XP Pro has issues with drives over 127GB. Please be detailed.
We can also use other boot CDs and USB sticks to copy from cranky drives. I wrote about that about a decade ago (and prior) so read http://tips.oncomputers.info/archives2004/0401/2004-Jan-11.htm
This was updated over the years such as we read in the CNET Storage Forum but you should try any Live CD now as Windows doesn't like some drives or broken file systems.
My son has an old HP Pavilion model A250n. It would not boot some times. Then it would not boot at all. He tried to use the HP recovery procedure but that did not work. He wanted to get some pictures and files off the hard drive. We removed the drive and put it in to an external drive case. Using my usb connection the computer sees the drive. How ever the drive is called HP Recovery with two files on it recovery and temp. I am having trouble with it because it slows or freezes my machine. I cannot see his files at all. I have used this procedure and had no trouble seeing and moving the files from other drives. I think when the HP recovery procedure was used it messed up the drive. Is there any way to get the files visible so they can be down loaded? The host computer is a Dell with XP PRO. The HP had XP home.