I've been trying to use the Recovery Console from my XP CD. Initially, I didn't even get a "1: C:\windows" option. Then I ran ChkDsk; it said that errors had been found; now I get the "1: C:\windows" option as I'm supposed to.
I've tried replacing the system.bak, software.bak, sam.bak, security.bak, and default.bak files in windows\config with the ones from windows\repair; it didn't help.
I've also run fixboot. Also didn't help.
I was about to try fixmbr and got a warning that "this computer appears to have a non-standard or invalid master boot record" and that it may damage my partition tables if I proceed. This scared me a bit, so I haven't run it yet.
So - my questions are:
1. Do you have any idea what my problem is and how I might go ab out fixing it?
2. Is there any way for me to recover my (foolishly un-backed up) data?
3. I have two physical hard drives - if I'm forced to reformat, the data on the second drive won't be affected, right?