Hi Gang, Like probably everybody else here, no matter how many times I explain that "Just because I can drive a car well - doesn't mean I can rebuild a transmission." --- I end up attempting to 'fix' family hardware problems. Oy! My brother-in-law has a dead laptop ... I know this because it's currently sitting at home on the coffee table in my living room. It's one of those, (most excellent), "Windows Millenium" machines. My wife managed to find a boot disk for it from someone and were able to poke around on the hard drive for a bit. (My suggestion to boot to a Knoppix disk so we could rummage around the hard drive was looked at askance. <shrug />) Anyway, Windows refuses to reinstall because of an FAT error. Ouch. That's not good. A looooooooooong time ago, I used to know what that meant. (At that time (for an 8-bit C6502 machine anyway) I had a set of utilities (including a sector based hex editor - those things let you go in and edit specific disk addresses instead of specific files - very handy for this (and other) kind(s) of stuff) that would actually let me go in and attempt to manually 'correct' problems like this.) So, my question then ... is there an 'easy to use' (because I've pretty much forgotten anything I ever thought I used to know about physical disk architectures) and 'above board' (because I'm older and more 'socially responsible' these days -- I'm not interested in learning a secret handshake and standing in the dumpster at midnight in order to download a set of 'cracker' tools) utility that will let me take a stab at repairing the FAT on this booger? Oh! Cost is, of course, a factor. I'm not willing to spend $90 on SpinRite v6 ... even if I were convinced that it would solve the problem. I'm guessing my next step is probably a 'low level' formatting. TIA, RonL. <anti-tip> Since this is perilously close to being 'OT' for thechat ... allow me to recommend another fun, off-beat, "indy" flick: The Station Agent. It's not a 'big star' action 'blow em up'. It's a very very understated 'people interaction' film. Low key. It ambles more than paces. Now, if you're okay with that kind of movie ... then this really is a pretty good choice. IMDB is giving it 8.1 out of 10 stars on 5,700 votes at the moment. I think that's probably a fair assessment. </ anti-tip> Good grief! You made it this far? Okay, question: Does anyone recall the name of a British film, pre-1990 I think, that dealt with the life of a man who kept up the pitch for the local town team. (I thought it was called 'The GroundsKeeper' or something droll like that.) I rather liked it. However, anyone I tried to subject to it felt it was 'painfully' slow moving ... to the point where watching paint dry would be a more exciting alternative.