|Might consider using either live cd's to fix whatever is wrong or us XP disk to do "repair." Be sure you read up on repair feature before you start. MS has odd menu's.|
A live cd might allow you to get data off before you try anything. Most times the MS repair does OK.
"Best Practices", Event viewer, host file, perfmon, antivirus, anti-spyware, Live CD's, backups, are in my top 10