my laptop which is ancient old, has suddenly decided to have a corrupt file. i have already wiped the harddrive a few years ago so i know how to access the "boot from CD" option, but now it doesnt seem to want to give me that option! regardless of which F button i hold on start up.
the notice reads as: Windows could not start because the following file is missing or currupt: <windows root>\system32\hal.dll.
Its a Packard Bell Easynote. Pass on the model of easynote. The only thing close to the model is easynote pb11r00001
the serial no is 102638040134 just incase someone needs it.
check your bios, make sure it's still set to try to boot from CD-drive first. (to access bios read on screen prompts for setup, it could be one of the F# keys, it could be Del it could be Insert, w/e it is, you want to hit it repeatedly instead of holding it)
you probably just need to do a repair reinstall of windows, since as you say, your pc is getting old so probably getting its share of HDD errors.