The original problem was that when windows loaded, no matter which option you chose (Safe mode, last good configuration, normal) the chkdsk would run, and eventually say that it could not read the windows security descriptors, and the computer would not boot past that.
Well, I followed some tutorials about the system recovery console, and one of them told me to remove the security system sam default and software files from system32\config and replace them with the ones in the windows\repair directory. I did this, but when i tried to copy the windows/repair/system file to the system32\config directory, it turned out that it dident exist.
So, I downloaded a live knoppix linux cd and looked through the directorys and instead there is a system.bak file in windows\repair. I have no idea what to do with this file, just thought i'd mention it.
Well, after that I thought it would make sense to copy the system file from my windows xp cd, the one i'm booting off of because my friend doesnt have her cd, into the system32\config directory. This appears to have been a huge mistake, because now whichever option I pick on startup it doesnt even load the chkdsk, it just reboots all together.
So, after that, I decided to [bleep] with it i'll just run a repair installation. I had tried this before, and it gave me this error:
Setup has determined that drive C: is corrupted and cannot be repaired.
Setup cannot continue. To quit setup, press F3.
But i tried again anyways today, just to see if it would work, and not to my suprise, I got the same error.
I would love some help with this, if at all possible I would like to avoid formatting the drive. I have been using Linux and my friends flashcard to transfer some of her files onto my computer, but this is a long and grueling process and i'd rather have the operating system fixed than have to move everything to my computer and then format, and then have her get a new windows xp installation, because the store she bought her laptop from did not come with a windows xp installation cd. I am willing to do that as a last resort though.
Thanks for your time.