I have a Win XP Home edition that fails to boot; the POST screen loads, then a choice of operating system configurations (see later), and selecting one of them (the last on the list) returns can’t find hal.dll.
The other two options, one of which I have set up in the course of trying to sort this out, both end up with a blank screen.
Safe mode hangs up in the middle of the driver list.
The problem started after a power cut.
I have fairly exhaustively investigated and tried to fix this as follows:-
Seagate 250Gb disk in four partitions, C,D,E,F. Using a partition tool confirms that the active and primary partition is C. The files on all the partitions are all visible using file explorers on bootable recovery CDs (ERD Commander and HIRENS). I have been able to back up the important data. The operating system files are on C partition only.
Run disc diagnostic – passed, no errors
Run Memtest86+ - passed
Run chkdsk /f – fixed a couple of errors
Via recovery console on original disk
Run fixmbr, reboot, not fixed
Run fixboot, reboot, not fixed
Run bootcfg /rebuild fixboot. Reboot, not fixed (this is the most recent listed configuration)
Tried repair install from recovery console. Copied files etc, then automatically tried to reboot but stalled at same place.
I have also tried the disk in another PC and get the same result. I have disconnected, clean and reconnected all relevant internal wiring.
The BIOS is set to boot first from CD then HDD, and detect HDD is set to AUTO.
I have run out of ideas. Can anyone help? I would be grateful for any ideas.