XP not booting at all, need help on recovering files

Right, so, I'm downloading SP2 for XP. I begin the install and blatantly ignore the window that advises me to back up my files (:

Upon rebooting, it seems windows can't find some basic, very important file it needs to run itself.
ms/.something/config or something along those line. It recommends running windows repair console, but when I do that, I just get a BSOD :-/

Luckily, I have an Ubuntu 5.10 laying around. Right now I'm using the live CD to run linux without actually having it installed. This works dandy. I can see all the windows files on my hard drive, and it recognizes my removable hard drive as well. I just need to erase all the old files on the removable hard drive and copy over every thing from the corrupted windows drive and then re-install XP. Theoretically

The problem is, linux is telling me that the information on both drives is read-only. Thus, I can neither delete nor copy over my data. Do any of you have any advice as to how I can save my precious precious files, or am I SOL?

I really appreciate any help you guys can offer
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More about booting recovering files
  1. Lots of things can happen!
    But, the only time I have ever seen the service pack cause a problem was when, it was installed on an infected machine.

    Ok, do you have access to another machine or another hard drive? I would recomend setting your hard drive that has the data you hope to recover aside, till you get another machine you can slave it up to to look back at what data is still available.

    Lucky me I get the hard ones! I have two machines on the bench right now that came in with similar problems to yours. Access authority problems, script errors etc...
    So far I have killed most of the viruses and on one I am working at finishing up cleaning wintools.j out. For the access problem try and regain Ownership while in safe mode, etc...
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