Firewire transfer not just for Macs anymore
If both computers have firewire ports, you can transfer files quite nicely between Windows XP type computers, provided both are operational. Connect an IEEE 1394 cable between both computers, quite often a 6-pin variety on desktops and a 4-pin on laptops. On the hard drives of both, enable sharing. Find out the computer name, by right clicking "My Computer" and clicking the "Computer Name" tab. In my case, a Dell, the service tag is the computer name. In the "Start" menu, select the "Run" icon, and in the part where you can put text, type the computer name of the opposite computer. However, it needs to look a certain way: //COMPUTERNAME/C$ would open the computer named "COMPUTERNAME," specifically the C drive. Try this on both computers, usually one will have less security stuff running, and will allow you access from the other.
Macs have a firewire transfer capability as well, called "Target Disk Mode" which is considerably easier. All you do is connect the cables to both computers, fire them up and hold the "T" key on the keyboard of the one you want to get files from. That computer becomes a firewire drive.