If you repair the OS (step 14 in the Gateway instructions) your programs and data won't be affected. Gateways (and eMachines) restore disks include an OS disk as the first disk in the set. I'd suggest trying that one.
If we've got a Gateway at work (with the CD's) tomorrow, I'll give it a try there to see if it'll work for me.
In general, if you're trying these procedures you'll get some sort of notice that things will be erased/overwritten if you're not doing it correctly.
At step 6, insert the disk that says something like Operating System on it.
At step 12, just press Enter (to setup Windows) - this will not erase/overwrite anything
At step 14, select "R" to repair - any other choice will end up losing some stuff.
At worst case you'll have to exit by pressing F3. Here's a screenshot of the screen at step 12
And here's a screenshot of the screen at step 14:
Here's a link to the page that I got these pictures from: http://www.windowsreinstall.com/winxppro/i...dexfullpage.htm
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