My parent's computer has stopped booting. It will post the blue HP logo screen and then bring up the "Windows has not shut down properly" screen with the usual choices, safe mode, etc. When clicking on any of these it flashes a black screen and then returns to the blue HP logo screen and does the same thing.

Trying the Windows Recovery Console brings up a an error and it doesn't go past it.

I was able to use Puppy Linux (for some reason Ubuntu wouldn't work) on a live cd and it worked fine. I was even able to get my parent's files off the hard drive. So I figured I'd just do a fresh install of XP and load everything back on.

The XP Pro disc runs normally until it gets to something "kernal.dll" (I can't remember the exact phrase because I'm at school now so i don't have access to that computer).

Any help would be appreciated because I'm pretty stumped right now. I put it in the Hardware forum because I guess that's what I figured it was. If it doesn't belong here either lock it or move it or just call me stupid and carry on.

Whats the condition of the CD? Is it scratched?

Try using Linux to delete the windows partition if you have got all the data from it. Then try the XP Cd again and perform a full format not a quick one when reinstalling it.

The CD was freshly burnt. I got it off MSDN.

I did do a format and it helped a bit. I still can't get Ubuntu to boot from a live cd but Puppy linux works fine. Windows XP still stops working at the kernel.dll thing.

I tried to install the Windows 7 RC and it worked fine up until it had to reboot for the first time when it said it had encountered and error and would have to restart the installation progress. It repeats this error every time.

Thanks for any advice.