I'm not sure what I did differently today, but I was able to get back to the crash screen, rather than constantly cycling toward a boot. I get a TRAP (I took a snapshot image and have a .jpg image on my hard disk I can share).
After closing that attempted boot (the virtual machine hibernated), I tried mounting the VHD file via following directions at Virtual Hard Disk - Create and Attach VHD
. I found this likely VHD disk:
C:\Users\Dilip\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines\Windows XP Mode.vhd
and was able to mount it read-only; I declined formatting it. I found it to have a 127GB healthy active, primary partition with 13 mb unallocated space. It was corrupt or uninitialized, but I didn't try formatting it or anything - I want to get my data off, of course!
Am I getting closer? I don't want to lose the data even if I have to reinstall the virtual machine after copying the data. I do have a backup but it's not as current as I'd like. Thanks.