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XP Pro problems..?

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I didn't know exactly where to post this.. but just last night I turned my computer off for the evening, and turned it back on this morning and got an error message on startup..

Something about:
"Sorry for any inconvenience..blah blah Windows could not start properly."

and then it gives me like 5 options
Start in safe mode
Start in safe mode with networking
Start in safe mode with msdos prompt

Start windows from last known good configuration

Start windows normally

"blah blah in: 27 seconds.."

No matter which one I choose, the computer attempts to load it for a second..and then restarts itself.. and ends up back on that same screen.

I chose start windows normally once and it just froze that that screen too.

What could be the issue? Is the installation of Windows XP Pro suddenly bad after working fine for months?
Did my harddrive fail?

Is there an easy fix to where I dont have to reformat my hard drive, I have a lot of non backed up information that I really need..

Thanks for any help/support.
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    Je suis Napoléon!

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do you have your xp cd?
if so...boot to the cd and choose the option to get into the recovery console once in the recovery console type checkdsk /r and let that run to completion....after that is complete..can you start the system? (in any mode?)

if not

Boot up with the XP CD in the drive and let Setup run. Go past the "C" and "R" repair options by presssing Enter just as if you're doing a clean install and you'll eventually get an option to "Repair an existing installation". That's the one you want. If it asks about formatting you've gone wrong, so start over.

You'll get to keep your existing apps & settings, but you need to re-install SP2, Windows Updates & any unsigned drivers afterwards. NOTE: Be aware that you'll lose any protection from Blaster / Sasser type worms. Don't go online without a firewall, whether the built in Windows one or 3rd party.

How to Perform A Re-Install Of XP
Repair XP
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Is there a way to do it without the CD? I lost mine awhile back when I was moving to my new apartment. If I can somehow get ahold of one, I will try this though.

A friend of mine just handed me a win2k cd to see if I can install that and at least retrieve files or something.

I dont know what else to do if I dont have an XP cd.
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