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Okay. So I'm female, but this is acceptable, I'm crying. I have a completely custom gaming computer with Windows XP installed on it. The bootup screens from other XPs differ from mine. I can't enter SafeMode and I have no recovery disks, since I built the computer. Last night, I was doing some quick gaming before I logged off for the night. Nothing out of the ordinary happened while I was on, but when I was shutting down, it asked me if I wanted to install updates. It's done this before, and obviously I wanted it to work or look a little better, so I selected "Install Updates and Shut down". It installed, shut down. When I tried to start it this morning, it took me to the login screen. I didn't have one of these before, it used to just automatically log me on since it's a single-user computer. I clicked on my name [and I obviously didn't have a password] and it flashed my background for about a quarter of a second and then logged me back off. "Logging on, applying settings, saving settings, logging off" is what it said.
When I tried to start it in SafeMode (Rapidly pressing F8) it just gave me booting device options on a blue screen. It has things like "Boot from CD", "Boot from Floppy", etc. I also have the "delete" key option to configure settings so I hit delete on the next reboot and it gave me advanced system options and things of that nature. I HIGHLY doubt it's a virus, because I've had 'em all, and I didn't download anything yesterday except for the updates.. and a new msn that came out 6 months ago that none of my friends had a problem with. (I actually don't like the new msn, I'm going to uninstall it if my computer ever decides to work again. I hate that I can't choose the color of the conversation! Most other people's displays completely CLASH with my red and black color scheme!)
And the worst part about my situation is we have 9 other computers in the house and enough parts to build 20 more, and the only other one that is mine is gutted since part of it wasn't working. Her name was Eto. Yes, I named my computer. So, RIP Eto.
So please, help me fix the computer which is pretty much hopeless without wiping the hard-drive, which I really don't want to do because it has all my important things on it. (Although I suppose I could just put Eto's hard drive in it, since Eto was my first custom computer which I loved dearly and downloaded lots of games for her... Bwahaha, Eto lives! Ahaha! Okay, I'm done being crazy now, just please help me. I'm good with computers, but I've never seen this problem before with my circumstances.)
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    Portlock - Oahu

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Hitting F8 will bring up the Boot options list on some computers. When this list comes up, select the Harddrive, and IMMEDIATELY hit the F8 key. You have to be quick or the computer will start booting into Windows instead of giving you the Safeboot screen where you can choose the boot options, etc. If you are able to get to the Safeboot screen, choose the "Last known good configuration" option.
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