New here but got the old problem - suddenly cannot boot WIN XP. I have tried reinstal and repair from WIN XP CD but it isn't finding previous/existing version operating system. I had kept it completely p to date with all patches, fixes and SP3, for example. When attempting reinstal or repair from CD I see only C: Partition 1 (unknown) 148625 mb <148624 mb free> E: Partition 2 <inactive> OS/2 boot man 4001 mb 180 mb free which implies my hard (160gb ?) disk is totally erased of all data ? I have a complete set of manufacturer (IBM/Lenovo Thinkcentre) recovery disks but these will restore to manufacturer original with loss of data. I do have a backed up copy of the "My Documents" folder on an external hard drive made 2 days ago so not all is lost (rprobably only my IE bookmarks and all my Outlook Express email history, addresses etc). Before I go for broke and simply recover from the recovery CDs - is it really likely that my HD is completely erased or is the "148624 mb free" message hiding the fact that my data may still be there and recoverable ? Have had this problem on other computers and have in the past gone for a complete recovery ..but if there's any chance to reinstal WIN XP this time without that pain I'd like to take it. I realise this might be a signal that the HDD is on the way out and I can deal with that if and when I can reinstal or recover ... All advice and wisdom welcome .....I'm communicating here from my office laptop as my home desktop is now unusable until I reinstal/repair windows ....I know it may be possible to download recovery software etc...but if I do that how do I transfer from this laptop to my desktop ..is it possible to burn some of those helpful download routines on excutable CDs ? Thanks for any interest.