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Screwed up XP: please help!

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Hi guys,

Right, I will do my best to explain my situation:
About 9 months ago I downgraded from Vista to XP on my new Dell Inspiron 1545 laptop. With the great guidence of 'makai' (dunno if he is still around) I managed to install XP, drivers, and fix all the other Bios and Sata stuff that needed to make it work.
However, this morning iTunes started playing up so I restarted my laptop but got a BSOD (stop: c0000218). This apparently is something to do with a registry file failure (I have no idea what in the world caused it). I followed Microsoft's own instructions about solving this using the Recovery Console, but it did not work.
I tried the plan of going into the previous Windows installs via the XP disc, and looking for the option to do a repair, but I could not find it. So I did a fresh install into the E:\ partition of the hard drive, hoping that the files and data left on the C:\ would be left intact.
However once the install finished, it appears that my old 'My Documents' folder is locked and empty (as I had set the folder on my account to be only viewable on my account, which is now inaccessible, as that copy of the OS won't start). When I reboot, I get the option of booting from the old copy of the OS, (which will not start, as 'Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM), or the newly installed one with not drivers or anything.

So, basically, my question to you guys is;
1. How can I fix my old Windows XP to work again (ie fixing the corrupt or missing file)
2. Should I ditch it and do a fresh install (including formatting and everything) for which I require your help
3. Is there anyway I can rescue my data at all?
(In an ideal world option 1 would be my preference)

I appreciate that I have done something stupid or wrong or reckless at some point, so please don't be too hard on me, but there is a lot of stuff on my harddrive that I need back, plus I am coming into a time where I need my laptop to be working as quickly as possible.
Btw I am running Windows XP Media Centre Edition SP2

Thanks very much for your time guys, and if you have any ideas please let me know.

Thanks, Ali
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