Hi there, I am checking a freind's laptop (Acere Extensa 5230E) which has got WinXP (don't know if pro or home, since I am not able to get to the system information) installed. The initial problem was the annoying missing hal.dll file, which I have solved by entering the Recovery Console, renaming the hal.ddl file and copying the one from C:\WINDOWS\ServicePackFiles\i386; it seemed to have worked, I got the menu saying that the previous attempting of starting Windows failed, giving me the usual options: start in safe mode, safe mode with network, start windows normally etc with the seconds counter at the bottom. If I choose start windows normally, the counter freezes, and nothing happens, everything freezes. If I let the counter expire, everything freezes. Sometimes hitting enter on Start Windows Normally cause a blank screen to appear, but nothing else: everything frezees. I can enter the Safe mode, sometimes. After a random period in the safe mode everything freezes. I tried the fixmbr and the fixboot commands from the recovery console, but nothing helped. Any suggestions please? Regards D.