|There are a few types of restores. |
One is the windows restore point. It is a way to make your computer go back a few days or weeks and all will be as it was then. If you can boot to safe mode you ought to a least try this first.
The other is a way to boot to windows or even your sony application. It can make XP like it was new but leave all software and data there but you have to re-install over to get it to work. You have to be careful on how to do it. XP is goofy on the repair. See this link for example.
There is a restore or recovery that can make your computer as it was when it was new. All data may be destroyed unless Sony made a way to backup some data when restored. I personally like this. It really gets rid of all the junk. Be sure to save your data as it might be totally lost.
"I've tried running the xp disk from an external drive and from the hard drive but in both cases it won't run because" I don't get this. Hopefully you have the correct disks. Where did you get the disk you tried from?
Playing to the angels
Les Paul (1915-2009)