"would not remove any windows components. Although this seems to the cause of the problem."
So let's assume that is the case.
Now run a Windows repair:
• Click Start; Run.
• In the Run box, type cmd.exe to open the command prompt window.
• At the prompt, type sfc.exe /scannow
• Press ENTER. If Windows finds problems with the system files, you will be prompted to insert your Windows XP installation CD to restore the files.
If no problems are found and the scan finishes, type exit and press ENTER.