|So, the data files aren't affected by the NTFS nor FAT32 formatting, and so wouldn't corrupt any drive to which they're copied. Is this correct? |
I'm sorry, but I have no experience with Linux, and would rather use the Windows methods. Maybe someday.
I am not trying to repair any OS, I am trying to copy all my data files, then wipe every single shred of anything off each HDD, removing all traces of W98 & W2K, resulting in a "factory fresh" HDD, thereby eliminating this deeply embedded, weird-ass registry corruption, which, IMHO, the system sometimes thinks it's NTFS, sometimes FAT32, and most of the time is confused between the two. When I install W2K on a corrupted drive, it's usually OK enough to work with for a bit before it gradually corrupts and finally won't boot. Usually. Every time I try to install W2K, it asks for dx3j.dll, a Direct X file that is on the W98SE install disk, but not on the W2K disk.
And of course, way back then, I would install Windows without disconnecting the other HDD, knowing nothing about the stupid bootloader installing to the other drive if present (who's brilliant Microsoft programming gem was this?), which may have something to do with it propagating to other drives.
I don't know for sure what exactly is going on, and at this point, don't really care. Just trying to get recommendations on which free, non-Linux, Windows programs to use, hopefully from my suggestions in #6. But especially about whether copying said data files could corrupt the registry of the receiving HDD, since that would mean I would have to fix the HDDs with the data files on them. Can someone help me with these questions (in #6)?