Sorry to dredge up this common problem...but I'm about to take a sledge hammer to my laptop....

I am stuck in the startup loop. It's difficult to get to the screenwhere I select Safe once I'm there I choose "Safe Mode" and it asks for my windows password. Then it says "...loading your personal settings" and then a window pops up that says something to the effect of "...detected an error...file was restored successfully" and there's an "ok" box. I click ok and the computer locks up. This sequence has been happening over and over.
I can't get beyond it.
I downloaded the MS XP Boot disk program from their site (this creates 6 floppies that you load). Nothing.
I do NOT have a XP CD. I have moved several times and it is long gone.
How do I repair the registry without the CD?

dear you have winxp. but winxp pro or win xp home?
i am using win xp pro sp1 and have no problem after upating my system.but i will suggest you to format c and re-install the latest winxp pro.but if you cannot do it easilly, you may update it and clean system with norton 2002,spy remover,boostxp.

Wow, seems pretty bad. You can't get into the main system, and don't have a win xp cd. Right. You could call the manufacturer of the computer if you got it somewhere(name brand company) and see if the can send you the cd. If you bought the win xp, then you probably need to get another one since you don't have it. Do a fresh install. It would also be helpful is you could post more info about your computer. OS, Mem, HD, etc...

(sorry, I have XP Pro)

I borrowed a CD from someone and tried the repair. Still stuck in the loop.
We all collectively decided I have a virus of some sort that got past my 3 virus scanners.

We pulled the harddrive out, copied my files using another laptop, and reformatted.

I tried to boot it off the CD and it gives the a blue screen saying something to the effect of "...installation was stopped because of an error..." and makes some recommendations...none of which work.

I think I need a new harddrive.

Any ideas?