As much as I don’t like using windows, it is a necessary evil for me because I need to create and edit flash websites. While uninstalling useless programs, installing a new anti-virus and running registry cleaners, I somehow managed to get the hal.dll file corrupted. XP won’t start, not even in safe mode or command prompt.
I have my Linux Ubuntu on another drive. So I boot up Linux and get online to read about that. Almost all articles pointed out that I need to use a win XP CD and go into the Recovery Console. Problem is I don’t have one and I don’t wanna reinstall windows. I did have internet access (broadband, not dial up). I read some more and other articles discussed about editing the boot.ini file.
What I did to get my windows back up was to download a hal.dll file dated 08/03/2004 (I got a 2002 version at first which did not work) and pasted it onto my windows C:\windows\system32\ folder and said yes to overwrite. Logged off my Linux, booted up XP and prayed. It worked! It looked ugly though so I just let it search and install the drivers over the net. Once it was done, I just changed my visual settings to what they were before, reboot and windows will get to stay on that drive another day!
Updated February 23, 2016: Download HAL.DLL