Lots of XP Problems

OK, so my Acer netbook was cruising along with no problems and then it crashed. I restarted and was brought to a black screen which read,

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
<Windows root>\system32\hal.dll.
Please re-install a copy of the above file.

I never installed the recovery console and I have a feeling I'm going to pay for it now.
I have attempted to use the repair disk option with my XP disk, BUT when I get it running, it goes through the standard Windows Setup blue screen where it loads all of the items at the bottom. Then when it gets to Setup is Starting Windows, it brings up another blue screen

A problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer.

If this is the first time you've seen this stop error screen, restart you computer. If this screen appears again, follow these steps:

I'm sure if you're reading this to help you know what it says after that.

Unfortunately I can't run a chkdsk /f because I can't get that far.

ALSO I have tried to f8 into safe mode, but it brings up the missing dll screen when I do that also.

Help please!! The worst part about all of this is that it was happening when I was getting ready to backup this laptop onto an external drive. Thank you so much for any help you might be able to give.
2 answers Last reply
More about lots problems
  1. When I try to f8 it only gives me one option, Windows (default)

    When I hit f8 to pick other options, they will show up in blue text at the bottom and the same results will happen. Can't get anywhere.
  2. Where are you booting your Windows XP Setup from?
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