Yes copying the information from your c:/ harddrive or partition to d:/ is very possible.
In fact to make sure I never have to reinstall programs or restore my information, I have a harddrive reserved just for backup of my system.
Back to your question....
C:/Vista to D:/Formatted Harddrive
Doing this can be done with an OS(Operating System) on the harddrives, but whenever you use the software you will not be in an OS.
Whenever you copy everything from one harddrive or one partition to another this is called cloning. Google "Harddrive Cloning" for tons of information.(http://www.pcstats.c...e=2.....awesome
Download Freeware Harddrive Cloning.....(I have not used these products)
Mirays HDClone -- http://www.miray.de/...at.hdclone.htmlhttp://www.snapfiles...get/ranish.html
.....(This program I do use. about $40)http://www.farstone..../driveclone.htm
Creating Bootable Disc or Floppy
I'm guessing you will probably be using Mirays HDClone, because it looked to be the best freeware software. Using a floppy to boot the program will probably be your best bet because then you won't have to waste a cd. There's a readme with Miray's HDClone on how to make the bootable floppy so just read it.
##But if you do want to make a bootable cd you can burn the iso onto a disc with Alcohol 120% or anything else that burns iso's. ##
Time for Creating the Clone
Ok if I was you, since this is gonna be the first time you ever create a clone copy of your harddrive I would backup all your files currently on Vista....
With that being said....
Keep the bootable floppy disc in your computer and restart computer. Whenever your computer restarts, Enter Bios(Delete usually), Once in the bios change the device startups to floppy being booted first. Save the changes and the motherboard will reboot itself and then the program should startup. Follow the instructions and then your all done.
1. Download Mirays HDClone -- http://www.miray.de/...at.hdclone.html
2. Create Bootable Floppy Disc
3. Backup files on vista computer
4. Restart Computer
5. Enter Bios(Delete)
6. Change Boot Device to Floppy
7. Save changes
8. Follow Instructions for program
I'm sorry I typed up so much for ya.....but I hope you can filter thru and get'r figured out.