That answers the first problem as Vista does not have the hal.dll file.
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO INSTALL the copy of the hal.dll you have found.
Does not have recovery console.
Do you have the XP CD or only the HP reinstall CD which is likely not to include the Recovery Console.
You say you can boot with a disc - which one please.
Your first task is to run "chkdsk /r" from the recovery console.
If you do NOT have the recovery console on CD and depending on which boot disc you have - download the recovery console and run the chkdsk.
Here is the downloadhttp://www.thecomput...om/files/rc.iso
and here are the instructions and the program to burn the ISO filehttp://sites.google....-console-for-xp
On that last link, on the bottom left of the screen click on the first Micrsoft link for the recovery console loading instructions and the commands.
When you get into the Recovery Console and the password it asks for is the built in adminstrator account - try it blank first and if that is not accepted try your usual windows passwords. The run on the proompt this command
"chkdsk C: /r"
that is without quotes, note space between chkdsk and C: and between that and the /r.
AND PRESUMING THAT WINDOWS IS ON C DRIVE
Post back when you have done this. After exiting recovery console and see how it is including booting normally and safe mode.
Edited by Macboatmaster, 17 February 2011 - 08:52 AM.