Let me assure you that I DO NOT c &p.....................that is the second time this weird bug has happened...last time it only repeated the message once?????.........I will need to look at that.
I must admit that I got frustrated with XP Pro and sort of gave up on it several months ago.
I would recommend starting from scratch and doing a complete re-install of XP...I guess that you have tried the repair facility and it hasn't worked?
Also, you might like to try the PC-cillin website and run their "housecall", just to be sure you are completely rid of your viral problems (do this first of course).
If you have really given up, then I would not recommend Win98, as it is past its "sell by date", Me is the earliest I would contemplate, but I have been using 2k Pro on several machines for quite a while, and would say that it is pretty good (by MS standards )