|There is nothing in that message you got or in your post otherwise that indicates there is anything wrong with your hard drive. It is much more likely your Windows installation is wonky.|
What have you done or what has gone on since Windows last worked properly? - did it stop working after you had installed hardware, or software? There have a even been a few instances reported here lately of Windows not loading after Microsoft Updates were installed automatically.
The first thing you need to do is to check out your hard drive.
On another computer, go to the web site of the manufacturer of your hard drive and download a free diagnostic utility. Make the one or two floppy set by executing the download. Boot your own computer with the first floppy and test your hard drive. There are usually two non-destructive diagnostic tests - a quick and a longer one - it should pass both. If it has problems only with the data organization on the drive and there is nothing else wrong, that's also a pass of the hard drive itself, but there are problems with your Windows installation.
If it passes the diagnostics, you will then know the problem is caused by something in your Windows installation.
If you find the hard drive does not pass both diagnostics, then your only option if you want to copy something you want to preserve is to do as ham30 suggests and connect the drive to another desktop computer jumpered and connected as a slave or as a secondary master and copy the files you want to save to another hard drive, or a flash drive, or to a burnable CD or DVD.
If the hard drive passes the diagnostics, if you want to try to fix Windows without losing anything of significance, you will need to obtain or borrow an XP CD, of the same version installed on your hard drive - e.g. XP original, XP with SP1, XP with SP2, Home, Pro, etc.
The best way to go is to find that Recovery CD and use that (see the info below about a Repair Setup).
If you still can't find it, second choice would be someone else's XP CD of the same version.
Third choice would be the laptop recovery CD.
You may be able to use the CD that came with the laptop if it has the same version of XP - some recovery cd's are actually Windows cd's with extra files and programs added so you can access other software backups on the hidden partition on the hard drive, some just allow you to access the hidden partition on the hard drive and it is there where the Windows cd contents are - you would need the first type - it can be used the same way as a normal Windows CD.
Whatever CD you use, you want to try Repairing XP first, NOT re-installing it the standard way which will wipe out all the data on the existing Windows partition.
Once you have a Windows CD, or a Recovery CD that will function as a Windows CD.....run an XP Repair Setup.
An XP Repair Setup will not harm your existing Windows installation, or delete anything you have added to your Windows partition, but it can only fix things Windows detects as wrong, and/or replace corrupted or missing Windows files that are on your original XP CD. If running it doesn't cure enough of your problems and/or the problems are caused by things not on the original Windows CD, you will probably have to make a clean install of Windows from scratch.
You will need a Windows CD of the same version as the one of your Windows installation, and the Product Key, preferably the one that was used to install it, but it can be one for the same version as the one of your Windows installation.
The preferable product key to use is the one that should be on the label on the desktop case.
how to do an XP Repair Setup, step by step:
If you updated the XP version originally on the desktop hard drive, (e.g. to SP2), you will probably have to run the update install (e.g. SP2) again after the Repair Setup is finished.