Many thanks for the suggestions and information.
I installed a new version of Norton 360 (was previously McAfee) then I was able to place the original HD in an external enclosure and connect using a USB cable. When I did I nearly fell in the floor, there was my entire file system as drive J. I copied the entire drive in a folder labeled backup files. Took about 1 1/2 hours to copy. Ran a scan on the entire setup C; J; drive etc. and it found nothing.
Shut down, rebooted and everything is operating as normal. Now I need to back my photos, etc. to DVD. I had already backed my business files on a regular basis so they were no loss, but numerous pictures of my two year old that I was afraid had been loss were saved.
Obviously a logical hard drive failure. Would it be safe to format the old drive (after all files are backed up) and continue to use it as a storage device or am I missing something?