My history: After a computer freeze that required I shut down the computer by the power button, I attempted to restart to get the error: NTLDR.exe is missing, press Ctrl+Alt+Del to Restart. I managed to get into the Repair option of the Recovery Console and 'repair' this, I then however, got the error: hal.dll is missing or corrupt. The bootcfg /rebuild option wasn't working because it was acting as if there was no Windows OS installed on the computer, the bootcfg /scan found absolutely nothing and the recovery console disc didn't see any Windows XP OS on the pc to repair.
I attempted one of the fixes that I saw stating to go through the process of reinstalling Windows, just remove the disc during the quick 15 seconds it says it's going to restart. I didn't get the disc removed so I ended up creating a 2nd Windows OS partition on my computer.
I then tried another fix I had found that said to copy and paste the hal.dll and ntkoskrnl.exe files from the 2nd Windows partition System32 folder to the original Windows System32 folder. After doing this and going back to the bootcfg /scan I was able to see both of the Windows partions, only if I tried to boot the original I received an error stating: Load needed DLLs for kernel.
So I then attempted the reinstall through the recovery console and the option for Repairing the original partition of the OS system came up. So I went throught his process, however, during the reinstall Repair it came up saying that it was looking for certain files on my disc that it couldn't find and told me to put in my Windows XP OS w/Svc Pack 2 disc, which was in there. The only thing I could possibly think is that the disc I was using was for my son's computer, not mine, and although both are Dell they are different models? Anyway, I continued to say cancel for those files, probably 7 or 8, and then after the Repair reinstall finished it restarted and brought me to my original partitions profile screen, where I can see the profiles, click to log in, the process starts and then immediately logs me out.
Now the 2nd installed Windows on the 2nd partition runs fine, better than the 1st I think! So I don't think it's the hard drive, but I need to know if there's a way to recover my original partition to save all my files. Any advice, suggestions.... If I cannot recover the original then I will delete, but I also need to know if there's a certain way to do that or if just going in and deleting the folder will do it.
Recovery is of course my first option...I will take any and ALL advice and suggestions regarding this.