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I have a Dell 4600 and a Dell Inspiron 1300. Both are giving the same error message when booting up after the Dell splash screen:
"Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: '<Windows root>\system32\hal.dll' Please re-install a copy of the above file."
Origin of this problem: Requested a well known online computer technician service to remove all traces of their programs from my two computers. Technician was working on both computers at the same time. In the process, the computers were rebooted and both gave the warning listed above. Technician proceeded to instruct via phone to get into the F2 - BIOS to adjust the boot sequence. Technician asked for the REINSTALLATION CD which I didn't realize at the time I did have. Technician did not attempt to instruct about the XP RECOVERY SYSTEM. I tried this on my own later. Actions taken from here on out was only carrier out on the Dimension 4600. I've tried booting with the Reinstall CD but returns same warning. I also have a back-up 3.5 floppy disk with the media name: "Backup.bkf created on 2/10/2008 at 5:34 PM" The disk was wrapped in a paper which contains the description of what is on the disk:
Just some things listed worth mentioning:
Backup (via shadow copy) of "C:"
Backup (via shadow copy) of "System State"
Backup (via shadow copy) of "E:"
I have the Reinstall CD and this Backup disk with original setup, BUT I don't have an idea of how to transfer files to replace the HAL.DLL or the BOOT.INI files. I'm afraid I might reformat the hard drive and loose all files. I surely don't want to do that if there was a simple fix. My last resort would be to go back to the Online Tech.
Any suggestions or online instructions that I haven't crossed yet would certainly be welcome.