Even a boot to Linux via your hard disk or KNOPPIX will let you copy out what you can't lose to CDRW/DVDRW. It seems the only lesson about backup is learned by losing it all.
Backup, then install your system as you see fit. Then restore from one of your backups.
BACKUPS? Yes, plural. Never trust it to have just one.
I have a triple boot of 98SE, XP Pro and Linux and had to re-install Linux, after which I get the message 'NTLDR is missing' when I try to boot into Windows. I should normally see my old dual boot windows loader but I'm getting this message instead. Win 98 is on the 'C' drive, XP on the 'D' and Linux in a partition on the 'C'.
I tried formatting the 'C' and re-installing 98 and for a while that seemed to be working, but then I tried to re-install XP by letting it overwrite the previous install as formatting the 'D' drive is not an option, all my main & back-up files are stored there. I thought that I would be returned to my dual boot menu but as soon as the XP install tried to re-boot, the message re-occoured. I tried from the recovery console typing 'fixboot' and 'fixmbr' but no joy.
Does anyone know how to fix this? I'd really appreciate any help i can get 'cause I'm completely out of ideas.