|Thanks for your reply, OtheHill.|
I think I know what my issue is, sort of. I saw this on another forum, but it's similar to Response Number 4 above:
"On your desktop, right-click My Computer and choose Manage.
Double-click Disk Management.
Maximize the page.
In the menu bar at the top, (left click "Disk Management" then) choose the Action tab and then click Rescan.
Now, in the lower-right pane, you'll see the hard disks and the cd/dvd drives that the computer sees. One HDD will be marked "system." That's your windows drive."
My problem is, I don't see any disks or volumes listed when I do this. Nothing happens when I select "Refresh", and when I select "Rescan Disks" a dialog box titled "Rescanning Disks" flashes for about 1 second, with the words "Disk rescan in progress, please wait..." in it. Nothing happens.
So far, my only problems (as far as I know) are as follows:
1 - I have an extra drive (Drive E:) in My Computer.
2 - I can't right-click my 'normal' CD/DVD drive (Drive D:) to eject a disk. But I can do it when a disk is already inside. Otherwise, I have to physically press the eject button on the CD/DVD drive to open it.
3 - System Restore doesn't work. That is, no SR dates are found except for July 20 and 21, but the PC won't let me restore either one (my system simply does nothing when I press the Next button at the Confirm Restore Point Selection page), nor will the PC let me add a restore point ("System Restore is not able to create a retore point.
Please restart the computer, and then run System Restore again.").
I'm lucky that I can do anything, but does it look like my Master Boot Record (MBR) is screwed up? It was suggested as a possible answer to another poor soul here:
If mentioning other forums is a problem, I'll remove the link.
I also followed all 5 suggestions listed here:
Troubleshooting steps for issues when you try to use the System Restore tool in Windows XP
My mouth dropped when I tried Method 4 and saw I had no more "sr" or "srservice" events, even though every method indicates System Restore is still working for drive C.
I'm grateful that I have an external drive (300GB) and did a full backup of my C: drive in December 2008. Last night, I moved all my personal files to the external drive.
Weird thing is, I just did full AdAware, Avast, and MS Malicious Software Removal Tool scans 2 days ago, right before I noticed the extra drive. Soon after, when it occurred to me to do a System Restore, that's when I found my SR function was gone, save the 2 dates I can't restore.
I just got home from work, so I'll run a few more tests (HijackThis, CCleaner and those listed above). Until then, any suggestions?