I have had the problem that so many others have apparently had -- the hal.dll file goes missing and Windows XP won't boot up. The first time this happened I attempted a repair install and the system was incredibly unstable. I couldn't get it stabilized with a mixture of problems including hangs, crashes, and user account issues. I then did a complete reformat, at great loss to myself, but the system was back in full order. I installed a copy of Sonic MyDVD that was issued as OEM with the laptop in question and it hung while burning a DVD. On reboot, the damn hal.dll has got itself lost again. I did a little more research this time as I was relatively accustomed to the problem by now, not something you really want to be accustomed with, but I tried, in the recovery console, to expand the file off my Windows XP CD but it responded angrily and refused to comply. I then copied the file to system32 and tried to expand from there but it wasn't having that either. I ran a dir scan of c:\WINDOWS\System32 and found both the hal.dl_ and hal.dll files present, deleted them both, and ran the process again, checked the system32 dir and hal.dll was there but the system would still not reboot. So I ran bootcfg /list and, to my surprise, no boot.ini present. So a simple bootcfg /rebuild and BOOM -- system back up and running. So now that I have found the problem, the question would be, WHY? As I've said, the hal.dll has gone missing three times now, and each time was under different circumstances. It hasn't been the same software uninstall or really anything similar the times that it's happened. I have ran chkdsk and several other 3rd party hdd scans and am confident that my hardware is in good condition. What is it that's causing the loss of my boot.ini file and the hal.dll issue. I have read many articles and seen many forums on this but nothing that seems similar to my problem (the others were usually bad uninstallers or failing hardware). Anybody catching anything in what I've described here that you think might be the culprit?