|mmm - If it was all OK pre PM8x... might be useful to either remove PM - or at least see if you can get back to a restore point pre PM8x - you did set one didn't you?|
PM8x does have reports (some horror stories for an unfotunate few...) of problems with XP...
If you have copy of Recovery Console (not usually installed by default on pre-built system (e.g. Acer/HP.Compa, Dell etc...) You may be able to boot up with that and then do a little repair routine? One can also download that util to a CD and run it from there if I remember correctly... Similarly if you have an XP CD (full version - although I think the Upgrade will also work) yo may boot with that to the same end (run Recovery Console).
The XP full/Upgrade disk must (I think) be the same SP (2 or 3?) as your installation...
Worst case scenario... check on the options allowed with Recovery CD/DVD which either came with the laptop - or you made as advised when you received laptop initially?
Depending on options you may be able to effectively repair the installation and preserve data etc...; although I don't think Acer options usually allow that. Acer usually allow only a restore/reset to delivery state (and thus all data is lost... Otherwise (and I do this regardless of option and before going any further...) get a Linux variant on a CD (Knoppix/Ubuntu) and boot with that. With this you can then transfer all data etc. off system entirely - to optical media... Verify those copies are truly accessible on at least one working system; then set about sorting out the current problems/mess?
Obviously data recovery/preservation is your prime conerne here - at least initially...?
But of course you seem unable to get into safe-mode; thus Recovery Console may be your way into that mode?