Here's a detailed list of what's happened so far:
1) For no reason I could see, I started getting errors on my desktop. I can't remember exactly what those errors said, but I could not open any programs in Windows anymore.
2) I rebooted, thinking that might fix the issue.
3) My computer booted up to a black screen with white text that read:
"Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
Please re-install a copy of the above file."
4) Thankfully, I have a laptop! So I used that to go to http://support.dell.com and spoke to a representative about my problem. The rep told me to find the Windows XP CD and boot directly from that.
5) I still had the CD, so I loaded it in and tried going to BIOS, as instructed, to make it so it would boot directly from CD. However, even after editing the boot sequence, my computer still would not boot from CD.
6) The rep told me to go back into BIOS and he instructed me to do something in the DRIVERS menu. I think he had me turn something off there, but I can't clearly remember. Either way, it worked, and my computer booted straight from the Windows XP CD when I restarted.
7) Somehow, the rep taught me how to put in my ADMIN password and I successfully opened up the Recovery Console.
8) At the Command Prompt, I was told to put in this command: EXPAND E:\I386\HAL.DL_ C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\HAL.DLL
When I put that in, I got this message:
"Unable to create file hal.dll.
0 file(s) expanded."
10) I told the rep and he instructed me to put in this command next: CHKDSK /r
Then I got these messages:
CHKDSK is checking the volume...
CHKDSK is performing additional checking or recovery...
11) The check was going really slow, so I went to bed and let it run all night. When I got up this morning, this message was added:
CHKDSK found and fixed one or more errors on the volume.
385792940 kilobytes total disk space.
Then it listed how many kilobytes are available, how many are in each allocation unit, how many total allocation units are on disk, and how many allocation units are available on disk.
12) The Command Prompt is still up on my screen and I don't know what to do now.
Hopefully, this is all good progress. Is it looking like I might be getting my computer back, with all my data still on the hard drive?
I'm a little tired of dealing with Dell Support, and I wanted some second opinions from this community before I went back to Dell and asked about what the next step should be.
Thank you in advance, if anyone gets the time to respond! If not, well...I've still got Dell Support, as long as I absolutely milk the answers out of them. They seemed reluctant to help me keep my data, and they kept pushing for me to just wipe the hard drive...
By the way, I think this whole hal.dll problem might have started with some strange possible spyware I was detecting on my AdAware program. I have no idea though. Anyone want to add any speculation they might have on this issue and where it can originate?
*edited post for typos.
Edited by Jennie Doomsday, 04 September 2008 - 12:04 PM.