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Discussion Starter #1
My wife's computer cannot start Windows. Get message: The following file is missing or corrupt: <Windows root>\system32\hal.dll.

I tried to copy it from the Dell "Windows" CD using the Recovery Console, but that disk only has a file called hal.dl_ which did not work. I renamed it hal.dll but no luck. What next?

Data: Dell 4600, Pentium 4 2.4, Windows XP home, AVG antivirus, Microsoft Anti Spyware, Sygate Personal Firewall.

Thanks in advance,

Jorge :sad:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Resolution,
Unfortunately it did not work. Any other possible solutions (and no, I do not have a backup...mea culpa)
 

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Well, it couldn't hurt to do a repair install. It should add all your system files back onto your computer, while keeping your files and settings intact. You will need to reinstall your windows updates afterwards.
 

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Did it; now I have a black screen with a cursor that responds to the mouse. However, clicking in the area where start is, and on the quick launch area does not elicit any hard drive activity.
 

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Resolution; I wonder if fixing the master boot record would solve the problem ? if so run your windows disk and select repair from the first blue screen, this will bring up a command window. Type fixmbr and hit return it will ask if your sure type y and hit return then type exit and reboot.jspinolo I do hope I've not misled you in anyway sorry if I have.
 

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Hi Henry,
I am a bit scared about the warning "FIXMBR may damage your partition tables if you proceed" that I get when type fixmbr at the recovery console. I just do not want to compound my current problems...
Resolution, what do you think? Are there any potentially safer ways to try to repair this thing?
 

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I'm not sure why you ran into a problem. The repair option just restores system files to their default state. Have you tried repairing it again? Are you able to boot into Windows? When does the black screen appear?
 

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You're right to be careful but fixmbr is something I've done myself to no ill effects, I did however find this on another website it may be a little more helpful

Insert and boot from your WindowsXP CD.
At the first R=Repair option, press the R key
Press the number that corresponds to the correct location for the installation of Windows you want to repair.
Typically this will be #1
Type bootcfg /list to show the current entries in the BOOT.INI file
Type bootcfg /rebuild to repair it
Take out the CD ROM and type exit

I hope it works out for you
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks, guys. When I did the repair install from the Dell "Windows" CD, at the end of the installation I came back and found a black screen with a movable cursor. There was no error message, so I wonder if Windows installed and then opened this black screen. However, I did not personally see what happened between the moment I left the room (while Windows was installed) and when I came back and found that screen.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Went to Microsoft article; tried booting from floppy, but still arrived to same old black screen with movable cursor. I went then to recovery console and started fixmbr. However, it cautions me that it can do very nasty things because I have a "non standard or corrupted boot record", and the Microsoft article cautions not to do this if it is possible that a virus may be causing this. Is there any way to run a virus scanfrom the recovery consuole? If I can not check for viruses, I would rather call a data recovery guy before I get my computer FUBAR.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
That's a great idea. Will try it. If I slave it, I suppose that would be Windows XP installation 2 if I go to recovery console?
 

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If you do that, it might be a good idea for you to backup your files to the other machine. That way if you have to reformat and reinstall, you can just transfer your files over from the other computer.
 
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