Ok...long story, with whining included.
So the computer wouldn't boot up anymore, the screen had lines on it (which should have been a big hint), safe modes wouldn't work, restore points didn't load, repair and recovery disks didn't work, everything kept erroring out and rebooting. After two days of trying everything I could think of and find, I located my Win 7 disks and tried to fix with that and that didn't work, leaving only the reinstall which I really didn't want to do. I gave up and started a reinstall but guess what, that errored out and wouldn't load. I tried it twice which I now reeeeaally wish I hadn't because my windows.old would be the original system. At this point I found an old HP PC Doctor disk which ran a bunch of low level tests and told me that something was haywire with the video card. Wish I had known that before starting the reinstalls... I bought a new card and it cleared up the video issues, but the Win 7 still didn't start. I got a Ubuntu ISO and booted off that. It loads fine, the computer works like a champ. So I can see the hard drive but both the windows and the windows.old are the two install attempts. All of the directories and files that I can see just look like your basic empty computer after initial install.
I know all my music and books and documents are sitting on the drive somewhere. The NTFS directory appears obliterated. Is there some other way to maybe recreate the directory? I really don't want to have to just reformat the drive so I can get WIN 7 to load. Yes I have a backup but it is from Aug 2010. After I shifted to 500GB disks I couldn't really make more backups as I would have needed TB of storage and at the time that was too expensive.
Oh... and my spousal unit is truly not happy right now.
Any uplifting thoughts?