I am new to these forums so hello and I appreciate any help or suggestions anyone can give. Normally I can just about find out any solution myself by reading or searching. However, I am in above my head this time due to me just not thinking.
My situation is that this morning when I turned on my computer, I got the black screen, and it told me that windows could not boot due to it missing a config.msi file or something to that effect. Anyway, I had just gotten off of a 18 hour bus ride and was not thinking at all. So instead of trying to use a system restore point, I made the mistake of placing the manufacturer's OEM CD in and rebooting that way. I figured the best way would be to just replace that specific file.
But, when it booted the recovery CD up, it only gave me the option of a full restore, that completely wipes all data. Or it gave me the option of backing up the info that was there, and replacing the main bootup files(or what I assume to be the main bootup files). So I did the latter. It replaced windows OS. After thinking about it, I realized what I had done but it was too late. So as I turned on the computer, it booted up fine. And it seemed to work good. But now I realized that it didnt just replace that, adn that all my files from before, the "my documents" etc were now in a different area. Not a big deal I thought at first. But the main folder that I used, the one with all the files I need I cant get access to now. It tells me that I dont have access to it. I did have a password set to that account, so I am thinking that's why it wont let me access it. There was supposed to be a way that I could recover those files. I dont have a clue how.
I know that the info is there, because out of a 60 gig hard drive I have about 200 megs left. I just came back from Iraq, and all of my photos etc were in there. So I am really irked to say the least. I went to best buy and bought an external hard drive and a program called search and recovery2, but it only recovers things that I have deleted from this current account. I tried to do a system recovery now, but it tells me that basically this computer didnt exist before this morning when I loaded the new XP on there.
Anyway, sorry so long, and hopefully someone can give me a hand. Thanks.