craigh, I’ve had systems at work that did the same thing. It would drive me nuts to power the PC on and come back a few minutes later and it was waiting for me to push a damn button before it would continue. I found a BIOS setting that solved this. It was called something like ‘halt on errors’ I think but it’s been a few years.
Getting 2 options of XP to boot from sounds like a ‘boot.ini’ file issue. This file is probably a hidden file but you can open it with Notepad once you can un-hide it. It should be in the root of C:. I’ll post what mine looks like:
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
You might be able to modify this file to solve the problem. BUT, be very careful as I think you can really screw things up if you do it wrong. ( you won’t lose data but you might not be able to boot until you somehow repair the file ).
Try what Jeff mentions first.