I'm not sure what causes this, but here's how to fix it.
Locate where your i386 directory is. It should either be in C:\i386 or C:\Windows\i386
You should still be able to use the cmd.exe rather than command.exe. So go to Run -> cmd
Once there type this:
expand "Path to i386\autoexec.nt_" c:\windows\system32\
That should fix it. If you don't have an i386 directory on your local computer, you should be able to get it from your windows install CD.
Its a frigging Laptop, not a Labtop!!!!