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help asap- absolute mess- hal32, followed by fatal error

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To sum up what has happened, my sister has messed up her laptop badly.
She somehow did something like create another OS on a old or new partition.
But the main error that had been coming up was the missing/corrupt hal32.dll error.
So I had repaired it a few times by fixing the boot.ini file.
This problem came repeatedly, and one time she brought the fatal error screen. c000021a status 0xc00003 etc. message.
So I did a repair install since there are very important files on that computer.

THIS TIME. she has brought back the blue screen, but I am unsure of how to repair XP with the disc, since after i press <enter> to go into setup, expecting a highlighted box recognizing my OS, i instead get a list that shows existing partitions and unpartitioned space on the computer.
I see things like
-: Partition1 [Unknown]
C: PArtition2 [NTFS]
F: mediadirect blah blah (its a dell)
E: Fat32 one... blah blah

Now I am a big n00b, but know how to follow instructions.
Any help is appreciated. I can't do a clean install since there are things from work etc on there.
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    Portlock - Oahu

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First off... It is highly recommended you stop all activity with trying to repair the Windows installation.

Go out and purchase a USB harddrive enclosure for the laptop drive. It has to be one that supports the drive, so you need either a Sata or IDE enclosure. You don't list the specs/model number of the laptop, so I can't recommend an enclosure for you.

Once you get the enclosure, remove and install the laptop drive into the enclosure, and then connect the drive to another computer and save all the important data from laptop drive onto the other computer.

Once you've verified all the data has been transferred and saved, then I would then seriously think about reformatting the laptop drive and doing a total Windows reinstall.

If you attempt to continue as you are, and you don't know what you're doing, you take a huge risk of losing all the data on the laptop.
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