What about installing vmware (on XP), then install FreeBSD in vmware,
and mounting it that way? Maybe a lot of trouble, but at least he'd be
able to get at the data.

If my understanding of vmware is correct that shouldn't work, couldn't work.
Vmware is just an x86 emulator which sits on top of windows, the OS working
in VMware should be unaware that it is running in an emulator and shouldn't
have direct access to any of the host computer's resources. If the host system is unable to mount a file system then the operating system in vmware should
also be unable to mount it. First because it is unaware that it exists and
second because vmware uses the host system's resources and anything which is
inaccessible to the host system would also be inaccessible to the emulated

It is possible, as VMWare allows the guest systems direct access to the disks. I did complete buildworlds within VMWare on the same file system I use, when I boot FBSD directly.
There is also generic SCSI-Support which allows access to SCSI-devices for the guest system.


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