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unbootable to wondows PC previous hal.dll


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bobbycow36 bobbycow36 is offline
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24-Jul-2012, 07:17 AM #1
unbootable to wondows PC previous hal.dll
My PC has gone from a usable machine to a doorstop in a matter of weeks, and I don’t understand what’s going on.
Firstly I would like to do some data recovery. Most of the data has already been backed up to an external drive as part of a regular process. However there are some remaining items I would like to recover. I have Puppy Linux on CD – but although it installs ok I can’t find a way to extract the data to my external or computer drive. What am I missing?
I can’t do a System File Info because the machine is no longer functional. It’s a rebuild with XP SP3 and about 3GB RAM and CPU about 2GHz. 2 x HDD. Primary HD drive 300GB and secondary HD 500GB.
One morning it stopped mid-boot with the message “reboot and select proper boot device”.
HUH?? Next it asked for “insert boot media and press any key”. I don’t have any boot media. I eventually got past these stages by pressing alt/ctrl and delete after a lot of trial and error.
This allowed the boot to continue before stopping at another stage, the BIOS. This showed the boot order was the same as before – CD drive then DVD drive then primary HD drive. As far as I could tell, and I am far from an expert, the rest of the BIOS was normal. I just had to F10 out of there and it set off again before stopping, showing an array of drives (floppy A, CD Drive, DVDRW Drive and the 2 HDD’s then a “RAID”. You had to be quick or you missed them and you had to go through the whole process again.
One of the sets was a “raid” and eventually by trial and error I learned if I could click on this it would finish the boot successfully, even though I never had a RAID. I got used to the strange arrangement and got some very helpful tips from the forum, although it wasn't clear what the underlyinh problem was. – UNTIL one morning the message was “hal.dll error. Missing or corrupt file.”
I looked it up and that was depressing reading what with so many different opinions etc.
Nearly all seemed to be in consensus on one thing though and that was that you needed a bootable XP disc, and that the missing hal.dll probably wasn’t the problem. After much scrutiny I downloaded such a disc which did indeed boot the PC from its turpor.
Things got kind of scary when it tried to load Windows on top on the XP SP3 I’ve already got, so I F3’d out of there quick. I had read all about Recovery Console and was clutching a list of its commands ready to do a little minor tinkering with CHDDSK when this comment appeared “there are serious problems with this disc.” This isn’t verbatim because I was too shocked to write anything down, and I figured it was way past my amateur attempts to repair it and I might make things worse
Has the hard drive crashed do you think? Any particular reason? If the data all looks intact is that not a good sign?
Thank you for any help

Last edited by bobbycow36; 25-Jul-2012 at 12:44 AM.. Reason: Typos and to clarify
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bobbycow36 bobbycow36 is offline
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Member with 100 posts.
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: near London UK
Experience: Intermediate
30-Jul-2012, 02:11 AM #2
Hope I'm doing the right thing here and that this is what constitutes a "bump"! as I have received no replies as yet.
I can see that this probably something of a nightmare scenario hence not so very inviting!
But you know it makes sense - because otherwise I'm going to be let loose on a hard drive all on my own with Recovery Console or Puppy Linux/Skola, and they look pretty terrifying to me!
All offers of help gratefully received
Bobbycow
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