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Start up Virus on XP Home Laptop

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I have an E systems laptop, running XP Home, 512 mb ram. My daughter opened an Email which downloaded file. Now computer will not complete boot process. Desktop appears, icons appear for a few seconds then icons dissappear. Only Green Windows screen visible.
Cannot access any programs, so at moment cannot run any anti virus programs-I have stinger on a USB stick, running AVG Free edition, periodically run Adaware -but now cannot run anything.
Did not have XP on separate discs, it is resident in separate partition on disc.
Do not have boot CD rom - computer does not have a floppy drive.
Do have use of another computer (this one) but cannot run Hijack this on laptop to generate a log or anything else

Help please.

The laptop belonged to my wife who died last year and my daughter has pictures of her and other sentimental attachments on the laptop, which is why I really need to try to recover the situation

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