I have a HP that will not boot up. All i can get is needed DLLs for kernel. I can somehow get it to a page that reads PHOENIX AWARD-Utility Setup BIOS CMOS but that's all. I've been told I will have to do a system recovery and that I will loose everything on the hard drive,,,,,OH I sure hope that's not the case,,,tooo much at risk.
You can do a system repair, not a recovery, that will not delete anything, although it may reset some settings. You need an XP boot disk which you may or may not have for this.
You may have a hard drive issue though which is why you are getting the file error, in that case, get a new drive and install XP on that, and keep your existing drive to copy the data out of using either a USB external case of by installing it as a secondary drive in the case.