
My question is - my father mentioned that if I had a second drive appear on Windows explorer labelled 'Recovery' that I might be able to use this data to re-install my Windows Vista on my Inspiron once I receive my new hard-drive. Many online sources state that there is an image file somewhere on this partition drive that will allow me to do so, but it's unclear what exactly I should be looking for - is there a specific file name? Do I burn all the data from this partition drive to a DVD to boot up with once I've put the new hard drive in?
I really just need a factory-shipped version of Vista to install onto my new hard drive - I've copied all my relevant files onto my netbook and can re-install additional software I've downloaded easily. I'm hoping not to shell out $230 for Windows 7 and if there is a way to re-install my copy of Vista without the original CD/DVD (which I no longer seem to have...), I'd love to hear it.