Mod Edit: Edited title to reflect seeming issues - Hamluis.
On a Dell 8100 (32 bit) still running XP-Pro and AVAST security software, I had a strange set of problems, some of which I have figured out. Please read on to see if someone on this list can halp me with the problems I have not figured out.
Out of nowhere, this PC - used largely for e-mail - suddenly refused to load XP. The XP load screen appeared but the messages indicated, among other choices, that I should go to the last good operating status.
I eventually figured out that I had apparently had a power surge that had fried at least a portion of my Linkskey KVM switch's circuitry. Accordingly, I stopped using the KVM switch and connected the monitor, keyboard, and mouse directly. XP still wouldn't load past the initial screen.
I then tried to boot the PC with a floppy MS-DOS boot disc formatted only with the 'format /s' command. The PC booted but wouldn't recognize and of the five partitions on the hard drive.
Lacking any other tools, I tried booting the PC with an XP-Pro OEM installation disc. The PC booted and correctly identified the five partitions on the hard drive and the CD/DVD disc drive. Interestingly, the C:\ partition was listed as 'blank' while the other four partitions (D:/, E:/, F:/, and G:/) were all correctly listed as NTFS partitions. My conclusion was that somehow my C:/ partition had somehow gotten erased! WHAT?
As it has been my policy, going back to the MS-DOS days, to install only the operating system files in the C:/ partition, I decided to gamble and reformat the C:\ partition and reinstall XP-Pro so I could at least copy to CD-R discs the files that appeared to be intact on the D:/, E:/, F:/, and G:/ partitions.
As expected, none of the originally installed applications were working, Accordingly, I installed Roxio's application to the C:/ drive and found that I could, indeed, copy the old files in the D:/, E:/, F:/, and G:/ partitions.
Thank you for reading this far. Does anybody have any idea what could have caused my C:\ partition to get erased and become unformatted? Is this some strange bit of malware floating around? I have fould AVAST to be pretty good at catching malware but maybe my experience is a unique one. Could a power surge have tricked the PC into somehow going berserk? I am utterly baffled and all ideas, comments, etc., particularly by folks much younger than me who know Windows operating systems vastly better than I do.
Edited by hamluis, 25 June 2016 - 06:18 PM.