[opensuse] total system crash

I have a new hard drive that I just put on an old pc. I am experimenting around with things, and this is the sequence of what has happened.

- first, I installed suse 11.4 and ran it ok for a few days. Had some problems with the monitor and networking.
- I installed windows xp in place of suse 11.4, over-writing the hard drive with windows xp files. I needed to check some things.
- I reinstalled suse 11.4 and again it ran ok once. On the install I wiped over completely all the windows xp files (using the suse installation utility)
- the next day I brought my computer to a tech store to purchase a new motherboard. Before the purchase, we turned it on to boot up to suse 11.4 from the hard drive, and it would not boot up. It said "error loading boot system" or something like that. It did not make it anywhere even near loading anything from the hard drive, as if the hard drive failed. This was only the 2nd time that I powered up the pc after re-installing suse 11.4.
- I installed the new motherboard (to get more memory) and again tried to boot from the hard drive, and it would not boot from the hard drive
- I booted from the cd and went to re-install suse completely again. It ran through the whole setup sequence and did not indicate any errors. I did a complete re-install from the beginning. It performed the initial re-boot as part of the install sequence and brought up KDE. There was a problem with my video driver or something, as my screen only showed a series of horizontal lines of alternating green white and black colors. There was nothing readable.
- I did a ctrl-alt-f2 and brought up the terminal window, but I didn't really know what to do from there because I am not really familiar with the commands. At this point I thought my only problem was the video driver.
- I powered off the pc.
- later I tried to boot up again, and again I got the same error as before "error loading boot system" and it did not get close to loading linux at all. That is the way it is now when I try to boot up from the hard drive.
- I put in the install disk again and went to "rescue system". I typed in "root" as the login with a blank password, and got a terminal command.

That is where I am now. I can get into the rescue system but not much else. I can't imagine that my hard drive has failed, as it is only 1 week old. I think that when I installed windows xp on it, microsoft did something to prevent me from installing another system over the top of xp, and now I can't access anything.

I remember on the setup having 3 partitions, as swap, a root, and a home. I had the max size on all 3, I think they were 2gb, 20gb, and 465gb or something like that. I have a 500gb drive.

So, can someone help me first of all to get my directories back? I only know enough to get into the rescue system. I don't know the commands to use from the rescue system, or what to do from there. If I need to provide any more information, please tell me what commands I need to use to find it out.

Thanks in advance!
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