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hey guys and girls. hopefully you will be able to help me. i've spent all day today googling and trying all suggestions to no avail.

i had windows xp pro sp3 installed on a 200GB SATA drive that started failing. so I added a 500GB SATA drive to the same channel, but as master. i also have a dvd burner and another hard drive, so when i installed windows on the new (500gb) drive this is how it was all setup

DVD-drive (channel 1 master)
IDE 80GB HDD (channel 1 slave) - media files only

500GB SATA hdd (channel 2 master) - empty, new drive
200GB sata hdd (channel 2 slave) - windows xp still installed

i went ahead and installed a new copy of windows xp to the new hard drive. everything went fine. after installation the boot screen showed two copies of windows, and the default (first) one was the NEW installation on the 500GB drive.

after going in i moved all the files from the 200GB drive to the new drive, and deleted all the folders from the old drive, including the Windows folder from it.

i kept restarting as i installed updates and there was no problem...everything working great.

then i realize that in my BIOS, the settings were to boot from the 200GB drive as it had been in the past. i changed that to boot from the 500GB drive (which has the windows files after all!) and i got "disk boot failure, please insert a boot disk and press enter".

if i change the boot order so the 200GB drive loads first, it goes into windows (from the 500gb drive!) just fine.

so i realized that all the boot files were on the 200GB drive. i copied the boot.ini, ntldr.sys and files to the new drive, but i still got the same boot disk error.

here google comes in. after reading many different threads and trying all the different suggestions (including fixboot, fixmbr, bootcfg /rebuild, copying new ntldr.sys and files from windows xp install cd, and others) now i think i made some progress, yet i'm stuck at another error...

"windows could not load because...missing or corrupt hal.dll file"

if the boot order has the 200GB drive first, windows loads fine. if the boot order is for the 500GB to go first, i get this error now.

as you can imagine, the hal.dll file is not damaged because i can still load windows as i mentioned before, so what is it?

just for safe measure i tried copying different hal.dll files and the error still happens.

i want to get this to work right because i dont think i should have to depend on this [failing] drive to load windows from my brand new drive!

so what, if anything, can i do?

thank you for your help and i apologize for the length of the post!
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