this might probably best handled by splunk support but here is a quick response:
If you have the data backed up, as you seem to be saying - you have 17 gigs of HOT buckets - then you should have some directories that look like this:
Then if you have these directories all you should need to do is install the EXACT same version of splunk you had prior to fail
Create a new index, call it BACKUP and STOP splunk.
Then browse to /splunk/var/lib/splunk/BACKUP/db/ and paste the above hot directories.
Make absolutely sure that no hot buckets have the same id (the id is the 2-6 number)
Start splunk and you SHOULD be able to see your old data..