I inserted my XP CD again and selected Setup instead of Repair. It didn’t even recognize the Windows partition as NTFS. So basically Windows update destroyed more than just a few files. I formatted the partition, ran XP setup again. Ofcourse now XP destroyed my MBR and I couldn’t get to Ubuntu. So I fire up the other computer, google is my friend, find a way to restore the ubuntu MBR, boot into linux. Copy all the downloaded drivers to another NTFS partition (not the Windows one in case I lose it again). Finally I have internet going. This time around, I skip doing all the Windows updates together, install Zone Alarm and AVG and turn on automatic updates. I can wait a week while the updates can go on in the background.
If Windows XP fails again this time, I’ll just have to live with not doing any VS.NET development on the laptop – like I have been for a long time now. I do have some other options like the Mono VB.NET Support but that remains a task for the future.