Hi Fiona. Thanks for all your help.
The disk is a 160Gb and yes, the 3rd partition is RAW, which happens to house the files I am looking to save.
As far as my attempt to format was merely to see if formatting was even possible and as I suspected, it was not.
I don't have access to another sata computer. The rigors of living in a rural town whose folks still work with IDE computers running XP.
I'll transfer Testdisk and Chrystaldisk to a startup DVD and swap the damaged drive into this comp. I'll report back results by this weekend.
How to use TestDisk to recover lost partition
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