My pc got stuck on the "Windows is Starting Up" screen and would not proceed. I tried again... same thing. I tried going into various Safe Modes (with and without networking and with and without command prompt)... same thing.
I tried using the Windows XP disc I had to go to a command prompt (repair via console); but that only let me see the Windows directory and didnt let me go into any others from root nor copy anything.
I tried doing a repair install... no effect.
I tried repairing the MBR with FIXMBR... no effect.
I tried building a bootable CD from another machine using Nero; but that didn't let me copy anything. It would just get stuck whenever I tried.
I tried building a beefier bootable CD with PE Builder. But it didn't even see my drive, even though it's there to be seen when I used the other bootable cd's boot discs and is seen via bios.
My computer is hosed... that much I accept. I need to reinstall XP fresh after reformatting... that much I assume. But is there any easy or me to get to the files contained therein first? I've reinstalled before and will reinstall again. But I'd rather not lose the pictures and files I have accumulated in the 10 months since my last full system backup (yeah, yeah... I know that's foolish).
My HD on that system is SATA. I have some IDE's lying around, and even use them in a macally phr100ac. But windows wont install directly to the macally via usb nor firewire. If I pull one of the two dvd drives (one reader, one writer)... should that work? If so, I can try installing XP to that and see if it will let me at least get to my files. But does anyone have any better ideas?
I'd appreciate any advice you all could suggest.