Right now, the boot up stops with the wallpaper showing and nothing else. Ctl-Alt-Del opens Task Manager and shows only 13 processes running. From Task Manager / Applications / New Task..., I can browse, but when opening exe files, they fail.
On my Dell, I have used the menu available after pressing F2 during startup and tried to change the boot disk to the cd-rom drive, but it reports that the drive is not responding. Using the menu available after pressing F12 during startup, I can change the boot order, making the cd-rom the only startup disk, but that has had the same effect. Browsing the drives from New Task in the task manager does show the cd-rom drive installed and does show files on a disk.
Using safe mode or last known good which are available after pressing F8 during startup has had no effect.
I can boot from a 3.5" floppy rescue disk, but the rescue disks I have found do not recognize my hard drive and when trying to use them to execute off of the cd-rom report ""This program must be run under Win32". (edit)
My first priority then will be to copy my data from the internal hard drive to an external hard drive. I am hoping for a bootable 3.5" floppy disk which will allow me to work with the files on my hard drive and which will let me transfer the files to a USB drive. At that point, I can further investigate the virus and/or do a fresh install of XP.
I am grateful for your assistance and would be happy to clarify or answer any questions.