Bad PBR or "hal.dll is missing or corrupted" the answer: http://www.sysresccd.org, from http://www.sysresccd.org/Download or WinXP Boot CD with SATA floppy drivers
//if necessary press f2 (or f1 or f10) on boot to get to the bios, change the settings to ensure that cd boots before hd
ctr-alt-del rescuecd docache
//I prefer to work from RAM as my cpu had 2GB RAM and docache only requires 256MB //Remember that SATA loads as a sda // the directory should already exist by default /mnt/windows, otherwise mkdir /mnt/directoryname //unfortunately I have a legacy useless partition that is sda1 so my example uses sda2
ntfs-3g /dev/sda2 /mnt/windows
//Insert text mode, use the arrow keys to navigate on the screen, changed the partition number from 1 to 2. I guess deleting //extra partitions caused a problem. Don't forget to change both the default & the menu option - (see how easy it is to have a //"multi-boot" menu if you only change the [operating systems] menu option you'll see 2 different choices on reboot...
[boot loader] timeout=30 default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS [operating systems] multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
//save the current changes
restart //on reboot (minus rescue cd) windows will either boot right away (default) or gives the options for Windows XP & "default" //choose the windows xp (more importantly, choose the one with the right partition)
//THE "WINDOWS WAY", make sure if you have a SATA drive that you download the drivers (e.g. support.dell.com)
//and have them on a floppy, make sure that the computer can access the floppy (usb floppy drive?)
//Insert the Windows XP CD into the CD drive and restart the computer.
//At the Press any key to boot from CD prompt, press the
//If the Windows XP CD cannot find any hard disks you either don't have the right SCSI/SATA drivers loaded or a serious problem.
//If prompted, select the number corresponding to the Windows installation you want to log into (usually C:\WINDOWS).
//Enter the Administrator password, if any, and press the
//takes you to the root folder
c:>bootcfg /list //shows you what is in the current MBR boot list
OR YOU can type in fixmbr and then fixboot and restart
c:>bootcfg /rebuild //Scans all disks for Windows installations and returns the number of found Windows Installations
Add installation to boot list? (Yes/No/All) appears.
(type y or yes or all)
Type in a name for your found installation (WindowsXP)
Enter OS Load Options appears.
Type /NoExecute=OptIn /fastdetect and press the
//The other Windows way (hack). Find a hal.dll file from a matching hardware configured computer with windows. //Do the above steps for booting using the WindowsXP cd and recovery console. Then, with your trusty floppy //(via usb?) and your "good hal.dll" file
//The ridiculous windows way. Use a WindowsXP cd and reinstall windows, (hopefully you've created more than //one partition, put the second, fresh installation on the "DATA" or D, or E partition (do not overwrite your //original c: partition!). You will then be able to boot using your fresh install and make any boot.ini, //hal.dll copy/renaming or other fixes required.