Unless you really care about all that bundled software that came with the laptop to begin with, then I would simply do a clean install.
Depending on the specs of your laptop, you may be able to run XP or Win2K. Just remember to access the BIOS as the laptop is booting up to tell it to boot from the CD.
My Iridium laptop starbook 520 has been booting in safemode,no sound comes out and I can't access anything that is microsoft. I tried to put in the restore cd that came with it but it didn't work. The worst thing is that later, I lost the bag containing those same cds on a flight.
Of course the warranty is expired and an IT colleague who looked at it for me said that I must have downloaded something that erased the main operating functions. Is there any hope for my laptop without the restore software?