thanks kay - unfortuntely a new problem just developed. seems pc now takes half hour just to boot up. haven't tried it agian so hopefully it was a one time thing.
Els AW- nothing has been lost. i was able to move everything over from c drive before reformat but all my photos were not on root drive.( i actually keep them on 2 differnt dirves plus on hubbys laptop). now majority of kits are all on one external.