Error in booting cant fix...help!!

Right then, I must admit this is all my fault through my stupidity. I let my friend come along to see if he could fix my computer and get rid of a malware thing I had, so he decides to try and re-install windows and it all goes tits up for a while, half way through installing it would just reboot and continue the install process and reboot again in a continuous loop.

And then one day this happened

"Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt
C:..windows..system32..config..system

You can attempt to repair this file by starting windows setup using the original setup CD-Rom. Select "r" at the first screen to start repair."

And once I press any key it reboots and appears again, and even with the windows setup cd-rom put in it keeps rebooting and wont let me go further. And I dont have the option to go to the windows xp recovery console.

I have bought another hard drive (which I was going to do anyway) and have hooked both up at the moment, Im running off the new one.

Can anyone help me? I have loads of important crap on the hard drive that i need to get back. Thanx
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More about error booting help
  1. Is your computer booting with the new drive?
    If so can you goto widows explorer and read the other drive?
    Make sure that the other drive is set to slave if on the same channel as the new drive.
    If yes to the 2 questions copy the info off of the old drive to the new one and then format the old one.
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