Basically, last night, I had my GetRight running to download files, and my monitor had switched out from Power Save. I popped in a CompactFlash card that woke it up (took it out of the monitor Power Save mode), but when I did, I noticed that I was getting a lot of visual problems (artifacts, undrawn areas, the type one experiences with low memory, which shouldn't have been the case, GetRight usually doesn't cause any severe problems like this), and programs crashing, even the DrWatson debugger, so I wrangled open the Start Menu and picked Restart.
Since then, I haven't been able to reboot the PC. I've tried both the normal and F8-based booting options; when I do, it seems to take a while to load up the initial files, but it does so... but the instant it gets past the black-and-white loading and to the XP logo with the blue loading bar below it, the PC reboots. Without fail.
I did some searching and reading, and the article I linked above sounded similar. But how can I get to the point where I can perform a chkdsk when I can't get to anything even resembling a Command Prompt? There seems to be no option for that in the F8 boot menu, and I tried downloading a Boot Disk for XP Home SP2 (closest I could find to my Media Center) on the Microsoft site, but it failed on Disk 3 with an Error Code 7. (Could just be a bad diskette, but the Boot Disk was labeled a "Setup" boot disk anyway, so that makes me nervous to use.)
My PC's a Vaio, so I didn't get a Windows disc, heck, they won't even send me a Recovery Disc unless I send them $18, and I've heard that Recovery Disc usually just does a full wipe, which isn't what I'm looking for.
Can anyone offer any help? If I have a friend make an MS-DOS boot disk in their XP, will that be enough to allow me to run chkdsk on the drive? Or do I need to do something else? I'm just at a bit of a loss as to what to do.