It's hard to explain what happened here because I have no real idea myself, only hunches. After patching my wife's pc with XP sp2 and Office sp3, I went and downloaded McAfee's virus scan, firewall, and security center programs from a link I had some time ago. This software was free to military individuals. Here is the link btw: http://us.mcafee.com/en-us/affiliates/dod/landingpages/?affid=106-01
As soon as installed the firewall program and rebooted, programs started crashing. Inluding the recently installed virus scan software. So after deleting all of the mentioned programs and reinstalling them, I scanned my pc and found it to be clean. This is where it gets fun. My mother-in-law was using the computer for work and was restoring information to the program she was using via a cd. The program would not show the cd-rom as an option to pull the backup information from, so she rebooted the pc. When windows came back up, it logged into the administrator account (all other accounts were gone) and from what I can tell at this point, all of the files on this harddrive are gone. Its looks as if I had formatted my harddrive. Checking the windows version even shows that I haven't patched windows with sp2 yet, which I know I did. So now I am at a loss. I don't really know what happened or how to correct it. I am not so much worried about this harddrive, however I have a second drive in the box that I use for pictures and such that windows says is not there. I plan to disconnect it and scan it for virus at a later time. The question is, what the hell happened and what do I do now? I've run several online virus scans and even tried to fix the boot sector using the recovery console and the fixboot command and COPY X:\i386\NTLDR C: and COPY X:\i386\NTDETECT.COM C: Still no luck, now what do I do?