Corrupted boot.ini and no Windows install detected

By conrthomas
Jul 19, 2010
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  1. Hello,
    I am having a problem booting my windows xp dell inspiron 700m. When I try to boot windows, it flashes "corrupted or missing boot.ini" for a split second, and then displays the message "System could not locate hal.dll" or something to that effect. I must have corrupted the MBR or the boot record and maybe even the partition tables. I went into windows recovery console, and did FIXMBR and FIXBOOT with no success. It is my understanding that windows recovery console should pull up a list of windows installs to choose from to fix. That did not come up, as it went straight to the C:\ recovery console prompt. Therefore the system seems to be unable to detect a windows install. I confirmed this by trying to use a windows xp upgrade, and it said that it couldn't detect any previously installed versions of windows and therefore would not update.

    I can provide further laptop specs on request.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

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