I'm running a standard Toshiba Portege tablet PC with Windows XP, and I have a problem

Now a few months ago I accidentally damaged my CD drive, and this damage caused the drive to go faulty. It caused blue screens, sudden restarts, overheating, plagues, the whole nine yards. So I removed the drive as gently as I could, and things seemed to go back to normal. I had to be gentle with my computer, but it stopped reseting everytime I picked it up, so I thought I'd gotten out of the woods.

This morning when I tried to start my computer, it greeted me with a cheerful "windows/system32/config/system" error message. A couple hard resets didn't solve anything, so I began looking for solutions.

I bought that computer online with Windows prepackaged, so I don't have the startup CD-Rom, and as I mentioned, my CD drive is kaput. Does anyone have a solution, a tip, a voodoo incantation, anything? Please?

not a whole lot you can do with out cdrom or windows disks to fix windows/system32/config/system,does your laptop have a recovery partition ,like hit f11 to run recovery ,this will most likely cause you to loose all info on the drive .
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545

Now, when you say everything on my drive, that means what, files? Like music and pictures? Because I'd prefer to hold off on that for as long as possible.

If I had a USB CD drive, could that work?

Now, when you say everything on my drive, that means what, files? Like music and pictures? Because I'd prefer to hold off on that for as long as possible.

If I had a USB CD drive, could that work?

yes everything ,the usb cdrom might work as long as the bios has options for booting to usb device .