Posted 23 October 2008 - 08:56 AM
First post here for me, but I have browsed these forums a lot - always a source of good info, so I am hoping you can help me figure out how to fix my current problem.
First some background. I have a Dell Inspiron 5150 laptop, which as a model, has had it fair share of problems for many people, so I feel fortunate that mine has lasted 5+ years without too many major problems. A little over 2 months ago, I decided to completely reload XP from scratch, since I was getting tons of the old BSOD. So, I slipstreamed an XP Pro SP3 setup and loaded it onto a new 250GB hard drive (I saved my old hard drive in an external enclosure, since I could still get to the data, but it just wouldn't boot properly). I was running fine for these 2+ months up until last Saturday, when I rebooted, and was greeted with a blinking cursor in the upper left-hand corner of the screen right after the Dell splash screen. Couldn't get to safe mode or anything.
I eventually deduced it was my BIOS that was choking on my new hard drive. It apparently maxes out at 137GB (which I didn't realize when I bought the 250GB drive). I am guessing that all was well until a file fragment got written past that barrier, and then everything went bad. Well, after struggling with multiple chkdsk runs via the Recovery Console, I was finally able to repartition the drive down to a 120GB primary partition, leaving the rest unused - I used Partition Magic 8.0 running directly off the CD.
Now for my actual, current problem. It would appear that Partition Magic (which I thought wasn't suppose to hose things up) corrupted something during the repartition, as now on boot-up, I get an immediate error message that says I have a missing or corrupt hal.dll file. I found others having that same problem with Partition Magic, but didn't find a solution to fix it.
This is what I have tried so far:
From the Recovery Console:
attrib -H -R -S C:\Boot.ini (actually did this in 3 steps, because it complained about a bad switch if I did them all together)
bootcfg /list (this still showed my old list, so at this point I rebooted and reran the RC and then it showed a blank list)
bootcfg /rebuild (I added my C:\Windows w/ the /fastdetect switch)
At this point, my sources say that doing these steps should normally fix a bad hal.dll, but when I exited the RC and rebooted, I still have the problem. Anyone have any other ideas to try? At this point, I am thinking it would have been faster to just reload XP from scratch again, but I was trying to avoid that. Thanks in advance!