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Error Message of Death?

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My Windows XP desktop computer is about two years old, and it has stopped working completly. When I try to boot I get this error: "windows root system 32 hal.dll is missing or corrupt." I've tried installing via an XP recovery CD, not the one that came with the computer, because this computer did not come with one. I tried to burn one when I first got the computer, but I'm not sure it worked, and I have no idea where it is as I've moved two or three times since then. The recovery CD is confusing. I've googled a few prompts to try and repair things, but it just doesn't work. I get the same error when I try to boot, even in safe mode. I'm concerned that it might be an issue with the hard drive because of the computer's age, but I'm not sure. What should I do?
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Check the hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostic tools.
Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities (Storage) - TACKtech Corp.
Bootable Hard Drive Diagnostics
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