Missing <windows root>\system32\hal.dll.

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Depends on what's causing it. If it's caused by a missing boot loader file or a corrupt MBR, you can boot with a substitute media that has the 3 necessary files for booting and it will allow access to the system for possibly making repairs. The boot media will need to be formatted on a ntfs system and contain the three files ntldr, ntdetect.com and boot.ini. I can offer a link for creating such media if you need it.

Otherwise, if the error is caused by some major error in the system files beyond the bootloader area, then you may need the install CD. It could be that the hal.dll file is missing but that's not usually the case.

That is not to say you couldn't get an iso file from the internet and make a Recovery Console boot CD which would allow you to boot to the RC and make repairs but that would depend on your abilities and if you knew where to make such repairs.

BTW, if you are getting that message when using the boot media I offered in the other post of your other thread ( http://forums.techguy.org/windows-xp/976050-pc-doctor-needed-2.html#post7778423 ), that's a common message when you choose the wrong partition from the initial menu it presents. In your case, you should be choosing the 1st partition of the 1st hard drive. (I think) If you get the message from all choices, then you have a system problem that will require an install CD or RC boot CD as I stated earlier.

If this is the same computer and same problem, you should keep it all in the original thread, lest you lose track of who said what and perhaps lose the interest of your helpers.
 
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