Then what is wrong with using that OS? You should be able to recover the data from the bad install and be on your way.
Please explain how this will not do what you want.
I appear to have nuked my laptop.
Okay Here is what happened:
1. I had a Linux Partition that had updated and screwed itself up, so it no longer booted. I didn't really want it anyway.
2. I used partition magic 8.0 to format the partition into ntfs with a view of merging it with my C drive after restarting.
3. Restart never happened, the boot still tried to use grub (a linux bootloader) and that had been nuked and would not allow any booting.
4. using my xp home edition installer cd in Recovery Console mode I ran various boot.ini writing programs until one made a difference.
5. I attempted to run my computer again. It ran slowly and then bluescreened with a "framebuf" error.
6. I attempted to repair the install by running the windows auto repair feature that was on the disc. This didn't fix the problem.
7. Having googled framebuf I tried to boot the computer in safe mode to replace framebuf.dll. Safe mode worked, but when it logged in I was forced to restart because I was running a reinstall program.
8. I installed windows Home Edition onto the partition that used to have linux on, and used that working partition to replace the framebuf.dll with a fresh one. This did nothing.
So here I am, I have now dug myself into an impressively deep dark hole of computer-aided dispair.
Any contributions would be appreciated. (even more so if they are in some way helpful)