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XP boot failure, suspect malware

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Hello, "happyrock" suggests I post a request here.
Win XP home fails: "STOP 0x7b" or "Could not start ... following file missing or corrupt ... HAL.DLL" or "computer disk has config problem" each depending on how I try to start the code.
Puppy linux can access D:& E: drives and USB HDD OK but not C:.
DOS can access C:, all files appear OK and I can run a DOS based draughting program under DOS OK.
Acer "Recovery" disks will not boot (fortunately - since, evidently, they'd wipe all my data!) and I badly need all of that.
Bart's just stops.
Please advise!
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