OK, I've had this same problem with XP home 32-bit, and then after giving up on that, upgraded to XP pro 64-bit. The problem is that my computer boots fine and works A-OK (im typing on it right now) when the windows CD is in the drive. However, if I take the CD out and try to boot I get a hal.dll is missing or corrupt and cant boot. If i put the cd back in and try to boot again everything is fine. I have had the same problem with BOTH OS's. I have tried all the solutions I can find for hal.dll is missing or corrupt. It is there in the system 32 folder, and the boot.ini is fine. I have rebuilt the boot.ini before this installation as well as extracting hal.dll from the recovery console. In my bios the cd-drive is set to boot first. my specs: (i built my computer i'd been saving for and this sux) amd fx-62 @2.8ghz crosshair mobo 590sli 5 HDD's, all sata 4x 320GB and one 400GB. they are NOT raided, ive been trying to install windows on the 400GB one. dual geforce 7950's 680w PSU 4GB OZC ram soundmax integrated sound generic dvd-burner. Also, most of the windows have been fresh installs (ive reinstalled / repair installed about 10-15 times) but ive always done the quick format in XP setup, idk if that will help at all but you never know. I usually can fix most problems on my own, but im at the end of my rope. Any help would be so appreciated you cant possible imagine how much I would appreciate it. EDIT: almost forgot - either once or twice I repartitioned the drive (deleted existing one and made a new one) using hiresn boot cd and I've had problems with the nvidia IDE drivers. If I install the nvidia ide drivers all hell breaks loose and I get delayed write failures on every drive and have to reinstall windows.