You can purchase restore disks from Compaq for about $20 and it takes about 4 days to get them (I last did this a couple of months ago, so prices may have changed).
Here's a link to a description of the STOP 0x24 error message (shorthand for 0x00000024): http://aumha.org/a/stop.php#0x24
It suggests running CHKDSK - which you'll have to boot into some sort of Windows to try. Do you have access to an XP disk that you can borrow? If so, boot from it and at the first screen you'll see something like "To repair a Windows Installation using the Recovery Console press "R" " Press R to start the Recovery Console - you'll be able to run CHKDSK from there.
You can purchase/borrow a USB floppy drive to use the floppy disk methods that you've discovered.
It seems to me that recovering your data (if possible) is the most critical thing here. If so, then I'd suggest booting with a Live Linux CD, a BartPE disk, or an Ultimate Boot CD (UBCD) to see if you can recover your data. Once the data's recovered, then you can proceed on with the rest of the stuff.
As for warranty repair, see if there's a local place that does warranty repairs - they should be able to diagnose the problem for free (under the warranty).
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