Hard drive problem

  Kuching 20:38 17 Mar 2010

I had the "missing or corrupt Windows root\system32\hal.dll" problem and have tried all the suggestions from various websites, but to no avail. When I finally decided to re-install Windows (XP), it came back with the message that "Setup has determined that drive C is corrupted and cannot be repaired." I would be grateful if someone can confirm for me whether this means that the hard drive has to be replaced, or that I just have to reformat the hard drive and re-install everything again.

  Terry Brown 21:00 17 Mar 2010

I would hope that a format will enable the harddrive to work normally.

If you have files you wish to keep, try putting this drive into another computer (as a slave) so you can recover your working files, if you have another 'spare' harddrive, you could put it in your machine,Unplug the connection for the faulty drive (so it cannot boot), and rebuilt your system, then (after turning off)plug the original drive in a re-boot, your files should then be able to recover your files.

If you have a floppy disk drive (& 6 disks), download the xp boot disk file (microsoft), create the disks and run, you may then be able to run a repair using the original CD. Select advanced, when wyou get to terms and condions (Press F8) press F8 then ESC and select the repair option.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 21:02 17 Mar 2010

Sounds as if your MBR is totally screwed or your have drive overlay software on the HDD so windows cannot read the drive correctly.

I suggest you use something like DBAN to completely wipe the drive and all partitions click here

Then XP CD should be able to see it and install windows.

  DieSse 22:28 17 Mar 2010

Or it really could mean that your drive is faulty.

So the route of trying to recover your files via another system, and not relying on the drive for a new installation until and unless it has been proved to be safe is the only safe route.

So it's essential that you fit a new drive for now. If you can later prove your existing drive is sound, then you can use it as a backup drive.

  DieSse 22:31 17 Mar 2010

Of course, to restate the obvious, just in case anyone should still be in any doubt - if you had a full backup on another drive, you could simply restore it and find out if your drive would then work OK - and if not, restore to a new drive.

Question - when should I backup my drive?

Answer - NOW

  Strawballs 00:36 18 Mar 2010

With the price that drives are now I would not even risk it, I had a similar problem with my daughters machine so for just over £40 I installed a 500gig drive

  Kuching 10:49 18 Mar 2010

Thank you, folks, for your kind suggestions.

There is no way I can "restore" or do any "repair" from the Recovery Console as I cannot get past the administrator password request despite pressing "Enter" when not having a password, and I am using the original Windows CD. I could get through before but I seem to be "barred" now.

I shall, however, follow your suggestions and get a new hard drive and try to retrieve the programme and data files from this currently corrupted drive.

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