Ok, new situation kicking my azz. Have a client that boned the MBR on his Windows XP Professional box by installing GoBack, which of course died and left him unbootable.
Drive is on a SATA controller. So the GoBack fix CD hangs during bootup cuz it can't read the drive. Same with Powerquest bootup CD. Booting off a floppy into DOS, same problem, cant see SATA drive.
I dropped in an XP Pro CD and tried to repair and/or do a parallel install, but "Windows XP cannot recognize the partition you selected". I think it's a dynamic disk.
Next try is to drop the drive into another box, but I need to look up how to affect the MBR of the secondary drive.
Toss any ideas you want this way, short of wipe and re-install.
thanks for all constructive input,