|You need to boot somehow then or as you say, remove the drive and place into a working system.|
Boot to usb or pxe or pcmcia if supported in bios. Since you say old then you might be out of luck for both. See normally start screen it may have choice for boot or see bios.
"Best Practices", Event viewer, host file, perfmon, antivirus, anti-spyware, Live CD's, backups, are in my top 10