Posted 22 March 2009 - 06:13 PM
Hello, everyone. This is my first post to your forum. I wish it were under better circumstances. I'm trying to help my friend's dad with his Dell laptop. He was performing system maintenance of some kind, and managed to corrupt his hal.dll file. Now the computer won't boot at all. Safe mode leads to a BSOD, and regular booting informs me that the hal.dll is missing or corrupt. To make matters worse, my friend's dad doesn't have any of the software that came with the laptop. This means Recovery Console is not an option.
The computer has already been to a repair tech at some big box store. He told my friend's dad that the harddrive had failed, and needed to be replaced. Knowing what I know now, I can say that this is most certainly not the case. I scanned with the Ultimate Boot CD, and discovered a grand total of ONE bad sector. I'm guessing it's the sector where the hal.dll is located.
My next step was to download a clean version of the hal.dll file. I burned it onto a CD and saved to my 1 gig USB drive as well.
I booted with Knoppix 5.1 and located the corrupted file within windows/system32. Unfortunately, I get a message that a dirty mount was forced. I'm thinking this has to do with the bad sector. Regardless of the dirty mount, I can still see ALL of the files and folders on the harddrive. I even copied some of the important stuff to my USB card reader. Unfortunately, I can NOT delete the old file or overwrite it.
Can I fix this computer? You guys have never steered me wrong in the past. But I've never had a problem this specific (a forum search didn't yield much help).
The following tools are available to me:
1. Knoppix 5.1
3. Clean version of the bad file.
4. USB drive
The following things are not available/ do not work:
1. Reinstall or repair installation of XP (no disks, no recovery console)
2. Return to Dell factory settings (it doesn't boot enough to access this option apparently).
I would really like to help my friend out with this. The family is on a limited budget and would prefer to avoid purchasing a whole new copy of XP just because of one file error. Thanks in advance for any insight you might have.