I have a machine running Win XP which this morning came up with the message hal.dll is missing/corrupt etc. It is a Dell Inspiron 6400.
So I followed the instructions to Restore Hal.dll from http://pcsupport.about.com/od/fixtheproblem/ht/restorehaldll.htm
This resulted in the message access denied.
So I moved on thinking perhaps the boot loader section of boot.ini was incorrect and so following instructions:
When the Windows installation is located, the following instructions are displayed:
Add installation to boot list? (Yes/No/All)
[Type Y in response to this message.]
Enter Load Identifier:
[This is the name of the operating system. Type Windows XP Professional or Windows XP Home Edition.]
Enter OS Load options:
[Type /Fastdetect and press Enter]
I did this removed the Win XP CD and typed Exit.
On restart the machine now offers me two choices both: Windows XP Professional
If I select the top one it starts the Dell Media Direct options page straight away - (basically the set up screen for this program - you can adjust the settings of it) then when you select exit it closes windows down
If I select the second one it says: Load Needed DLL's for Kernel.
I now have the problem I cannot enter the recovery console aswell. If I enter boot menu to change the boot order to boot from disk it then goes to the page to select which windows - which results in the two problems above - media direct and load DLL's.
I am desperate not to lose at least two folders on my machine so a clean install is the very lat possibility and I don't really want to consider that!