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102 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 5

Topic # 27193 17-Oct-2008 06:48
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My computer installed windows updates last night and after it restarted and got past the Setup/Bios stage I got a black screen telling me the following:
Windows could not start because of an error in the software.
Please report this problem as:
load needed DLLs for HAL.
Please contact your support person to report this problem.

I googled the error and a website suggested that I boot into safe mode by pressing F8 at startup and then doing a system restore. The problem here is that when I press F8 it only takes me to a boot screen with no option to boot in to safe mode.
I hope someone can help me please as I have stuff on my computer that I really don't want to lose.

My computer has XP home with service pack 3.

Any help will be much appreciated.


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206 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 171741 17-Oct-2008 08:57
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>when I press F8 it only takes me to a boot screen

Please explain what 'a boot screen is'. Pressing F8 just after the BIOS loads will bring up a screen like this:


your data is very likely safe although the OS might be poked. If you
need access to the data now, then take the hard drive to another
computer, an easy way is with an external USB harddrive case. If your
not confident in doing that then find someone that is.

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102 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 5

  Reply # 171836 17-Oct-2008 18:06
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Thanks for your reply FredDag.

By pressing F8 and getting a 'boot screen' i mean a blue box that says:
Please select Boot Device:
1st Floppy Drive
HDD: PM- ST3200827A

I'd send a screenshot if I could but obviously I can't.

I'll do as you suggest and let you know how it goes. The other thing I thought I could try is connect another hard drive with Windows already installed (which I have) and booting from that and then saving my data (from the one that won't start) 



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206 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 171839 17-Oct-2008 18:23
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seleect HDD: PM- ST3200827A, then press F8


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102 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 5

Reply # 171898 18-Oct-2008 08:21
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FredDag: seleect HDD: PM- ST3200827A, then press F8


I had tried that thanks Fred, with the same error coming up.

Anyway after a lot of playing around last night with another hard drive connected, I would try to open 'My Documents' and it said Access Denied. So.... I decided to try the simplest option and that was to Repair windows. It worked so now everything is back to normal and I still have all my files intact.

I now have windows updates turned off as that was the second time this has happened after an update.

Thanks for your help :)


206 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 171902 18-Oct-2008 08:50
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Thanks for closing off the thread.

This has happened twice? At an educated guess I'd say you have been receiving a hardware update from microsoft. It is wise not to receive hardware updates as they tend to be a few versions behind what you can get direct from the hardware manufactorer. They can also, the MS hardware patches, screw your computer


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