Okay here's the situation. I was trying to make Daemon Tools 4.03 work by using SPTD Deleter, which required me to install both the .NET framework and WMI.
I could only use SPTD Deleter in safe mode, and because my machine doesn't have a boot options menu by pressing F8, I'm forced to run msconfig and change the boot setting to safe mode. I did this a couple of times, and it worked when I switched it back into normal startup. However on the last few restarts after switching the boot back to normal mode, something really strange happened.
Although I checked all the boxes so that all my normal startup utilities, settings, devices, and services were to start, when I booted in normal mode, my wallpaper had been changed back to the standard XP paper (the blue sky/green hill) and all my folders on the desktop had been deleted, or so I thought.
Browsing C:\ reassured me that not all my data had been deleted, because everything was still there. Just not in the place that I had put it in before. My data seems to be all in working order, but I cannot system restore back to an earlier date; the earliest I can go back to is 5:00 today, which was the time that I had installed WMI and went into safe mode. It's really weird not having my normal wallpaper, settings, or drivers. According to msconfig, everything is set to start up at boot. However, I'm looking at my desktop and that obviously isn't true.
So here are basically the problems I seem to have right now, and I hope there aren't any more.
-no system restore points, they seem to be deleted
-devices, settings, drivers, etc don't start on boot
-computer seems to think it's a new computer, gives me "welcome to windows XP" help balloons, etc
However, all of my data and files still exist. But this is really weirding me out. :-|