I was running Windows XP with SP1. I had a 250 gig HD with 3 partitions (C: 50 gigs, D: 100, E: 100), and Windows was installed on the C drive. I was having a problem with the system hanging up every time I tried to open Internet Explorer. I knew it might be time to reinstall Windows, since it had been a while, so I backed up all the necessary data from my C drive. Then, I followed Microsoft's insructions, and ended up trying to run the repair option from the Widows XP CD. Big mistake.
I walked away from the computer, and when I came back, the PC was just rebooting over and over again, whether I selected safe mode or not.
At this point, I figured it was time to reinstall Windows. Then I realized I didn't have a boot disk. So, I couldn't get to DOS to format the C drive. On a side note, in the process of looking for a boot disk, I realized that my floppy drive apparently isn't working at all, but I don't know how long that's been going on, since I never use it.
I started trying to install from the CD anyway, to see if it would give me an option to format the target drive. I was a little confused when the Windows XP installation asked me if I wanted to delete the partition, so I put in my Windows 98 CD to see if it said the same thing. It did, so I cancelled out of it. I put my Windows XP CD back in, and suddenly is was showing me one big, empty 250 gig partition. It looked like everthing from my D and E drives was gone! I had only backed up the data from the C drive, because it was just too much to back it all up.
So, I put in an old hard drive as the master, and hooked up the 250 gig drive as the slave. In Windows Explorer, I can see the C drive, and a D drive (not a good sign, since it had been partitioned into 3 drives). But, when I try to access the D drive I get a message saying drive D is not accessible.
I'm desperate to access my main hard drive and see if I can recover these files, as I make my living from a home-based business, most of which involves those files.
I just don't know what to try next.