Sounds like your registry is toast. If you have an old registry backup you can try to import it in, and that may fix it. If you dont have one my only suggestion would be a full Reformat and Reinstall. I would use a Linux live CD (Knoppix or Mepis) and an external drive to backup all my personal stuff before reformatting. When you start having problems with the Windoze kernel it usually means its time to start over. As far as what caused the problem I really couldn't say without having the machine in front of me. Sorry I couldnt be of more help.
It definatly looks as though i will have to reformat, unless someone else has a suggestion...What is a linux live CD? Free? DL link? Unfortunatly I haven't another drive to backup. Could I partition some space on my drive and save the files (music, pictures, etc...) that I need on there?
Before I go all out and reformat, anyone else have suggestions, theories, or useful information?
Oh crap...I just noticed that my guitar and amp are right next to my computer (1 foot away). Could that have caused my HD to go insane and delete my registry files?