<<Please help. I have many personal files in that laptop that I wish to save at the least.>>
<<I believe that this was most likely caused by a virus.>>
Looking at those two statements...I consider two things:
a. Which is the most important?
b. Which can be addressed without possibly negating the other?
From what I know (which is very little), resolving malware issues these days can ultimately result in loss of data on a system where data files are on the system partition. I guess that I (unlike many posters) don't believe that a system that currently doesn'l allow for proper booting...will eventually allow for such. I don't assume that my guesses at what is wrong...are correct and I always keep the possibility of a bad hard drive or NTFS problems...in mind as a possible factor in what appears to be happening.
If the suggestion is made that a clean install is the way to deal with what is...or a new hard drive...or a format/wipe of the current system partition...then it may be ascertained too late that data files are toast because the reboot loop cannot be overcome.
I'm not a programmer nor an IT professional, so I see things through the eyes of a user who has encountered some situations with Windows and XP for a period of time where my knowledge has grown (thanks to forums like this one and my basic ability to use the Web as the biggest library known to me). I explain my suggestions/comments from the perspective of an amateur, a user with basic skills/experiences.
If that happens to be NOT the perspective of the original poster or anyone else...I try to learn from that.
<<But, is there any way to deal with the malware at the time being, and without harming any of my personal files?>>
Not from my knowledge bank
. The malware forums here deal with malware issues...but the complicating factor that prevents me from sending you there is the fact that you cannot boot into Windows to run any programs which might be suggested in one of those forums.
Someone else would have to answer that question for you.
<<...or is getting the enclosure part of the process in dealing with the malware?>>
The enclosure suggestion is based on the premise that your data files may need to be removed from the partition/drive as the most important of the considerations at this time, at this moment.
I could be wrong
in my perspective, the forum has many voices with more knowledge and much more experience. The smart thing to do, IMO, would be to await inputs from some of those on your particular situation.