pgens as very good advice. if you have files you want to save, regaurless of what you choose to do, burn them to CD-R or get yourself a snazy USB drive you can easily transfer all your files onto.
at this point, after backing up files you want to save, if you have a "System Restore CD(s)," i would suggest you use them. this can be done by inserting the first disc (of the set) into the cdrom drive and rebooting. this should cause the CD to boot and probably ask you some simple questions before it reimages. if the CD does not boot, you may have to change the boot order in the BIOS but i dont think that will happen. if it does, just post here again.
if you dont have the system restore discs but you have a Windows installation CD that came with the laptop, use that to reinstall Windows. it works in the same maner as the system restore cds that boot from the cd drive. just stick it in and reboot. the install process isnt too complex but you will need to have the "Product Key" that came with the CD. it's a sticker that is on some thing that the CD was packaged with or if it came with a white manual with some shiny starburt saying "Official Microsoft Product" or something, it should be on the from of the manual. chances are you have the system restore discs though.
finally, when your computer is reloaded, install firefox
and do not use Internet Explorer unless you are doing Windows Updates or you must for the webpage to work properly.
alternatively, you can go linux. it's come a LONG ways in the past few years. it's just as usable as windows, all the programs are free, and you dont have that pesky virus problem. if you arent gaming or anything on your laptop, this is the way to go. Ah! i just remembered, if you go to MicroCenter, they sell Linspire.
this is a distrobution of linux that is nice and for the layman. includes apps like no other. you will feel at home with the MS Office clone that give you. it's $50 but totally worth it.
"the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish."