Probable borked hard drive with important data.
Sony Vaio Desktop
Windows XP Home- service pack unknown
160 gig Western Digital HD
My brother thought that his computer was infected with a virus, so he downloaded fixes and deleted many files. (He does not recall specifically what was downloaded nor what files were trashed). Afterwards, the computer is locked in a "boot loop". Computer will show Windows splash screen for a short time and then reboot.
I am not able to boot to safe mode nor last good setting
Attempted to do a Restore from Windows Install CD. Process hangs at "Checking Hard Drive".
Attempted to install UBUNTU 7.10. Ubuntu was unable to partition disk do to "unknown error."
Removed the troubled 160gig disk from computer and installed a new 6 gig hard drive. Hard drive was able to take an install of XP- this eliminates possibility of bad memory, MB, etc.
Attempted to install troubled 160 gig drive as a slave to the 6 gig XP install. Bios recognizes Master (6 gig) and slave (troubled 160), but system does not complete boot. After windows splash screen, computer hangs with black screen. (I waited over 20 minutes before shut down).
Removed troubled 160 from computer and installed into external USB case. The new Windows install (on the 6 Gig) was able to see the disk, sort of. The disk showed up as three disks (I assume there are 3 partitions on the disk). However, windows was not able to see the files in the disks. Properties show each disk full @ 0 MB capacity.
I am stumped. I would give up and tell my brother to buy a new hard drive and start over, but coincidentally a janitor at his work accidentally threw away a box with all of his backups. This disk has project files that are irreplaceable.
Your help and ideas are greatly appreciated. "I is stumpified."