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Computer won't start up


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#1
tennistm

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I have a XP home edition on my PC. I had just completed a "tune up" on my computer and was "re-starting" it.
When it came to restart, I got the following message on a black screen:

"Window could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
<Window root> \system 32\hal.dll.
Please re-install a copy of the above file."

Can you help me restore my computer???

Thanks,
Tim
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#2
piper

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Hi tennistm!

See this previous G2G thread on the same issue.

Please post back the results.
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#3
The Skeptic

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If I may, please look at this link. It shows an easy and short way to repair hal.dll. If this doesn't help you can always go for windows repair. Personally I use windows repair as a last resort because many times you end up with many problems, not to mention all the updates that you loose.
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#4
piper

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Excellent find, The Skeptic. Thanks very much!
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#5
tennistm

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I tried the fix suggested by Skeptic...when I got into the Recovery Console it wouldn't accept the path provided in the suggestion i.e. "expand..."
I called Dell and they tried to fix it (also going into the Recovery Console)...but finally said the hard drive was broken.

Although, I am curious...when they gave me instructions, they had me enter an "R" at step 4 of your directions. They told me if I pushed "enter" at that point it would not repair, but replace. I never got to point where it asked me about a licensing agreement?
Should I try again using the "r" rather than "enter"? I don't want to lose the data in my computer. Should I now take it to a computer repair shop?
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#6
piper

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Well..... let's try running CHKDSK to correct hard drive problems. Then we'll try to repair Windows again.

CHKDSK from the Recovery Console

Put the Windows XP CD in the cd-rom drive and shut the machine OFF. Power the machine back on and watch the screen for the prompt "Press any key to boot from cd"...press the spacebar once.

This should take you to a "Welcome to Setup" screen...Press R to load Recovery Console"

On the next screen, select your operating system by typing the number to the left of it. In most cases, this will be 1. C:\WINDOWS...so type 1.

If you are prompted to type a password, leave it blank and press "Enter".

This should take you to a command prompt...C:\WINDOWS>

Type chkdsk /r and press "Enter". Note the space before /r. You may be told the volume is in use and asked if you want to schedule this to run on the next boot...type Y and press "Enter". This should start the chkdsk operation.

If the machine doesn't reboot automatically, but returns to command prompt, type exit and press "Enter". The machine should reboot...do not press a key to boot to cd...let it boot to the HDD.

This will be a very long check and may appear to start over a few times...this is normal, let it finish. 60 to 90 minutes for this check is not unusual. It should then automatically boot to Windows.


As to your question about step #4: pressing R at that point takes you directly to the recovery console, as I indicated in the above directions for running CHKDSK. Pressing Enter takes you to another screen with options for installing Windows.
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#7
tennistm

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That'a the process I went thru with the Dell tech. person...it took a long time to check and when I went to reboot, I got the same error message. They then told me I had to buy a new hard drive.

What's your opinion?
Do I get a new hard drive? Can a computer store tech. save my programs, etc
I have a lot of my files backed up...but I hate to have to down load all the programs I had in my PC. I especially hate
losing all of the address I had in my Outlook Express (never could figure out how to back them up).

Tim
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#8
piper

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Yes, I'd say get a new hard drive and install Windows on it. Then install the old hard drive as a secondary drive or purchase an external hard drive enclosure for it. It may be that the problem is not so severe that it will prevent your getting to your data. If the problem is that severe, there may be service technicians available in your area that can recover your data for you.

I found these recommendations on G2G - I can not vouch for any of them personally:
http://www.geekstogo...der-t19687.html
http://www.geekstogo...=data recovery
http://www.geekstogo...=data recovery

Of course, any one else reading this thread is more than welcome to offer other data recovery solutions!
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