|What did you do with the XP CD?|
There's no way of fixing what you did if you installed XP on the same partition as Vista was installed on.
I found those things out while setting up a generic system using both an OEM (XP) MCE 2005 CD and an OEM Vista Premium DVD.
- you can't access a Vista Windows partition with the XP Recovery Console - when you choose the Vista Windows partitition, you can't get past ... Administrator Password: - no matter what you try, you get Access Denied, or similar.
- you probably can't do the "Repair install" procedure either, the second Repair choice in Setup, for the same reason, though I didn't try that - and what good would that do anyway even if you could ?
- If you were dual booting XP and Vista on the same computer, you can run at least some XP Recovery Console commands from the XP partition on the Vista partition, if you boot from an XP CD, but you can't access the Vista partition directly. E.g. I was able to run CHKDSK /R on the Vista partition.
If Vista is what was on this model orginally, go to the emachines web site and order the Recovery disk(s) for your model - it's / they're probably well under $50 including shipping.
Or buy yourself an OEM Vista DVD, or better still, an OEM Windows 7 DVD, but that will cost you more bucks, and you won't have any of the bonus software that came with the system, and you'll have to install the drivers the operating system doesn't automatically find yourself.
Check your hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostics.
See the latter part of response 1 in this:
(thanks to Dan Penny for this link:)
Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities
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 compatibilty, on another computer if you need to.
If the hard drive itself tests okay, any data problems found can be fixed, one way or another.