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OK, try, Boot Up in SAFE MODE, press F8 At Boot up, quickly, select, Boot to safe Mode desktop, with networking... simply copy vgaoem.fon file from xp disc or from net, paste file into windows system folder, done. OR You could simply perform a system restore back to another time BEFORE you had a problem, again start up in Safe mode, F8. but this time when the choice is given to choose safe mode desktop or system restore, choose system restore, when a calendar like thing is displayed choose a time PRIOR to this problem happening, follow instructions and before you know it your PC will be back.
Yes, it's true your hard disk needs to be replaced. Replacing it is easy enough, usually just one screw on the side ofyour laptop and it pulls out, swap the hard drive out and put it back in again. If your laptop supports boot from external device, it can but I don't think yours does since it's only a P III.
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If you get an error regarding a missing or corrupt hal.dll file, it
might simply be the BOOT.INI file on the root of the C: drive that is
Insert and boot from your WindowsXP CD.
At the first R=Repair option, press the R key
Press the number that corresponds to the correct location for the installation of Windows you want to repair.
Typically this will be #1
Type bootcfg /list to show the current entries in the BOOT.INI file
Type bootcfg /rebuild to repair it
Take out the CD ROM and type exit