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Hello Everyone!

My name is Susan. I have logged into this site on and off since last year and I have found so much helpful advice in your forums. I really appreciate all the free downloads for spyware, virus and malware detection.

My current problem is this...

I have a desktop computer Compaq presario SW4120 with XP. It was new in 2003 so by computer standards it is already swiggin' a lot of Geritol on a daily basis. I have been using my son's laptop for about 6 months to get me by, but I would like to try and retrieve some documents and photos from the crashed computer if at all possible. (Yes I know back up, back up, back up....) Always meant to make recovery disks but never did. Procrastination is my middle name I guess. :)

Anywho, I was able to get the compaq to start up today. (Normally when I push the start button, it makes a few grunting sounds and never starts up.) In the past I would just turn it on and it wouldn't do anything except hum a tune. When I started it up I hit the F1 key a bunch of times and I sent me to the screen with blue background and white printing and lots of options. From there I tried to get it to start normally. The message on my screen right now says

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
<windows root><system32\hal.dll.
Please re-install a copy of the above file.

My husband (God bless his heart) was trying to help me fix the darn thing one day and clicked on some command I didn't know about. Now we get this message on a black screen.

Is there any chance of getting this computer to recover? Or??? I never received XP discs with the computer.

Thanks for any help you can give and for taking the time to read this. :)

Edited by Fizzygirl, 19 September 2008 - 02:30 PM.

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remove the hard drive and slave it to a working computer to get the data...
or you can use puppy linux and boot and run linux in your ram...little bit more complicated but it does work to save the data...
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