In short, one could GUESS what that error message was. I will not guess this since you can write it down and supply it intact, and please "in quotes."
http://www.wown.com has all the usual setups.
http://support.microsoft.com has searches for their errors.
But I see that a simple issue can be easily fixed by removing the TCPIP protocol (control panel, networking) and then adding it back in.
If your network card or cable is DEFECTIVE or drivers missing, the articles at http://www.google.com/search?&q=xp+169+ip+address+auto+assigned give you great clues that it's a flub in some way that the DHCP didn't work. Whether it's the cable, card, driver is up to you to sort out since Microsoft won't tell you this.
I was working on a friends computer the other day, on a problem that i havent seen before. The computer is running roadrunner cable internet service provider, never had a problem before. One day it just stopped working, i log onto windows and i notice it has an automatically assigned IP address, one of those 169.254.*.* that Windows loves to assign. I try to do an ipconfig /release, ipconfig /renew and it tells me some message like "The command was trying to be executed on something that isnt a socket" or some message to that nature. This is my first time running into this kind of a problem, what can i do to fix it?