Hardware or software problem?
Hardware has my vote, but I wanted to get some opinions.
A friends tried to boot his computer this morning and got a black screen message before Windows booted saying that his primary HD was operating outside of normal parameters. It didn't give any specifics, but gave a choice of F1 to continue booting or F2 to enter setup.
He said yesterday that F1 got him into Windows, but today that brings up another screen saying that the "system32/hal.dll" file is missing or corrupt.
He also said he's had several unexplained lockups over the last little while (I reloaded windows on this computer about a month ago).
From the reading I've done is sounds like his HD is on the way out, but with this .dll problem, I wondered if there's anything else that could be attempted before replacing the HD and losing all the info on the system.