|Tell us the make and model of your brand name system.|
The specific model of a brand name system is shown on a label on the outside of the case somewhere, or it can often be determined by going to the brand name's web site.
For Dell computers, they have a Service Tag number - the specific model can be determined by using that on their site, or can often be determined there automatically by you downloading some software. The Service Tag number should be on a label on the outside of the case, probably on the bottom on a laptop, on the back on a desktop, and is often also shown in the bios Setup.
Try booting into Safe mode.
Press F8 repeatedly while booting, don't hold down the key, and when the boot choices menu appears, choose Safe mode. If that works, try loading a System Restore previous restore point.
If that doesn't help, Safe mode won't work either, you're in a bad situation.
Most notebooks have a built in optical drive, but netbooks don't have a built in optical drive because it won't physically fit inside the computer - do you have a netbook, not a notebook, or an older notebook that does not have an optional optical drive installed, or you have a notebook but the built in optical drive has been removed or doesn't work ?
If you have a notebook that can have an optical drive installed inside it but it doesn't have one, or it has one but it doesn't work, you're much better off if you get an optical drive and install it, and then boot the computer from the XP CD.
If you can't or don't want to do that,
- if your computer still has it's original brand name software installation on it, you MAY be able to load the original software installation onto it, without needing the XP CD, BUT doing that will delete all the personal data you have added to the Windows partition. If you have personal data you don't want to lose, you will need to do steps to copy what data you don't want to lose to somewhere else, BEFORE you do that. You don't need to be concerned about anything you can install again from the web, or from installation CDs or DVDs you have on hand.
If you can't do that, and/or if you don't have the original brand name software installation on it.....
- you need access to another computer that has at least a CD-rom drive
- there's probably no way you can run a Repair installation of Windows to try to repair your existing Windows installation, but you can install XP from scratch, several ways. If you choose to do that, if you have personal data you don't want to lose, you will need to do steps to copy what data you don't want to lose to somewhere else, BEFORE you install XP from scratch. You don't need to be concerned about anything you can install again from the web, or from installation CDs or DVDs you have on hand.
- you can install XP from a USB drive but it's not a straight forward process.
Install Windows XP using USB Flash Disk/ Flash Drive - Step by Step Guide
- you have the alternative of removing your hard drive, connecting it to another computer, a desktop computer, deleting the existing partitions on the drive, installing a different operating system on a small partition on your drive, copying the \i386 folder from the XP CD to that partition, removing the drive and installing it on your computer, boot from the other operating system on your computer, and running XP's Setup from a file in that \i386 folder to install XP from scratch on your computer.