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boot problems with grub

I have been using debian with kernel 2.4.25 (I tried 2.6.8 but it had issues
with my onboard sound and so I stuck with 2.4.25).
My problem is the following:
I left emule running overnight (which was never a problem before). I found that
emule had failed and shut down my computer. When I turned it on emule
would not work. But more importantly, my system was slow. Eventually KDE
3.0 decided to freeze on me. So I manually shutdown and restarted. But since
then I haven't been able to boot. Grub returns error 18 at stage 1.5. I tried
booting with a Knoppix 3.0 cd to check my harddrive. However, Knoppix tells
me that ext3 fs cannot be viewed (the linux harddrive uses ext3). I have been
told that Knoppix should recognize ext3, so does that failure tell me that my
hd is screwed and needs formatting? Or is there a way to reinstall my boot
loader without rewriting my partition table? (boot loader contains several linux
kernels and windows, if that makes a difference).
Can anyone help me?
- Jonathan

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