Hi, i have a dell laptop runing xp. It wont boot up or recover so i removed the harddrive and connected it to a computer to view the files. it seems that the c drive has become corupted, it wants to format the drive but it has a recovery partition which seems fine (6gb) but the autorun setup info file is 0KB is this file reasonable universal or specific to each machine, ie can i copy 1 from somewhere else? what are my best options to restore it to a fully working state and is it possible to restore the c drive partition??
I don't think that you will find the recovery partition available anywhere -- it is specific to the laptop with its devices and is imaged onto the drive by Dell.
All you can do is try to reformat the non-recovery partition and then do a new install with your Dell re-installation disk, which should contain the files needed along with those on the recovery partition.
To do a full installation without the recovery partition you would need a full Windows XP OS disk.