Listen it's been a month and I think I've gotten all the "help" that I can from you. Just tell me, if I buy another hard drive, say an external one, and boot xp from that drive will I able to transfer files directly from the old one to the new one? Or will it just be all unreadable because of your combofix experiment?
Sorry, you can't boot Windows from an external drive. Will give you a nice blue screen stating "UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME". If you really need to run something off an external HDD, use Linux. I recommend Mandriva - in my opinion that distro comes closest to replacing a full operating system.
I'm sorry, but the only option is to buy a new internal hard drive like the one you're using right now.
Right now you must stop using the drive. When the new drive comes in, put the new drive in your computer as master and the old one as slave. Boot from the Linux disc and mount them both. If the new drive has no partitions yet, you can use GParted which comes with the Linux disc to make an NTFS partition. If the faulty drive won't mount, rerun chkdsk from the recovery disc. By the way - that recovery disc will time out a month after it has been burned.
I do appreciate your time, but you did put me in quite a precarious position.
These issues are hardware related, running combofix can't cause any physical
damage to hard drive. I understand that this situation is frustrating but it is no one's
fault, things just happen.
I'm really sorry, and I completely understand your feelings (been there myself), but there is nothing else that can be done.