I know this is an old thread, but there was a new post last month, so I don't feel too terrible bumping it again. I have my old computer sitting dormant for the last year because of the <windows root>\system32\hal.dll error message.
All of the instructions are great, providing you have the original XP disc. My old computer is 5 years old and came pre-progammed so I do not have a disc to use.
I also cannot access any files to change the name or do anything with them...all I get when I start the computer is the attempt to start...it states that there was a problem and gives me the options of Safe Mode, , etc....No matter what I chose and which keys I press, the computer seems to start properly with the Windows logo, but always goes back to original page asking me how I want to start it.
I don't care about the computer, but I do have some photos, music, and some personal emails that I might need for a court case, on it that I really need to access.
Aside from paying big bucks to have someone look at it for me, is there something I can do ( I am willing to put in the time for this, just not the money) to get it started or at least access some files. I just am not willing to pay 200. for a XP disc when I don't even know if it will work or if that will erase the data I am looking to preserve.
Any help is greatly appreciated.