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  1. #11
    Moderator Forum Moderator arraknid's Avatar
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    Try this...

    Download and run the AVG removal tool from here... http://download.avg.com/filedir/util...avgremover.exe

    Once run, try the normal start again. If it fails, go back into Safe Mode, launch msconfig again, but this time select the Services tab.

    Select Hide Microsoft Services and then disable the rest.

    Now try a normal startup. If it loads, go into msconfig and re-enable half the disabled items on the Services tab. Test again. If the problem is still there, uncheck half the items you just checked to narrow down the culprit.

    If the problem didn't re-occur, check the other half, so all the Services are enabled. Do the same thing on the Startup tab too. This process is meant to eliminate the Services or Startup processes that are working OK, thereby identifying the problem file. It'll need numerous restarts, but it will find the problem.
    Last edited by arraknid; 10-08-2010 at 02:48 PM. Reason: clarified instructions

  2. #12
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    Hi arraknid,
    Well all of the start-up items are OK. I got it narrowed down to 15 systems items and did my next restart. Now I get a black screen with this message (!?):
    Windows could not start because of a missing or corrupt file..... <windows root>\system32\hal.dll. Now I cannot boot into safe mode. I am on my Mac so if I need to copy a file to a flash drive I can do that (although I do not know how to get a file transferred to my PC in its current state).

    I just don't understand ~ I restarted numerous times as I zeroed in on the offending process. No problems getting into windows in normal and safe modes. Now all of a sudden there is the corrupted/missing dll and I can't even open windows. I guess that is why i'm not the PC expert.
    Last edited by Maxxam; 10-08-2010 at 06:11 PM.

  3. #13
    Moderator Forum Moderator arraknid's Avatar
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    Nothing you've done up to now would cause that problem, so there's obviously something more going on. Below are 2 links which will explain how to get past the current error, but you will need an XP installation disk. Any one will do, for any version, as you'll only be accessing the Recovery Console. You should be able to borrow one.

    Try this one first... Restore Hal.dll - How To Restore Hal.dll From the Windows XP CD - Hal.dll

    And, if necessary, this one... Error message&#58; &#34;Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem&#34;

    If you haven't already, you should be saving any important data, so if you do get access, make that a #1 priority. If you can't get in, you'll need to use a Linux-based LIVE CD, but let's see how it goes.

    It would be nice to know if you still have a working recovery partition. Try the following....

    • Turn on the computer.
    • During the boot process, a blue bar with www.dell.com appears at the top of the screen.
    • Immediately upon seeing the blue bar, press <Ctrl>+<F11>.
    • If you do not press <Ctrl>+<F11> in time, let the computer finish restarting, and then restart the computer again.


    Post what you see there, if anything.

  4. #14
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    My recovery partition seems OK and all my data is regularly backed up on an external HDD.

    I have not had much luck. I have XP Media Center on my PC. I have a disk for XP Home Edition. When I boot from the disk it loads and then go straight to the Windows installation (no option for recovery console) and then gives me a blue screen with error codes.

    I tried looking at the other options but they all require that I be in the recovery console or windows. I'm stuck again ~ does the XP home edition disk not have a recovery console option? Thanks arraknid.

    Also, I believe the recovery console was installed when I was using ComboFix. ComboFix is now uninstalled, but is the recovery console still on my PC and accessible?

  5. #15
    Moderator Forum Moderator arraknid's Avatar
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    Make sure your boot order is set to boot from CD first. You can set that in BIOS, or select from the Boot menu, as follows...

    Start the computer as normal. When F2 = Setup, F12 = Boot Device Menu appears in the upper-right corner of the screen, press <F12>.

    If you wait too long and the Microsoft logo appears, shut down your computer and try again.

    The Boot Device Menu appears, listing all available boot devices. Each device has a number next to it.
    At the bottom of the menu, enter the number of the device that is to be used for the current boot only - in your case the CD-Rom drive.

  6. #16
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    I'm sorry if I seem like such a dummy ~ I was making sure that it was booting from the CD and it was originanally. But this time I went into set-up. (If I do F12 there are devices listed but no numbers next to them or options to change order number). So, I went to set up and it showed all the bootable devices with a number by each one. I renumbered the CD drive to number 1 and had all others turned off (no number next to them at all), but got the same result: It does boot from the CD, load all the dll's, etc but then says it is going to start windows with no option to press R for recovery. It just goes straight to trying to start windows (with a blue screen error) all on its own from the CD.

  7. #17
    Moderator Forum Moderator arraknid's Avatar
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    If when pressing F12, you get the boot device screen, you can also use the up/down arrows on the keyboard to go to the boot device, then press Enter.

    If you have a proper disk, you should get a message on the screen to press any key to boot from CD, which will then begin the load files. If your disk isn't a proper Microsoft Installation CD, it won't boot and will continue to load Windows as you describe. If you are using a recovery Disk supplied by the computer manufacturer, it won't work. Proper disks are clearly marked Microsoft, not with a computer manufacturer's logo.

    If yours isn't a MS one, you'll need to find one.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by arraknid View Post
    If when pressing F12, you get the boot device screen, you can also use the up/down arrows on the keyboard to go to the boot device, then press Enter.
    Yes, I did that and it is booting from the CD and it asks me to press any key to boot from CD. [B]But[B], this is a Windows XP reinstallation disk as supplied by Dell. Sigh. Trying to find an MS installation disk that is not from a PC manufacturer is going to be a lot harder. I appreciate all your help and will try to find a disk somehow, but a see a fresh OS restore coming soon. I like to figure things out and learn, but what regular person has an XP disk these days when most PC mfgs send you their disk (if your lucky ~ most just give you the OS on the partition). Sigh again.

  9. #19
    Moderator Forum Moderator arraknid's Avatar
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    There are a lot of official disks out there, but I suppose it depends on where you work, who you know, etc.

    Check out the link in the first post here...

    Boot to Recovery Console w/o XP CD - PC Pitstop Forums

    It's an ISO download of just the Recovery Console, and simply needs to be burnt to a disk.

    The option of a full reinstallation via the recovery partition is still available to you, but if you have the time, you'll learn a lot from this experience.

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