Use the Compaq restore CDs but use a non-destructive restore.
Next, BAN "AIM" and go look up "GAIM". It may help in the future.
My college student daughter picked up something nasty by clicking on a link in an AIM profile. At first it was 'just' replacing her AIM away message/profile with itself but over the course of the day the performance of her computer degraded to the point where she could not even turn it off - she had to unplug it and remove the battery. Now it won't even complete the start-up - even in Safe Mode or Last Good Configuration. The computer is a Compaq Presario 700 laptop with Windows XP. Any ideas, suggestions? Thanks for any help.