When my desktop 8500 refused to loads Windows I tried various suggestions and even safe mode using a boot disk did not give me a "c:" prompt. After I got a diagnostic error 2000-01 42, " "computer will now reboot from recovery" partition". I used my original recovery disk. It said "computer will now reboot from recovery" partition.
My question is (assuming the hard drive will work) if I continue will that return the computer to factory reset or where I've been after adding programs for years?
The last screen said "Click next to restore your computer to the most recent full system backup. Files added or changed since that backup will be preserved and then copied back to your computer after the restoration is complete." What does that mean? Will I get back my added programs?
The computer is 5 years old and long out of warranty.
Thanks for any help - should I bring this to a repair shop to try to get the hard drive working with Windows again or return to factory reset?
The diagnostic error 2000-0142 refers to a failed or failing hard drive. If you are able to use the recovery partition it will put the OS back to the original configuration. You will lose any programs that you installed.
There are no soft fixes for physically bad hard drives.