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Missing hal.dll/Repairing XP/Saving files

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Windows XP on my laptop has an issue.

When I turn it on, it goes to a black screen that says:

"Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: <Windows root>\system32\hal.dll"

I followed the steps to repair XP. However, I do not get an option to repair Windows. I can choose between drives and partitions, and I can install Windows. If I hit Enter to install Windows, I get a message that says:

"The partition is either too full, damaged, not formatted, or formatted with an incompatible file system. To continue installing Windows, Setup must format this partition. CAUTION: Formatting will delete any files on the partition."

So I have two questions:

1. Is there way to repair/install XP without losing my files, specifically Word documents and pictures?

2. Is there a way to move my files to a flash drive/external harddrive/another computer if I can't repair XP?

Please help!

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when you boot with the disk press R to go to recovery console. Once there press 1 to log in to windows installation and type in admin password. then type in chkdsk /r . Let it run and then try doing repair install again. Sounds like you might have a bad hard drive. I would definitely recommend on taking the hard drive out and hooking it up to a different computer. Then when it's hooked up as a slave you can access it and pull the data you need for backup.

Edited by yevgenievich, 20 December 2008 - 12:10 AM.

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