about digital river
from what I've read, digital river is supposed to be a licensed official microsoft partner that hosts some of their OS files, like the vista install. It's as close to an official and legal download of vista that I could find. Maybe these disks are just repair disks and not full versions of vista. The websites tout them as being able to do a clean vista install, but maybe they are just repair disks, and that full clean install is actually utilizing parts from the old install. I have the license key for windows vista, so that's not an issue. I'll probably have to call gateway for recovery media, but I think they charge $40-60 dollars for it, so that's irritating. I'm also hesitant to do that because there is a chance that more than the hard drive in the computer was busted and that regardless of installation media the computer might just be shot. Regardless of that, thank you for all your help!