The other day I was on my laptop, and left it alone for a bit. When I came back, the screen was frozen on the screen saver. I waited a bit then restarted the laptop, but it would not start up. Only the link lights would light up, but that's it. I asked my techie friend what was wrong and she said to leave it for a day or two then try again, so I did so. I turned it on today, but the same thing happened, so I tried again. This time, I got a message saying "NTLDR is missing". I didn't know what that meant, so I Google'd it and found some solutions which told me to find my Windows XP CD and reboot Windows. I wasn't sure what would happen after this, so I went to my techie friend again, wondering if it would delete everything. She said it would, and I absolutely REFUSE to have any of my files deleted, as they hold great sentimental value and several projects I've been working on for months. So, I try starting it up again, and it gives me the screen where I can choose whether to start Windows from Safe Mode, normally, etc (I've dealt with this screen before). I click on Safe Mode, and my laptop freezes again. I restart it, the laptop shows the welcome screen with the "Compaq" logo then goes to a blank screen with a white flashing underscore. I restart again and it does this for awhile, then it doesn't even go past the Compaq logo. There is also something that says "F10=ROM Based Setup" in the bottom of the screen. I'm now wondering if I should press F10, or if there is a different solution without deleting all my files.
Any and all help is appreciated!