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missing file windows will not start

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Hello...in recent attemps to rid my laptop of a search page hijacking problem I ended up with a black screen with the message ...windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
<Windows>\system32\hal.dll. I have attempted to reinstall the entire system from the cd that came with the computer but still receive this message.I have no idea how to install this file if I cannot get the computer to start.I am sure I can download a copy from microsoft onto a disc but how can I get it onto the hard drive? Any help would be so very appreciated...

this is a 5 year old gateway laptop

Also I have tried to boot from the cd but get no option to do so...I read a post in this forum about changing the boot order in bios set-up I have cd/dvd rom selected ahead of hard drive as indicated in the forum post I read.

Edited by rapidroy5858, 10 April 2010 - 03:32 PM.

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Hello rapidroy5858...

The HAL.dll (Hardware Abstraction Layer) is created during the Windows installation. I know that it's said it can be copied from the Windows disk, but I've never seen that actually work. The best way to do it is by reinstalling Windows as you've tried to do.

On Gateway machines, the system recovery is usually started with no disk in the drive. On one of the very first splash screens, you should be prompted to press R for recovery...or something to that effect. Once the recovery starts, it will prompt you for the Operating System cd.

Not all Gateway machines work this way, though. If the above procedure doesn't work, let us know what the model number of your machine is and we'll see if we can get it started another way.

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