OK, I've been through a few things! Bear with me!
Firstly, having copied the recovered data from the formatted hard drive (all files and folders were recovered, but not partition), to another hard drive, I installed the hard disk in another PC. I tried a repair install but the repair feature doesn't show up.
I then tried a few goes at bootcfg, following the instructions in
After trying various things (can't remember which order), I got the Windows Start up menu, with 3 windows options to boot. Something like
1. Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
3. Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
All booted to the login prompt the same.
When trying to login as administrator, it wouldn't let me - can't remember the exact message, but it was something to do with activation. I tried a different account, and that wouldn't log in either.
I figured the installation didn't like being in another computer, on a different hard drive - so I recopied all the restored data back to a drive the same as the original (or very similar), and put it in the original PC.
Since then I've been trying all the above again, and can't get it to boot. I just get Press F1 to reboot, F2 to enter Setup (After a beep) - I don't think it's finding a boot sector.
I've also tried http://webcast.broadcastnewsroom.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=8658-2
- but this is more for corrupt installations, rather than re-building a boot sector / boot partition around an existing 'bootless' Windows installation.
I'm going to recopy the data again and try some of the steps above in a different order to try and boot again. If I get that far, maybe it will login.
Any further suggestions appreciated!
Edited by aod_, 18 December 2012 - 02:55 PM.