Have for several years been running windows xp pro service pack 3 on a PC with a 250GB Maxtor HD. One of the applications I used as a utility was IoBit's Advanced System Care ver 3. A couple of days ago I upgraded to version5 and ran the scans asking it to correct errors found etc. Next morning when I turned the PC on it ran through the first bit of the boot process identifying IDE channels the HD itself etc and then did the PCI listing. Following the boot device setup it tried the floppy then the CD and finally the HD then up came the above error message ie " error loading operating system" and I can get no further - I can get into the BIOS.
I have two concerns in order of priority which are:
1. Whatever I do I don't want to lose the info/data I have on the HD. I do have much of it backed up onto a LaCie HD but haven't done a backup for months ( I know,I know how often have you heard that!)
2. I would like to get the system back up and running ASAP because I need to get some pictures of the HD which my daughter is waiting on to complete a book project ( hair - mine - falling out at a great rate of knots right now)
How should I tackle things to secure the data before starting to try and recover and if I manage that first priority how best to go about the recovery process.
I have the original Windows XP disks (pre service pack 3 ). Someone suggested connecting the HD to another PC as a "slave" but I don't know how to do that eg does it mean physically disconnecting it from existing PC ?
Finally is it more likely that the problem stems from for example registry changes made by the utility than a physical HD problem.
All advice appreciated , I can give more PC spec if required - my level of knowledge is pretty basic but I am good at following instructions so going into BIOS and making changes if necessary is something I can handle but I have no experience at all about partitions and setting up/altering HD s
I feel such a prat not having done recent backups - hopefully others will read and learn