I upgraded to Windows XP SP3, which immediately "broke" the laptop - it never booted with SP3 on it. I put in the Windows XP install disk I had originally used to set up the laptop, and it ran for a while, then said there's no hard disk present, so it can't continue. BIOS still sees the hard disk. I put the hard disk in an external USB case, and I can read/write to it with the other laptop. I then put the hard disk back in it's laptop, restarted with the Windows CD, and tried to get into the Recovery Console, but I forgot the password and can't "log on" to the drive. I'd also like to know if I can fix the broken files (which ones?) from the other laptop (via USB), and if I can "log on" to an external disk with the Recovery Console. (Also, the data won't fit on my other laptop, and I don't have all the install CDs for software on the disk.)
Any help appreciated.