Basically you need the system restore disks at this point because
A) The file is Corrupt or MIssing and you can't start windows w/o any way you slice it.
It's more of a hassle trying to replace that file on a system like a Compaq which prolly has a Restore Partition...
Restore Partition? What a novel Idea! If you haven't any DATA on the machine you could just F10 or F11
to boot to the restore, whichever is appropriate. From there you could restore to Factory settings.
Be warned tho that this will delete ALL PROGRAMS and DATA on the machine. If you want to save this data first, then you
should get and external HDD Case and put your HDD in that, connect it to a known working machine, and drag and drop
files or use some program to back up files for you. DON'T DELETE the Restore partition however. If the Restore Partition is
already toast, then you need to get the Restores from HP/Compaq. HP owns Compaq BTW.
Tell me what you'd like to do and I'll be gald to assist.