No guarantees here, but a "repair" installation of the operating system should replace any missing system files without damaging the personal documents.. Dell should have provided a Windows XP reinstall CD.. Follow the instructions below:
You could also use the XP Recovery Console from the XP CD to simply replace the hal.dll file.
Of course, because the computer is old, it's entirely possible the hard drive is failing and the repair install may only be temporary.
Hope this helps.
My father inlaws old Dell laptop is causing problem. I know it got that google virus and now I can't boot xp home ed, not even in safe boot. When I restart the computer, I get a msg saying 'windows root system32 hal.dll is missing or corrupt, please insert disk to install the file' something in that context. I can't even boot in safe mood to install this file or do anything.
So far I have done the following...
I booted the laptop with the xp cd and went in the recovery console
I ran attrib -h-r-s c:\boo.ini it gave me a message file cannot be opened
Still I ran Del c:\boot.ini it gave me a message saying an error occurred during directory enumeration
I ran bootcfg /rebuild the msg I got was failed to successfully scan disk. May be a corrupt file system, which would prevent bootcfg from successfully scanning.
I ran chkdsk...it runs and at 32% it gives an error....The volume appears to contain one or more unrecoverable problems.
I dont want to format the HDD as he has some files which are imp and dont wana loose them.