files on my hd before 1/4/06 are still there. newer files are gone. it is a 2000 server i was using periodically. last week i installed a scanner and its usb drivers and updated the scanner firmware via the usb and rebooted to a error like can't find operating system. i ran a fixmbr and a fixboot from recovery console but a simple dir c: results in can not enumerate directory. nothing saw anything on the hd except for active partition recovery. i ran the option to restore the copy of the partition table and put the drive in another system and ran file recovery. files before 1/4/06 show up. isn't that weird? i ran the trial of ontrack easy recovery - it sees the same files - those before 1/4/06. so how are the newer files hiding? after recovering the files before 1/4/06 (although I have a august backup of the whole disk and haven't used it a whole lot since then) I rebooted and windows ran an integrity check chkdsk on it and now it shows all of the same files that were recovered i.e. those before 1/4/06 ... i think my next step will be to run spinrite.