|There occasions when that will work...; often apparently for a very long time too... But from my (fortunately limited personal) experience with that acutal issue -although have seen it more than a few times nonetheless at work - it is often wiser to byte the bullet... and take steps for the worst.|
Safeguard all data etc. immediately; ensure you have fequent updates to those copies too - all off the system entirely (external HD and/or optical media).
Then if you decide to go a re-install all your data etc. is safe...
Otherwise try RAM tests (reduce to a single stick (min of 128Meg for XP); test with each stick in turn... Even borrow a know to be good stick too to test with? If all is well with one stick and not another... then likely that latter stick is suspect?
Equally if a chkdsk routine finds and fixes errors... and all is then OK (possibly for a while...) I'd still be inclined to replace the HD... And if it doesn't resolve it all - then seriously/definitely try another HD... (And again safeguard data at all times...)
At work whenever we haver had a dump screen.. it's been due either RAM or the HD starting to fail. IT dept. ovbviously find it easier/more cost effective to replace the HD and see how it goes. If that doesn't work the replace RAM (again with new/good sticks).
I have know a brand new HP/Compaq fail completely within a week of going into service; the HD produced a dump-screen. Subesquent effortst to resolve it (with aaan XP boot-disk and also the Winternals ERD Commander approach merely resulted in the system locking itself down... such that it wouldn't even boot...
Replaced the HD - and later as it happend the MoBo also - and system was OK (obviously).
But once you have safeguarded your files etc... no harm to try a re-install; even a repair install (as in links ealier above)?