WinXP won't start

By 19giugno
Jul 26, 2009
  1. 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?

  2. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    It sounds like the structure of the hard drive has become corrupt, or the hard drive is starting to fail. You can try running TestDisk on the drive and maybe write a new MFT but I would just reformat in case this was caused by malware. If the drive is serial ata, you can attach it to any motherboard that uses sata headers and extract the data as a secondary drive. IDE is a little trickier, since the interface pins are smaller, but it can be done w/ an adapter. After the drive's data has been backed up, proceed to reinstall the OS.
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