Even though I signed up here 4 years ago I know squat about tech stuff,
so Please: speak slowly...lol

My computer old, ancient really, a Heinz-ish, but we've gotten along
with each other fine until:
-scan on Primary drive C: first took 3 hours, then 3 days
even after: I Disabled ALL programs in Start Up (and damn proud
I figured out How)
-frustrated, I shut down: but when I rebooted it got entirely weird
kind of Scan screen I've never seen before --it starts but doesn't continue
--takes about :45 to get to stopping

Now I don't know what to do because two documents, in WORD, I HAVE to
retrieve, been working on for MONTHS (+ Word drafts of important e-mails)
so if you know how,
please tell me what to do.

-win98 (no jokes please, I LUV win98 as do millions --who DON'T want
to pay hundreds to get WORSE versions)
-Primary Drive C & Secondary Drive D installed about 6 years ago
by a tech worried puter didn't have enough space (--memory? dunno)
(secondary, Drive D: scan & defrag zipped thru fine)
-keyboard: numbers on top --i.e. F6, F5, F8, etc. NEVER worked

-starting few months ago: puter sometimes made grinding noise;
when it got annoying I shut down, rebooted for silence, till it started again

-I don't have any tools with me, can't open the box; and if you're wondering:
car was stolen, way not mobile --no way can I haul it to a repair shop

If you're curious: using another computer a friend gave me, plugged it in
to look for help -new puter:
-e machine
-winXP --hate it
-IE6 (--ya ya, I know everybody hates IE6, not me)
-sometimes I used Opera 9.52

1. How can I get puter started --get beyond Scan screen?
2. If I cannot: How to retreive docs in Word?
3. Other?
4. If you cannot tell me: could you please come over and fix it (lol)

Thanks for patience, reply

PS If I've posted in Wrong heading: just say where/which right one,
please don't yell, waaay too many headings for a non-tech to guess

Sounds like a dead or dying hard drive, they really only last so long. Can you describe the weird screen you've never seen before? There are a couple of utilities you can use to see if it's the hard drive, such as Check Disk (look it up for Windows 98, I can't say I've ever done it for an older PC) or Repair with the original Windows disk. Could be corrupted boot programs in Windows.

If you could pull the hard drive out of the machine and put it in an enclosure (which could make it act like an external drive) you MAY be able to pull your word documents off the drive, depending if there is physical damage to the drive or the files are corrupted. I would try to repair first, using either check disk or Repair Console.

Can't deal with this problem right now. There was a fire in my building, alarms on all 14 floors couldn't be shut off --all night long. I'll be back. Thanks for replying.

Before trying a repair try to save your work! in case of a bad move!!!!!
What i suggest is remove the master hard drive and find another computer that you will be able to put this hard drive inside in order to get back your work.
Before ensure that you move the jumper on the back of the hard disk from it's master position to the slave position normally you should see a picture on the hard disk of the jumper position.After the new comp will boot you should see your old drive on the file explorer if the drive is still readable ,if not don't go any further your hard drive will be probably dead....
Good Luck