Hi notsoscrewed- As long as you have your original XP disk you can save everything. First, make sure your pc is bootable from your cd drive. If you know it is good. If not, when your pc boots it should say something like hit F2 or <del> to enter setup. Go into the BIOS and find your boot options and make sure your cd is listed as bootable and listed to boot before your hard drive. Then save and exit. When your system reboots make sure you have your XP cd in your cd drive and your pc will say press any key to boot from cd rom. Press any key and follow these steps:
You must boot from your XP CD. Please make sure it is the same version of Windows that is currently installed on your computer (ex. XP Home cannot repair XP Professional). Place the CD in your CDROM and start your computer. Newer versions will work as well (ie. Windows XP Pro SP2 CD will work on an older WinXP Pro SP1 installation)
Before the Windows logo appears, you will be asked to press any key to boot from CD, so do just that.
A blue screen will appear and will begin loading XP setup from the CD.
Choose the FIRST option, NOT recovery console.
Choose F8 to continue
Next, Windows Setup will find existing Windows XP installations. You will be asked to repair an existing XP installation or install a fresh copy of Windows XP
That should be it. Windows XP will appear to be installing itself for the first time, but it will retain all of your data and settings. Just follow the prompts, have your CD-KEY handy . You may have to install XP updates again and reactivate XP but small price to pay and little time to be able to save all your software and info. Let me know what happens.
If this solves your problem PLEASE rate this as fixed. If you need more help with this just add a comment and I'll be more than happy to assist you further. Thanks.