I worked with dell techs & microsoft for hours, and I can't boot to the desktop. I deserve what I got because I didn't practice "safe computing". Attempts to access the Recovery Console or do a nondestructive WinXP install have failed. Diagnostics done by dell techs show it's not hardware related, but a corrupted registry/MBR from a virus or who knows what.
The worst part is, of course, I most likely lost all my data files that I didn't back up since last March '04. Before I have the tech lead me thru a complete format and new install, I want to give it one last shot. I usually add a second HD to my computers for backup purposes.
I ordered an identical hard drive from Dell, and want to know if you think this might give me a shot at recovering my files:
1. I want to install the new drive as C: and have the Dell tech lead me thru reinstallation of WinXP.
2. I want to purchase an upgrade of Partition Magic for XP, and hopefully be able to view my corrupted drive as D: and be able to recover my data files, emails, pictures, etc.
3. I need to purchase and install antivirus, anti-spyware, firewall etc. software such as Symantec to prevent this from ever happening again.
As of now, I can't even view the C drive from a Dos prompt. Tech help has been horrible, because I don't need a so-called expert to tell me to just wipe out everything and start over.
One tech advised me to go to one of the local PC repair shops, saying they can recover the files for me. Does anyone have any experience with hard drive file recovery? Has anyone had any success with either a repair shop or the 2nd hard drive/Partition Magic method?
Does anyone know of any other way to solve this problem. I think the answer should be worth 2000 points, because i can't think of a worse problem than this. Thanks in advance for any and all help.