I've read several threads about this and know this is an extremely common problem to have (Windows won't boot, all that is displayed is a blinking cursor in the upper left, won't boot to safe mode either). I also appreciate all the supporters who have suggested ways to attempt to fix this. Having said that, this is the 3rd time this has happened to me in 3 months and none of those fixes work.
I've tried all variations suggested in this and other similar threads but the problem persists;
These include recovery console options such as:
1. chkdsk /r - fixes errors but still doesn't boot. Yes, I did it multiple times.
2. fixboot - writes a new boot sector but doesn't boot
3. bootcfg /rebuild - no change
4. Parallel install of Windows XP in a different directory (WINDOWS0, for example)
It is clear that this problem is not going to get fixed so my question is actually;
What do I need to replace (best guess) in terms of hardware to prevent this?
Hard Drive again (this only has happened with my current drive, which I bought recycled)? Motherboard? Something else?
Thanks for the anticipated help.
PS Special thanks to happyrock. because of himand the Puppy Linux suggestion, I've always been able to move my data to an external when this problem happens so I never lose anything, except my patience. Thanks again.