What I do is put all my data in a separate folder (called Data
) that gets backed up occasionally.
Then if I do need to reformat the drive and reinstall the OS, the data is safe. Still a PITA because all the apps need to be reloaded too.
There used to be a function in Windows that you could restore a previous version, but only if you had set up "restore points". Most people don't do that.
Phil's suggestion of letting the Geek Squad have a crack at it is a good one. Although it's probably not going to be cheap, and they probably won't get it back the way you want it.