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desperate for help!

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My comp started acting strange...and stopped booting. I kept getting an error message that said primary hard disk not found. At one point...it was able to boot and I was able to save important files to a disc. I decided I'd wipe it clean and start over with XP...running ME which sucks!!!! :D
At one point...all I could do was get into bios...but everything looked ok from what I could tell.
I decided I was sick of Me and decided to start over with XP
On the intallation...everything seemed to be going fine...then I got a message saying that there was no previous windows recognized! It said to put in a disc...so I used the win me reinstall disc provided by Dell.
The installation resumed...and seemed to go well. Then...when the comp restarted and tried to boot...I was back to ground zero...same message...hard disk not found.
I tried a whole bunch of stuff after that...too much to mention... I believe I have made a huge mess of things! I am only able to start up the comp using a floppy I made from another comp.
Helpppppp...I am a desperate student! Classes have started and I need my comp!
Sorry this is so long... <_< :D
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