First let me state that I am an enthusiastic Mac guy. I just got off the phone with my Father In Law. Over the years he has scoffed at my love for the Macintosh. But today I heard him admit that the idea of a Macintosh was not completely foreign to him. He has been using Windows 98 for years because it did everything he needs a computer to do (and he's not just an e-mailing, web surfing grandpa, he is a consulting geologist who writes his own software, does extensive Autocad-ing, etc). Lately he found some need to use Windows XP so he bought it and installed it. From XPs perspective, there were three physical drives in the machine: C containing Win98, D containing WinXP and E with (not backed up, oops) years and years of files from his business. He went online while running from XP (without SP2 installed (you've got to go online to get it after all)) and within minutes his machine was totally compromised and unusable. This made him cranky so he decided to uninstall XP. Well, there is no uninstall option on the installer so he booted into 98 and formatted the D drive. But, as far as he can tell, 98 couldn't figure out the XP format on the D drive so it ignored it and called the E drive D. So he wiped out all his single copy data going back 15 years. Man that had to hurt.
While talking to him on the phone I found something called Hard Drive Mechanic that is either the Bee's Knees or a total piece of crap depending on whose review you believe. Given my experience of the typical Windows User, I tend to find good reviews more credible than bad, since the good review writer has demonstrated sufficient brain power to get the software to run. Unfortunately for the FIL, his newly formatted drive contained the software he uses to go online. So I shelled out the bucks to download the recovery software and am going to snail-mail it to him tomorrow. Here's hoping the good review people are correct.
And I only threw in a few gratuitous Macs-are-cool comments while talking him down off the ledge.