You'll have to set aside the fears and get it done then see where things stand.
For me the clone job is the easy path. Just one thing I'll like to add. DO NOT BOOT YOUR MACHINE AFTER THE CLONE JOB. Just slide the clone into it's new home position and don't have the old hard disk attached to see if it worked. You don't want any chance that booting your old OS will mark the clone as non-boot and you don't want to chance corrupting of what may be your only copy of your files.
Which brings up a point. Are you ready for it to all vanish?
After a power failure, my computer failed to boot. I was able to use Spinright, to fix the drive enough to get back into Windows (XP) and my computer is again operable - however, the system is still slightly unstable and has a few residual problems. I'd like to buy a new hard drive and transfer everything over in the easiest way possible, but am not sure the best way to do this.
My concerns are
1) if I make a mirror, I'm afraid the faults will transfer with it
2) if I make a backup and load it, Windows won't recognize that it is registered any longer (I discovered this could be a problem after loading an old hard drive and Window's wouldn't boot without a code (which I no longer have)
I do own an HP recovery disk (XP came with the system so I'm guessing this would be on the recovery disk???) I also believe I have an old version of Acronis lying around somewhere. I could probably also find a way to contact Microsoft to reactive Windows if needed.
I have room to install a second hard drive and turn the corrupted hard drive into a slave drive, if that is needed.
Does any one have any experience with this issue? I'm sure there is more than one way to do this, but I'm trying to deduce which would involve the least hassle/ money spent. I'm only moderately tech savvy, but am not afraid to try new things. Thanks!