I'm running Windows XP SP2 on an HP Pavilion zx5000 notebook from 2004. The system was working great when I went to bed last night, but this morning when I brought it out of hibernation and started opening applications I got a blue screen of death. It rebooted automatically, so I didn't get to see what the screen said. The system automatically restarted several times in a row after that, only once or twice getting far enough for me to see the XP desktop.
Now every time I try to boot I get the "We apologize for the inconvenience, but windows did not start successfully" screen, and then, and here's the relatively unique part, as soon as I choose any of the options (start up normally, safe mode, etc.), the screen freezes. The "We apologize" screen complete with choices remains, and even the "Seconds until Windows starts" countdown freezes. The hard drive light is stuck on solid.
I ran my BIOS's HDD self test (short and long versions), which passed both times. I also tried taking out and reinserting my hard drive and memory, because that's solved some problems I've had before. But no luck this time.
Does anyone know offhand what might cause this specific problem? And how might I proceed from here?
Ninety percent of my files were either backed up or on a separate hard drive, but I do have a few important ones I don't want to lose. I don't have a Windows install CD.
Thanks so much.