I mean - nice plot line, s u s p e n s e complete with [famous last words] Oh .... Shit!
While all I know about Netware is that is Has to be miles more stable and professional than BillyWare, and that they knew about networking before Billy was outta jail in Az or wherever. And they probably laughed at Win 3.11, out loud! (a good clue too - that Billy despises it, natch)
So your story called to mind -
About an hour after cadging a Tecra 700 CS off eBay, as I was going through its (however and when installed) Windoze 95, setting out to make both a boot floppy (no .docs no CDs) and see about getting the fancier Zip semi-backup to fly (maybe save Registry etc.) .. at some point on reboot got:
Disk not found; after reboot w/floppy: no C: drive. Reset. Nada. Swear. Nada.
Well to make it less shaggy-dog - I damn well hadn't fdisked anything.. in my travels. Did a SYS from floppy - can't recall if That worked then, though. Nada. Forget how I got it to notice the C, from floppy - looked w/Norton DOS IIRC. But no boot from HD still. Grumble Speculate
So I ran fdisk /mbr with fingers crossed. Worked!
So.. what ate the boot record ?? At least your little crash had a perfectly clear reason! I hadn't screwed with later than W3.x then, so didn't know what was normal crash inducement 'cept trashing memory after x hours, or running any ap under any random condition.
Welcome to Windoze! I thought, called friend for some therapetic pins-in-Billy doll work.
Hmmm your sucker must have run *months* w/o an available boot partition! Quietly. A matter probably right over head of any old PHB, from all reports hereabouts. Yup - move to NT. Order XP tomorrow.
Anyway.. troubleshooting is itself.. fun! (if you win at least occasionally). Mine was luck.