Peter Norton, who used to be known as "Mr. PC" before he changed his name to "Mr. PC and PS/2" last year, has been busy lately. There is a new version (4.5) of his Norton Utilities Advanced Edition ($150) that includes a remarkable feature called Disk Doctor. If you already own a copy of the Norton Utilities - and you should - upgrades from Advanced version 4.0 cost $39.
The Disk Doctor is a software utility that automatically diagnoses and repairs a variety of problems that can occur on floppy and hard disks. Using the Disk Doctor is painless. Log onto the directory where your DOS files are kept, inject the Disk Doctor diskette, type NDD, and sit back as the program guides you through the healing process.
If Disk Doctor cannot fix it, turn to the "Norton Trouble-Shooting Guide for Disks," a 150-page guide that comes with Advanced Edition. The guide gives succor and advice for problems ranging from a corrupt config dot sys file to a trashed root directory.
If you do not know what those are, that is all the more reason to get Norton Utilities. Disk problems are perhaps the most mysterious and frustrating of all computer problems, since they hold your data hostage. You know your important files are in there, but you cannot get at them. If you try to reclaim control of your disk, do you know enough to do so without inadvertently wiping out the data?
This package includes both 3.5" and 5.25" disks.
Written by Peter Lewis