|Sometimes that seems to happen if the partition is damaged. With 98 sometimes running fdisk/mbr would fix it. The equivalent command for XP is FIXMBR. Boot with the XP cd and go into recovery console. Run scandisk, fixmbr and maybe fixboot.|
You say you can't get to safe mode either but if you can get to command prompt via the F8 menu you should be able to run those commands without booting from the cd.
There's some other methods in which people claim to have fixed the problem here:
When governments outlaw guns only outlaw governments will have guns