Two quick things come to mind: fdisk /mbr ... that writes a new master boot record and can fix file allocation problems. It is non-destructive (unless you have a boot sector virus). Look for an old copy of Norton Disk Doctor. The only bit of Norton Utilities that was ever worthwhile. But you can do all sorts of low-level futzing with it and it offers the ability to recover files by sector manually even if the FAT is hosed. Judah Luther, Ron wrote: > chris hardy asked: > > >>>Did you fdisk it before reinstalling windows? > > > > Hi Chris, > > I think my wife is planning to fdisk the laptop before I get home this > evening. I think we're both pretty convinced that should be our next step. > > [My gut feeling is that we'll end up 'low leveling' the drive, crossing > our fingers that this repairs the FAT, (I think it should), followed by > a full reinstall. Total loss of data - but oh well.] > > >>>I seem to recall that the ME emergency disk has scandisk on it. If so, you >>>could boot from that disk and at the command prompt type scandisk - it'll >>>check the FAT and might even fix it. > > > Good memory! ... Yup - scandisk is there. Unfortunately it just 'reports' > FAT problems ... unless there is some "/fix_it_TOO" argument you can add > to the command that I don't know about, I don't think it provides any help > in actually repairing the FAT. > > > RonL.