Kandee writes in with a troubleshooting question:
Question: I have a secondary computer I use in emergencies when my primary computer goes down for any reason. Recently when in need I hooked up the old one and noted it states I need to reinstall windows. Problem is when my son was deployed for Iraq he lost the recovery cds and HP states they don’t have copies available any longer for the system. Although it is an older system (HP Pavilion 6545c) it is still in perfect shape. What do I need to obtain to get the system operational once again? Thank you in advance.
Answer: One of the nice features of Windows 98 is that it is fairly easy to reinstall Windows without losing your programs or documents. If possible its always good to back them up first before doing any kind of operating system reinstall. You should still be able to find a copy of Windows 98 fairly easily and it should be well under $100.
You don't necessarily need your original HP install disks. What those disks usually do is wipe out the computer and reinstall everything including the programs that came with it so it will be just like it was the day you bought it. If you have added extra programs or documents they would be lost.
Have you tried booting into Safe Mode to see if that will let you start the computer so you can troubleshoot it better?