Sorry I'm a bit late getting back to you.Meant to do it earlier,but
was tied up with some tax returns.
Also sorry that you had no luck yet,but more help is on the way
In the meantime, may I sincerely thank you for your time and efforts in helping me and in providing the various links. It's really appreciated
Yes,you may,go ahead.Just kidding
I always gain from problems like this.
Here are some more useful links:
1. Knoppix review Geek to Live: Rescue files with a boot CD - Lifehacker
2.XP Repair Installation. How Do I Do a "Repair Installation"?
3.Access Personal Folder on a non-bootable drive Access Personal Folder on a non-bootable drive - microsoft.public.windowsxp.security_admin | Grupos de Google
4.Edit Registry using BartPE Bart's Preinstalled Environment (BartPE) bootable live windows CD/DVD
bootable CD with the Registry Editor PE plugin Registry Editor PE Home Page
to edit the Registry on a non-bootable machine.
5.Interesting thread here with several links re Reg editing.
Scroll down to Solutions. Operating Systems Miscellaneous: Convert System.dat and User.dat to text?
6.Use Reatogo Live CD to get access to your drive or just use it as a safe alternative to a regular Windows OS. Reatogo-X-PE Boot CD = BartPE + XPE + Reatogo/BartPE - AutoHelp Plugins
Now,the links are very useful,but at a certain point you may decide that this thing got you beat.
For myself I hardly ever do a re-install.First,because I'm curious to see if I can fix it
and second because I don't like a problem to get the better of me.
However,having said that,there is also an issue of time.
Most repair shops don't troubleshoot if the problem can't be solved quickly.
Instead,they save valuable data and do a fresh install.
If you're handy and can get a new HD for a good price, you could install that
on your machine as your primary drive and make the faulty one the slave.
Install the OS on the primary and then you can take your time to pick and choose what you want to transfer.
After that wipe the drive,format and use as backup.
Another method is to run a Live CD on the PC,connect a USB harddrive and
tranfer either all the contents off the non-bootable drive (or just valuable data) and do a reinstall.
Also check your BIOS and make sure everything is set properly as to booting.
For that matter check all your settings there.
Hope this helps