[QUOTE]\nYou did find some WUBI files. And you can't just go around\n\ndeleting those at random. The web page I was looking at,\n\nclaimed it could result in Windows not booting. So you\n\nhave three symptoms of WUBI.\n\n\n\nwubuildr, wubildr.mbr, "missing hal.dll"\n\n\n\nIf you could look in boot.ini (which could be difficult\n\nwithout fooling around), you'd probably see something in\n\nthere as well (that didn't come standard with WinXP).\n\n\n\nIf instead of WUBI, you try "install Linux Mint", that\n\nshould start by asking questions about what partition to\n\nuse. (That method would want partition(s) of its very own.)\n\nSo you might have had a chance to stop that. WUBI, I'm\n\nnot so sure it needs to prompt for choices. As long as it\n\nfinds C:, and there is enough space (5GB min), it'll\n\nprobably run. WUBI should also have left a big file on there\n\nsomewhere.\n\n\n\nThe WUBI page suggests going to Windows "Add/Remove" control\n\npanel, to remove it, rather than removing it by deleting the\n\nfiles involved one at a time. WUBI apparently doesn't clean up\n\nafter itself entirely, so the boot.ini might still need to be\n\nedited later (with Notepad).\n\n\n\nPaul[/QUOTE]\n\nOK here is my boot.ini from a backup, I'm pretty sure it is the same as the one on the problem drive. In fact it was copied form there.\n\n\n\n[boot loader]\ntimeout=15\ndefault=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS\n[operating systems]\nmulti(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptOut /usepmtimer\nC:\CMDCONS\BOOTSECT.DAT="Microsoft Windows Recovery Console" /cmdcons\nc:\wubildr.mbr="Ubuntu"\n\n\nnow, there used to be a wubi on my computer at one point, but it got deleted,\nbut the entry has always remained in the boot.ini as it has been copied each time I clone the drive to up grade, hence there have always been the following\ntwo files in the root folder.\n\nwubildr.mbr\nwubildr\n\nHowever when I connected the drive in question in a USB drive to this machine\nI saw very little apart from those two files and a folder, there may have been another file as well I am not sure and I can't remember the folder name but there was nothing in it as I recall.\n\nSo that was pretty weird as when I connect that drive to the linux machine I\nsee the full C: drive I am familiar with, that two should contain wubildr files,\nI didn't bother looking because I know they will be there, I am 99% sure they would be but they would be the old files.\n\nAlso I used another DVD disc utility to look at the drive and I saw the c: and d: partitions I am familiar with. (d: does not show up under linux mint).\n\nThe d: partition is something created by HP as a recovery partition, which is different to the windows restore I think, I always got confused by the two\nas they perform the same function essentially, ie recover a bad system.\n\nI am pretty sure that is way only after I tried the HP recovery process that\nI started getting this blue screen missing or corrupt hal.dll error, before that\nit was different, it used to appear to do something before failing, the screen would go dark for a while and then it would crash.\n\nSo it seems the HP recovery screwed things up even more, what ever it did.\n\nWhat confuse me is the two lines in the boot.ini file ie:-\n\nmulti(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptOut /usepmtimer\n\nC:\CMDCONS\BOOTSECT.DAT="Microsoft Windows Recovery Console" /cmdcons\n\nWell OK it might help to look at the the third line which is never use ie\nc:\wubildr.mbr="Ubuntu"\n\nnow wubildr.mbr must tell the system what to and must bootsect.dat\nbut ther first line just seems to point to the windows folder, ie\n\nmulti(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptOut /usepmtimer\n\nso which file does it look at?\n\n\nI'm basically trying to find the starting point.