I'd test that the hdd is OK first. Run the hdd manufacturers diagnostic tool. If you have high speed net access download this Ultimate BootCD
it has all the hdd manufacturers tests on the CD.
If your not sure how manufacturered your friends hdd, run the seatools software and run the generic test.
It could also be that the mbr has got corrupt, there are some mbr tools on the ultimate bootcd which should help.
Or you could try active partition recovery
I've used it in the past to recovery corrupt mbr's there's a free demo which will tell you if it can recover the data.
If neither of these suggestions work then something else has caused the problem.
Edited by stidyup, 07 January 2005 - 04:08 AM.