SATA drive data recovery after MBR "damage"

  tunneller 15:51 06 Dec 06
Locked

I have a 3 year old Mesh PC (has always behaved impeccably) with XP Pro, SP1 and most updates. I have 2 120G hard drives - an ATA and a SATA. The SATA was the boot drive and is partitioned as C: and I:
I was using Tweak-XP to do some tidying up and when I had finished I tried to save something to my I: drive only to be told that I did not have access? Looking at the drive information it said it was Basic & I thought it should be dynamic so I used "diskpart" -> Convert Dynamic. (Perhaps a dumb thing to do!)
Now I find that my PC will not boot, and from using Hirens boot CD I find that the MBR is "damaged".
If I use "testdisk" I can see that both partitions are still visible and all the directory/file structures look to be OK. I have now fitted a new 320G drive, loaded it with XP Pro with SP2 in order to try and recover the situation.
I then downloaded the XP version of "diskpart" and (just once) I was able to see the damaged drive. I attempted a recovery and actually did get some files back. Trouble is that I can't see the drive from XP any more, yet it is visible from the DOS version of "testdisk".

Never having delved into hard drives before I am not sure exactly what to do now as there doesn't seem to be a way to recover files using DOS "testdisk" - and I am wary of using the option to replace the MBR??

1. Why can't I always see the bad drive from windows?
2. How can I save data recovered using "testdisk"?
3. Should I just use the replace MBR option?

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