laptop running xp successfully for 3 years and after downloading a filesharing program I have been unable to run XP. The message (not on a blue screen) is "windows file missing or corrupt <windowsroot>32system/hal.dll" can someone please help? is there anyway of recovery without reinstalling windows? if i have to reinstall windows is there a way of copying some of my important files to my portable drive using the command prompt before losing them in the installation? and how do i get to that command prompt as the 'safe mode with command prompt' using F8 gives the same missing file error and no command prompt. I don't have a boot disc. Thanks, and yes, I am a computer pygmy.