Botched XP upgrade, how do I get Windows ME back?

I stopped a full or clean install of Windows XP on my Windows ME computer once I figured out it would probably want to format my disk and wipe out all the data I have on it.

The setup routine would not give me an option to do an update, my only choice was a full install

Whenever I started the computer, it wanted me to continue the XP install or boot into windows, which I thought was annoying.

Without giving it much thought, I deleted 3 files in the root c: directory that I had noticed the XP install had written there, one of them being the boot.ini file. What a dummy!

Now, I can't start my computer up, it just keeps giving me the error messages:

invalid boot.ini file booting from c:\windows


Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
<Windows root>\system32\hal.dll

What do I need to do to be able to start the Windows ME system so that I can recover the files I deleted and access the data i still have on it?
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More about botched upgrade windows back
  1. See my answer in XP forum.
  2. Duplicate.
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