|Tried to use the laptop on battery - it tried to start then shut down - evidently destructively. Plugged it in to AC for about 4 Hrs; on startup error message was "Windows could not start because following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM." |
This laptop has a recovery partition (D:\); I don't think it came with a Windows Setup CD ROM. Using the Compaq PC Recovery on D:\, I ran Windows System Restore with the result: "Windows could not start because of an error in the software. Please report this problem as: load needed DLLs for kernel. Please contact your support person, etc."
The BIOS Disk Check was run and the drive passed both the Quick and Comprehensive tests. The Windows System Restore was repeated and provided a different error message: "Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: <Windows root>\system32\hal.dll. Please re-install a copy of the above file."
The BIOS Disk Check and Windows System Restore were repeated a couple of times with the same result. The drive passed the tests, and the error continued to be a corrupt or missing hal.dll.
During the above, the BIOS Boot Order was changed to put the CD/DVD ROM drive first. I don't have a boot disk, but did a reboot with a formatted CD in place, and the drive did spin up.
At this point, I think I need a boot CD that will let me get the laptop started, at least in safe mode, and a copy of hal.dll. Is this file generic, or does it have to match this particular hardware and software configuration of this laptop? I have not tried going back to HP or Microsoft yet - since the laptop is around 7 years old, I don't know how far I would get. I have the Windows XP Pro product key from the tag on the bottom of the laptop - would that help me get any help from either of these companies?
Thanks for any help that you can provide!