XP Problems/Missing Files, shortcuts, etc

I’m a little frantic right now, so I hope this message is understood.

Tonight I was trying to install the new Kazza, I noticed that it was taking an awefully long time for it is search for copyrighten programs that I was not allowed to share, which is fine. However in the middle of the check Kazaa failed at like 118%, which was also strange, why 118%. Anyway when I came back I noticed 95% of the shortcuts on my desktop were gone, shortcuts int he start menu were also gone and some programs showed empty when running a mouse over them. Upon further investigation the software and the program files are still on my computer, they have not been deleted, however the links the short cuts are gone, they are also missing from the start-up folder. Looking into the situation more, I found out a lot of my C: items were missing, gone, deleted, especially those for Opera - saved sessions, wands, skins etc. Also for some programs any saved login information is now gone also. My DSL network connections were gone not only from the desktop, but also from the Network Connections folder, and now I cannot access most of Office programs. For example if I go into the C drive programs and click the Excel exe file directly the program will load and then tell me that some features need the CD, thus it tries to find these files it’s needs. When I click no, the program closes. After putting in the office CD, and opening only one of the MS offices programs, then all of them began to work again without this message.

I also noticed something funny, some of the programs that were in use at the time were not effected. Some programs that were not in use were also uneffected, but most programs even under the all programs menu in the start-up menu were unaccessable from the shortcuts.

I have already gone in to delete the new Kazaa, however, I have rebooted several times already, so there is no way I can go back to a previous setup unless someone knows where those files are hiding, I am guessing there is no way of getting to them now.

It appears that the address link the shortcuts has some how been cut, and all desktop items have been removed and some of them deleted.

Where did all of this stuff go? Just vanished?

I have called a few of my friends who are more knowlegable about the administrative aspects of XP, but they are boggled by this, never seen such a situation before.

Anyone know how to resolve this, or suggestions on how to get the items back or where they may be?