I installed a new xp, and many apps. then I swapped out a few drives - adding a hd, a couple memory sticks and permanent usb devices that appear as drive. Then ran a repair of windows xp pro.
The MAJOR problem is now I cannot uninstall or install many applications since many of these installers are saying "what the hell? where is drive e:\?" Seems to be bug in some major installer used by quicktime and wm9encoder et. al. Combing through registry for last few hours.