<<I have a genuine Msoft xp disc with the rider that windows has been re/installed 4 times...>>
That's not a problem. I have reinstalled XP more times than that on systems I have had since 2001, with no problem.
<<This is what I had to do when my current motherboard was installed barely 12 months ago.>>
A new motherboard (unless it is the exact same one) may be (properly) seen by Windows activation mechanism...as a different system. Which is why product activation then kicks in. That is fairly routine and the fact that telephonic activation/discussion may be required...is normal. The contacts that I have had re PA have all been painless, understanding, and nothing to be concerned about.
I find it interesting that you say you received a BSOD...but I see no content of the message reflected. These messages provide clues about what might be the core of the problem which is causing the noted error/BSOD.
<<I don't know which is the 'c' or main drive.>>
That's easy enough to find out
To do so, you need to enter the BIOS and take a look at the main screen which reflects all drives attached and detected. The boot drive will be noted as "primary" and should be the first hard drive listed.http://computer.howstuffworks.com/bios.htm/printable
More info than you need but a basic explanation of what the BIOS is.
The typical way to enter the BIOS is by repeatedly striking the Delete key once the system first starts to boot,
An alternative to doing this is simply to open the case...and see which hard drive is attached to the end connector of the IDE cable. That could be misleading if each drive is on a separate cable, so I suggest using the BIOS method.
But there is no hard drive that would yield 82.3GB as useable drive space. The link following illustrates the comparison of stated hard drive sizes...and the actual useable space.http://wdc.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wdc.cfg/ph...php?p_faqid=615
Where did you get the drive size data from? The 80GB stated size is good, that's standard but the size you list for the Hitachi cannot be accurate.
Again...if you go into the BIOS...it will list the stated size of each drive and you can check the data you reported.
Regarding data recovery from the hard drive...first you have to determine which is the boot/system/C: drive. Once that is done, you can move all data files (assuming that there is no damage to either the file system or the drive itself) by removing the system drive/C: and attaching it as a secondary drive to any system. Your current boot drive then becomes just another drive on that system...and you will be able to move files from any partition on that drive...to any other partition/drive on the second system (cut-and-paste).
Once you safely move your data from your current system drive...then would be the time to attempt to troubleshoot what might be wrong.
If any of this is unclear...ask and someone will try to answer/guide.
<<Repair/setup failed at entering the original security codes.>>
That I don't understand at all. What was the message displayed? Have you tried that again? The codes entered will be unsuccessful if a typo of any sort is made...I think I'd try that again, being careful of my typing.