Long sad story. Please bear with me.
My drive was dying but was still recoverable using commercial recovery software. Unfortunately, I only did a partial recovery and when I tried again, the drive had failed further to where there was no longer a drive letter and the commercial recovery software was no longer an option. So I tried Recovery Console but got "windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: system32\drivers\ntfs.sys. So i installed a floppy drive, and tried to copy a new ntfs.sys onto the hard drive but i got "access is denied". The i tried a dir on the c drive and i got "an error occurred during directory enumeration". Following some other online discussions I tried a "fixmbr" which was successful but accomplished nothing. Then i tried "fixboot" and got "fixboot cannot find the system drive, or the drive specified is not valid". I've also tried chkdsk /r and got "the volume appears to contain one or more unrecoverable problems".
The drive is a Western Digital 400gb (wd4000yr) and i'm on an xp pro hp system.
Short of paying a gazillion dollars to DriveSavers, anyone have any more suggestions? I'm nearing the end of my rope!
thanks in advance