Windows XP SP2 does not agree with my drivers. I finally tried to update just so I could download .Net 2.0 and VS2005 Web Express Edition but my plan backfired in the worst way possible.
Ok, to be entirely honest it might have had something to do with needing (or at least wanting very badly) DirectX 9.0b.
But this time I was able to respond and get my data back! Knoppix with Samba, a switch, my brother’s computer and my 80GB portable hard disk ensured I kept EVERYTHING, down to the porn involving fluffy little animals.
I had originally intended to gparted my way to a second partition where I could install a recovery version of Windows and read off the original as a backup, but damned bad sectors stopped me. Linux Live CDs being strangely more available than a bootdisk with chkdsk, I went for Knoppix.
I had originally intended to up my stuff into my MP3 player, but realized that 512MB didn’t even allow me to store my email folders. That would have been pretty l33t, though, data recovery using a Creative Nomad.
Sorry about the gratituous self-congratualtion. I am very happy.
Oh, and for those of you who want to know what Linux looks like you can always download Knoppix. Give you a feel of Linux without having to install anything. It works as a Live CD, meaning you boot your computer from it and get a fully-operational (albeit not very optimal) web, print and ftp server, along with KDE and pretty good hardware detection.