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HD recovery & debian installation mirroring (& others)

Hello everyone.

This last saturday my first hard drive started to give me some problems. At the beginning only the MBR was corrupted, which I was able to correct using testdisk and gpart. After this I was able to recover and backup (using afio, would tar be better?) my home and etc directories.
Now I need to reinstall this box in another HD, but doing it by hand would give me a tremendous hard work. I've read somewhere that using the --get-selections option of dpkg would be enough, but the output of this command misses some of the packages I've installed! Can this be because I only use aptitude/apt-get  and never dselect? (Regarding this issue, WHAT is the difference bettwen using both? Why does apt-get have and dselect-upgrade?) Where can I get a detailed list of all packages installed and how can I use it to reinstall Debian? And, if its in /var, what programas do you suggest me to use for recovering this directory from the broken HD? Since Saturday its state has just got worse and even gpart doesn't recognize the partitions due to some bad sectors! :/

Thanks in advance to everyone.


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