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I think you need to reload windows with a operating system disk. Most times the Factory Recovery discs don't work.
Get a windows operating system disk and just reload windows. The disk must match the Certificate of Authentication (COA) sticker on the bottom of her laptop. In other words, don't use a Windows XP Home operating system disk if the COA sticker says Windows XP Professional or you'll never be able to activate windows.
Had a similar problem like this several times. Try choosing safe mode. Safe mode will load the required drivers. After safe mode finishes the loading process, restart your computer and choose to start windows normally. The problem you mention usually happens when the computer is turned off without using normal shut down procedures. Also happens when you have a sudden power outage.
When you first turn on the computer, start tapping the F8 key to bring up the safe mode screen. You have a very short window in which to press the F8 key before XP loads, so it is possible to miss it. If this happens, just restart it and try it again. Once you are on the safe mode screen, select the enable VGA mode. This will boot your computer to a default 640 x 480 resolution so you can change it back to normal.
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You need to solve the overheating problem first. Shut down the computer, unplug it and remove the bottom cover. Clean the dust and lint. Blow compressed air from a compressed air can. Re-install the cover and restart your computer. If you own a laptop, the fan should be running ALL THE TIME, sometimes slow, sometimes fast buta always running. Check the the fan is blowing air. If it is not, you'll need to replace it before doing anything else.