Posted 03 June 2010 - 01:05 PM
You have a couple of options, dependent on your circumstances.
It sounds like your hard drive is failing. If you go into BIOS there is sometimes a drive diagnostic. If you can identify the brand of drive, the manufacturers usually have diagnostic software available that you can burn to a CD or floppy.
Do you have the XP disks? If so, you could try a repair install; but if it is indeed the hard drive, this would be a waste of time. But if you do have the disk, you could purchase a Notebook (2.5") hard drive and reinstall the Operating System.
The old drive may be able to be mounted in order to get your data off of it. If it is not mountable, your data is lost unless you want to spend LOTS of $$.
I would start with the Hard Drive Manufacturers Diagnostic. Open the little cover on the hard drive to get the manufacturer. Sometimes you can see it in BIOS as well. ST=Seagate, WDC=Western Digital, etc...