|Your problem can be caused by a hard drive that's in the process of failing. |
Check your hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostics.
See the latter part of response 1 in this:
If you don't have a floppy drive, you can get a CD image diagnostic utility from most hard drive manufacturer's web sites, but obviously you would need to make a burned CD, preferably a CD-R for best compatibility, on another computer if you need to.
Seagate's Seatools will test (almost) any brand of hard drive.
Do the long test.
The bootable Dos versions of SeaTools can be used even if Windows is not working properly.
If the hard drive itself tests okay, any data problems found can be fixed, one way or another.
The procedure ijack provided the link to requires that you use an XP CD. Any XP CD that is not an upgrade version will do.
If you don't have or can't borrow an XP CD,
- some laptops already have the Recovery Console loaded on the hard drive. In that case, you can choose to load it while booting the computer.
- you can boot the computer from any bootable CD or DVD that has an operating system on it that can read all the files on the hard drive, and do the same things in the procedure without needing an XP CD. E.g. on another computer, make a Linux CD or DVD meant for that purpose, or the Ultimate Boot CD, and boot the laptop from that.
However, in either case, the computer will load Windows again but there will be a lot of things that you will need to re-install to get Windows and your programs back to the way they were.
If you can borrow a proper type of XP CD, a better way to fix your problem is to run a Repair installation of Windows procedure - you will have to re-install only a few things if anything.
See response 10:
Scroll down to:
"- If that doesn't help, you can try running a Repair installation of Windows"
If you have a SATA hard drive...
Installing XP and SATA drive controllers, SATA drives; the SATA drive controller bios settings.
See response 2:
The same applies when you do the Repair installation of Windows procedure.