Here is what happened to me in sequence, any help would be appreciated
(Dell Deminsion 8100, XP - SP2, 1.5ghz p4, 384 mgs ram, Nvidia 5900 video card.)
1) was removing old video and sound driver remnants with Driver Cleaner in safe mode
2) rebooted, for a few mins everthing seemed normal, all my icons on desktop, xp started to launch new hardware found wizard for video card
3) I was moving my mouse to the video drivers I had put on the desktop (about to cancel the new hardware found wizard)
4) screen flashed, then froze, next thing I know, outlook express is launching?
5) When I shut down OE, all the icons on my desktop were gone, just My Computer, Recycle Bin IE were left.
6) Further review showed about 12 gigs of info missing. Very strange though - My Document - folder is there, but everything I had in it is gone, c:\my shared (winmx folder basically, not a system one), gone, several other folders and files missing
7) but - there is stuff still there in program files, and whats there seems to still be installed ok - i.e., City of Hero was there, , firefox is there, but all my bookmarks are gone. A mix of recent and older programs - seems Program Files directory is relatively intact..
8)At startup now I now get the message "Invalid boot.ini file" (obviously, since its not there, and then something like "Booting from c:\winnt", and the boot up completes as normal.
9) Tried one solution from MS web site, about rebuilding the boot.ini file, but it won't work, as the boot.ini file is one of the missing ones.
I have not yet done anything, I think the data will still be there to recover somehow.