Kactussoft - they sent me a drive only and I was told it will be devoid of OS /unformatted.
Gregrocker - Yes, I could use the Windows 7 CD as HP sent only the System Recovery CD, not true Windows 7 installation. My files are backed up but I'm holding onto a thin hope that I can clone my c: drive and avoid some pain not so much with Windows 7 updates and driver
updates so much as all the 3rd party software.
I mounted the old HD again into the HP notebook and even with boot set to CD and Recovery disk inserted, can't get it to boot. Nor will the HP QuickWeb work anymore - it was working when the disk partitions were broken but not now and it is enabled in BIOS (that's the QuickOS that goes online and is built into the board). Mbam does see the old disk (!) and found nothing on all partitions, but a full scan took only 19 seconds per partition - this can't be right as a Quick Scan took almost 2 minutes ?? I can't run chkdsk because I can't get to DOS and don't want to risk writing to disk anyway until all data manipulation/backup/imaging options are exhausted or completed. I can't get Bart's PE (built back in XP SP2) to work in Windows 7 64bit. I can't get SpinRite to run either. They suggest using a DOS boot CD or USB to remedy that so I will try. HP Tools has a built in HP drive checker and it gave me a pass on SMART and a fail on the drive. Thank you for the links to the various manuf's disk checks.