Not sure what the problem is.. I was having problems with my old motherboard (Asus P4S8X). It was dying, slowly. I replaced with a gigabyte motherboard. All the other hardware parts are the same. I installed the new board without issue. Setup the hard drives the same. I unplugged my backup HDD (80gb with two partitions that I keep my all produced music, all my documents for work, and every digital photo I've ever taken for the past 6 years, including all vacations, family events, my wedding, etc) plus one or two VMWare systems. I wanted to make sure I didn't format the wrong drive! Little info: The backup drive is hooked up to an IDE expansion card. I formatted the drive that is to be used as the main C drive, and installed a fresh copy of windows xp. After complete, I powered down and plugged in the backup drive. When I reboot, I get the dreadful "The missing or cannot find hal.dll, \windows\system32\hal.dll". and the system reboots. If I unplug the backup drive, the machine boots up just fine. Sooooo.. wtf? Seriously? I CAN NOT LOSE what is on this drive, but I can't access the machine when it's hooked up. Help. :cry: I'm thinking of going and getting an external IDE hard drive/usb case that is plug and play and hooking it up that way.. but seems like a temporary solution to a weird problem..