If your priority is saving data, you might try booting with a Linux Live CD
to see if you can still read the drive. If so, you can copy what you want,
onto a flash drive and work on fixing the drive afterwards.
A Linux disk should enable you to boot, without interference from Windows.
It's about a 700MB download of the ISO, which you need to burn to a CD.
(Ubuntu is a popular distribution and also Linux Mint).
Read all the info first, if you're dubious. http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php
or Google Ubuntu, if that's more familiar to you.
You're right, about this site - it's unlikely that anyone would ever recommend a registry cleaner.
Edited by petewills , 28 November 2009 - 01:30 PM.