|Do you know the names of which DLLs are missing ? |
If you do, there are hidden backup copies of many of them already on the hard drive.
"....when I went to use the restore discs that came with the computer, I have been told after two years they are no good to use to boot from the cd-rom. ...."
Emachines computers do not normally come with Restore disks. However, I've seen that sometimes you were required to make a Restore disk set when the computer was new before you could use Windows otherwise, or that may not have been mandatory but the computer had the emachines supplied program already on it to make it and someone may have made a set with that program.
What was the problem ?
Did you even try to read them ?
If they're CDs , not DVDs, you can boot the first disk in the set from any optical drive, if the Boot Order or similar settings in your mboard's bios have CD-rom or similar listed before a hard drive.
If they're DVDs, not CDs, the same applies, except the optical drive has to be able to read DVDs
However, you probably don't need to run (boot from) the Restore disk set to extract Windows files from it.
The data on burned disks does not last forever, but only two years is very much NOT likely.
You can buy better burnable CDs or DVDs that are "archival" grade, or that are meant for are storing photo files, that are warrantied to keep their data intact for a lot longer for not much more money.
CD-R disks, and DVD-R disks if the drive can read DVDs, will work fine in more optical drives than any other types of burned disks - other types of burned disks may not read properly in a drive they were not made in. I HAVE seen that CD-RW disks may read fine for 3 years or so, but then they don't read fine in SOME drives after that.
Even if you can no longer get your Recovery disk set disks to read properly, you can often still buy the set.
Accessories - Purchase Accessories, eRecovery CDs....
If a disk or set of disks is available, it's usually MUCH cheaper to buy including shipping than buying merely the cheapest type of XP CD available - an OEM XP Home CD.
"A friend gave me a XP Pro version. Can I use this to go through the steps you described?"
For the Restore or Recovery disk set for most brand name system computers I've seen that have XP Home or Pro on them, the first disk is merely a slightly modified OEM XP CD - you can use it the same way as a regular OEM XP CD of the same version, Home or Pro.
Whether you can use someone else's CD depends on what you need to do .
If your computer has XP Pro on it, you CAN use someone elses's XP Pro CD to run a Repair installation of Windows, or to install Windows from scratch, if ....
- it did NOT come with a different brand name computer model as an XP re-installation CD or similar.
- it is a regular Microsoft OEM XP Pro CD - it has "For distribution with a new PC only." printed on it and it has the Microsoft holograms, you can use the Product Key on the official Microsoft label that's on the outside of you case with it.
If you just need to copy Windows files off the CD, or to try running commands in the Recovery Console to Repair Windows, then you can probably do that with any XP CD other than an XP Pro 64bit one, although it may need to be the same version - Home or Pro - as on your hard drive.
If you computer has an XP MCE version, that's whole different situation.