Recently, my well maintained 80g IBM DeskStar HD w/ pre-installed XPHome permanently crashed after three years running and would no longer re-boot. This happened almost without warning as a result of several BSoD's over a period of the last two days it operated. I was able to save all my personal files that were located in My Documents to my LaCie 500 External Drive before the final crash. I have since replaced the internal drive with a new Seagate 160g and am having trouble installing setup after booting from my back-up CD.
Setup installs the setup files from the CD but after it auto-boots, a DOS error reports that the "hal.dll file is missing or corrupt" and instructs me to re-boot. After numerous unsucessful tries, I finally installed Win98SE from an old CD. After spending a considerable amount of time installing Win98 as well as a few other essentials, (firewall, WinZip, A-Reader, etc.) as well as reconfiguring my ISP and mail account to get minimally up-and-running to search for help online with this problem, I've learned that XP doesn't always discover the proper HAL to use. I've also learned since, that I can choose the HAL by pressing F5 when booting from CD for the proper (ACPI) file. In further consideration, I have also downloaded a HAL to floppy as backup. Just before the final crash, I managed to do a system restore, and ran AVG, Spybot and Reg. Mechanic as well as a complete defrag of the drive. After perfoming these and a few other maintenence tweaks and diagnostics, I attempted one last re-boot before attempting to make a "Ghost" image of my HD but I was too late. After many numerous attempts, the drive began clicking and whining unusually, and would no longer re-boot. I never got the chance to make a ghost image and no other OS backup exists except for what remains on my original un-bootable drive.
Before I attempt another clean install of XP on the new drive, I have done a bit more research online and thought it best to get some guru input here before wiping clean and reformatting my new drive since would like to avoid another fail and having to intall Win98 and reconfigure my ISP all over again.
I am pretty computer literate and quite savvy but by no means a techie. Any advice and/or links to that can quide me to trouble free installation methods that can help me eliminate or alleviate DOS type errors same/similar to the above in order to partition and install XP on its own NTFS partition is greatly appreciated. I want to do a clean install and not an upgrade. After that, it should be smooth sailing and I promise not to bother any of you again with this problem.