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BSOD - Attempt to Repair Install - Partition Issues

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Greetings -

The laptop is an Acer Aspire 3680. The following now becomes relevant, with relation to partitions. Originally, the laptop had Windows Vista pre-installed (in a beta version). Since many programs would not work with Vista, I wanted to uninstall. With an OEM XP Pro Install CD (SP2), and the help of a Microsoft technician (by phone), Windows Vista was uninstalled, and XP Pro was installed, including partitions. )

Recently, the laptop was in extended use (possible overheating) and it had been having RAM issues. The laptop "blue screened", with this BSOD message:

A problem has been detected and windows has been shutdown to prevent damage to your computer.

Technical information:
*** STOP: 0x0000000A (0x00000000,0x00000002,0x00000001,0x804F9B94)
Cannot access Safe Mode (F8)
Cannot go back to the last known working configuration.
Cannot go into the Recovery Console.

1) MEMORY: I did a test on the memory sticks (with memtest86+ on a CD image) - both sticks are good, with no signs of any wear or heat corruption.
2) ATTEMPT TO DO A REPAIR INSTALL: When I load the XP Install CD, the very first page that comes up (after "Press any key..." and drivers/devices load) is the Partition Page. As you can see, only 16,496 MB for the C Drive were allocated.:

C: Partition1 (NTFS) 16,496 MB (989 MB free)
D: Partition2 (unknown) 59,820 MB (59,820 MB free)

Since there is not enough space on the C Drive (989 MB free) to install Windows, all that can be done is to delete drives or exit (which reboots the system). There is no prompt available.

1) Could lack of free space shut down the machine?
2) Could RAM issues be related to the lack of space?
3) Could this Partition issue cause the XP Install CD to only go to this page?
4) Is there a free Partition Manager program that would merge the 2 drives and avoid a clean install? (executable from a CD-RW - accessing partition area without booting into Windows.)
5) I have ordered a 16 GB flash drive to retrieve data from the laptop. Is there a free data retrieval/recovery software, (executable) which could boot from a CD and transfer data to the flash drive? If you have it, I could really use an actual download page.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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