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Its been 5 days since I lost my system (HDD dirty) and desperately want to get it back.
I've managed to alleviate the problem by buyiong a new HDD and putting it in teh 2nd drive Bay and sucessfully created a new XP.SP2 image so I can see the first drive to try and repair it.
I don't think the problem started with a viris as Trend Micro Internet Security has always been active.
This is what happened:
On boot got message that HDD was dirtty and prompted to run CHKDSK /P.
Several files weemd to be fixed but when re-boot came back with SYSTEM hive was corrupted.
Tried traditional restore from XP CD (only prob it was SP2 and my system was on XP3. The restore went well until it blocked restoring device drivers - at 35 mins left.
After sevrl more blocks on restoring drivers I started reading and did some bad things
1) Changing CD to a XP SP1 disk and XP Media 2005 disk - both crashed out.
2) Deleted inf files from system32/inf directory
3) overwrote 5 registry hives from a recent restore point
It all got worse and I simply could not boot of the drive at all. SafeBoot with all options eg /SOS /NOGUIMODE etc and nothing.
I'm now guessing its registry corruption since all hardware works perfectly on new installation.
Can anyone help me get back out of this black hole and all my apps software is still in it (Lightroom, and other expensive images) The good news is I got all the data back on the new drive.
Being as you are reasonably sure there is no virus make your old drive a secondary/slave then transfer your files to the new drive, once that is done format the old drive. Caveat if the old drive is really old junk it as it will end up having problems again.