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unable to start XP -what files will I lose with a system recovery?

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A black screen appears when I start my computer. The screen reads as follows:

"We apologise for the inconvenience, but windows did not start successfully.......... "

It then offers options for restarting:

Safe Mode
Safe Mode with Networking
Safe Mode with Command Prompt
Last Good Configuration
Start Windows Normally

On choosing any of the options the HP invent screen appears offering F1 set up or F10 system recovery and then reverts to the black screen after 5 seconds.

My question is if I choose system recovery what files will I lose? I am concerned with music I have paid for and downloaded off itunes and favourites saved on internet explorer. Are there any other options for me?

I have had a recent spyware problem which I thought I had solved with the help from your spyware/malware advice. Could this have caused the problem?

Any advice and help will be much appreciated.

Thank you so much
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    Je suis Napoléon!

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if you use the HP recovery then it's what's known as a "destructive" recovery....EVERYTHING on the computer will be gone. files, documents, applications, everything.

For the Itunes music...technically once you've paid for it, you can download it again in case you lost some....but you'd have to actually redownload everything.

i would suggest going to a computer store and getting an external hard drive enclosure, then take the drive out of your computer and mount it in that enclosure....then you can hook it up to a working computer and copy all your important files over (not applications, you can't save those)....so you'll be able to save your music and what not. just make sure you get the right type of enclosure for the drive in your computer
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Actually with the iTunes music, you might be able to download it again from Apple. They specifically state that you are only allowed to download the music one time, but I have heard reports of people calling Apple and getting a credit to their account for the purchases.

Apple discusses the issue here if you want to take a look.
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