I have a Dell Inspiron 1300 that's causing me a problem. It runs Windows XP. When I try to boot it displays the following message:

STOP: c0000218 {Registry File Failure}
The registry cannot load the hive (file):
\Systemroot\System32\Config\SOFTWARE
or its log or alternate.
It is corrupt, absent or not writable.
Beginning dump of physical memory
Physical memory dump complete.
Contact your system administrator or technical support group for further assistance

I understand that somehow I can use Ubuntu to access the laptop and that doing so will enable me to rescue the files on it which I don't want to lose. So I burned the latest version of Ubuntu to a cd on my friends Vista laptop and popped it in the Dell cd drive, but it seems to more or less ignore the cd and tries to start Windows, ending up with the above blue screen and message. I have change the startup so that is goes to the cd/dvd drive first. Can anyone help me with this please?