Well my original hard drive in my Xbox has up and died after many years of faithful service (complete with Error 7 screen and god-awful clicking) and I'm looking to replace it. I have the necessary EEPROM backup in my possession, but most softmod-related tutorials for hard drive replacement call for a backup of the C and E partitions as well of which:
a) I do not have.
Cannot possibly FTP off (on the basis that the drive couldn't be more dead than if it was floating off the coast of Minamisanriku)
So what should I do to have the new hard drive with, at very least, the retail dashboard so I can softmod it from there.