Posted 17 October 2009 - 02:11 PM
Perhaps you could try booting up with a Linux Live CD,
which may enable you to lift your personal files off,
onto an external USB drive.
Ubuntu 9.04 and Linux Mint 7, (Gloria), are pretty good distributions.
Others in these forums have previously suggested removing the hard drive from the computer
and hooking it up to another computer.
I prefer the Linux method, as it avoids interference by Windows.
Don't know about the MBR - others may be able to answer that point.