Normally I don't do posts on anything windows because, well, I don't like to use windows. But this one was just frustrating enough that I thought a quick writeup would be good.
I am helping a coworker with their personal laptop. It is a Toshiba something or other and at boot it was saying "Error in reading the disk" (or whatever the message is, you get the point). Knoppix quickly showed that not only is the disk readable and everything there but also the rest of the system works fine. Using knoppix I fixed the windows MBR but to no avail! The silly thing still wouldn't boot. I popped in the Windows XP CD with the intention of doing a CHKDSK but to my great aggravation, the Toshiba laptop uses a sata controller that doesn't have a driver in the Windows XP disk. Couldn't do CHKDSK because it didn't see a drive. Crap.
After some searches I ran into nLite. A tool to spin up your own XP disk. You can add drivers, files, windows updates, remove windows features and even have pre-installed software. To my great joy I got the driver needed for the intel 82801 SATA controller, spun up my own disk, and now this laptop is merrily performing the CHKDSK /P which HOPEFULLY fixes this problem.
Some things to note with nLite: Won't work under wine worth a crap. Had to fire up my Windows VM to make it work. Otherwise it is pretty straight forward. Tell it where your windows disk is and where you want to store stuff on your hard drive. It will copy the windows files over and then give you a nice list of options to customize things. Seems as though sky is the limit, although I didn't try it past adding some drivers. At the end it will make for you an .ISO which you can burn at your leisure. From there you are on your way to getting stuff done ... even though it is windows.