Got an error code 10008 "Failed - Replace Hard Disk 1" on a primary hard disk self test. The hard drive is a Seagate ST9200827AS, 200G, 5400 rpm, Sata. It's on a Compaq Presario A900 Netbook and I can't access my Recovery Partition. It was running Win Vista and I don't have any OS disks or backups. If I replace the hard disk with like for like can I then install WIN 7 on it.
Generally speaking, replacing the hard drive should be the easiest upgrade that can be done. You should consult your manual to find out the exact steps.
As for Win 7, you basically have 2 choices; retail or OEM.
Retail - Costs the most. You get full tech support from Microsoft, but not sure for how many years. The operating system can be re-installed on a separate PC/laptop, but it can only exist on one machine at any given time. The retail version contains both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.
OEM - Original Equipment Manufacturer. Cheaper than retail. You get no free support from Microsoft. While it can be installed on a different machine you need to call Microsoft and ask them to unlock the product key so that Win 7 can be installed on another machine. Again, it is only permitted on one machine at any given time. When purchasing the OEM version you need to choose between 32-bit and 64-bit. There is no real reason to get the 32-bit version. The biggest difference for the average person is that the 32-bit version will limit you to less than 4GB of RAM.