Error loading Operating System

Microsoft Windows xp professional w/sp2
April 6, 2010 at 12:46:39
Specs: Windows XP PRO
I have a Lenovo 3000 Y500 laptop which was working fine till a few days back. Since last few days it's displaying an error message saying "Error loading operating system" when ever I try to turn it on. As my laptop's DVD drive is not working properly and as I dont have a floppy drive in it i tried to boot it using a flash drive which I made as a start-up disk. Then it displayed to select the partion to load the OS from. It dispalyed 9 different options. Those were;
NT, Partion 1 from 1st hard disk
NT, Partion 2 from 1st hard disk
NT, Partion 3 from 1st hard disk
NT, Partion 4 from 1st hard disk
NT, Partion 1 from 2nd hard disk
NT, Partion 2 from 2nd hard disk
NT, Partion 3 from 2nd hard disk
NT, Partion 4 from 2nd hard disk
and the last is
Previous OS from C:\.

When I selected the options; NT, Partion 1 from 1st or 2nd hard disk it says
<Windows root>\system 32\hal.dll is missing or corrupt. Please re-install a copy of that file.
Here pressing ESC or Ctrl+Alt+Del restarts the computer.

And, when I select the option,
Previous OS from C:\
the whole system freezes with a message that says,
"I/O error accessing boot sector file multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partion(1)BOOTSECT.DOS".
But here pressing ESC or Ctrl+Alt+Del doesnt work. Need to press the power button itself.

Can anyone tell me what could be the issue and how can I solve it? Will it work just by re-installing the OS using the flash-drive?

My OS is Windows Xp PRO with Service pack 2. Internal Hard drive capacity is 120GB, Flash drive is of 8GB. RAM is 2GB.

Thank you advance.

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April 6, 2010 at 13:29:16
Very odd to have 4 partitions per disk and not know which is booting and which as the OS.

I would suggest looking directly at the file structure on disk 1 partition 1. This is where the boot files reside. Look at the boot.ini. It will tell you what partition the OS is on.

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April 7, 2010 at 01:23:53
I dont have 4 partitions per disk. I have got on C:\ & D:\ in my internal hard disk and the flash drive I didnt create multiple partitions. I didnt understand why it is displaying 4 different partitions with each disk.

Anyway, I will give a try according to your suggestion. Thank you alot wanderer for so response.

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April 7, 2010 at 19:53:24
Try a repair with the USB drive and see if the XP installer/repair option can auto detect the correct location for the boot files.

Sorry, I thought I read 'recovery disk' rather than 'start up disk'. If you can access a recovery partition (see manual or mfg's website for special 'F' key to select on start up if you have a recovery partition and try there to repair.

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