Windows XP crash, loss of data?

  Will 08:13 04 Mar 2004
Locked

System: Time Laptop, Windows XP, Mobile AMD 1600+, 256 Ram.

I have had the Laptop 13 months and it had never been on the net because I work at sea and there has been no requiremwnt. Before my next contract I thought I would update xp and the virus list. I connected it to my broadband at home and immediately got the "blaster" virus. I switched on the XP firewall and was then able to get on the net. I proceeded to go to the MS site and decided to download the XP updates. Mr nobody (aged 14), decided to turn the laptop off during the process resulting in the following problem:
When I switch on, the Laptop opens, then goes through "Go Back", then through some sort of scan which is indicated by a bar across the bottom of the screen. About a third of the way through it stops and says:

"Windows can not start because the following file is missing or corrupt -
system32\drivers\FastFat.sys
You can attempt to repair this file by starting windows setup useing the original CD Rom. Select R at the first screen to start repair"

I have tried this but the first screen from the instalation disk just gives the option to reinstall XP with loss of all data!!!!

Anybody any ideas? If I bought an external hard drive (connected by USB} and put the OS on there would I be able to access the files on my C drive?
And before anybody asks, no not all my data is backed up.

Help!!!!

  Diodorus Siculus 08:27 04 Mar 2004

If you can get hold of a WinXP CD, you may be able to do a repair; from what I can work out, you have a system restore Cd and this wants to reformat / reinstall everything.

  Jester2K 08:28 04 Mar 2004

"goes through "Go Back", "

Can you not use GoBack to Go Back to before this happened and start again?

  Will 11:21 04 Mar 2004

thanks but tried the "go Back straight away and had no joy]

  Jester2K 11:25 04 Mar 2004

Can you explain exactly what you mean by "then goes through "Go Back" "

Is it trying to GoBack or is it offering you the chance to Hit the space bar to use GoBack?

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