Well, it appears that the problem with the driver install was the ntldr file disappearing and the hal.dll getting corrupted. To make matters worse, instead of allowing me to copy the hal.dll file from the service pack folder in my current installation, it still thinks it’s corrupted.
I got a second installation put up on a slave drive and kept monkeying with the boot.ini and going into recovery console. Nothing in recovery console was working: fixboot, fixmbr, expand hal.dl_, NOTHING!
I went to do an in-place repair of my installation, and setup only sees my installation on the slave drive, despite the recovery console asking me which friggin’ Windows I want to log into as Administrator. Go jump off a cliff Microsoft. If my laptop (broken bezel and all) wasn’t the best operating system I have going now, I’d have thrown it against the wall in a fit of rage by now. I can’t even get my 1 month-old eLive Linux CD to load up all the way on the desktop. I think my video card is too new. Not even the old drivers were working, so you can forget about getting me to go to Linux on my desktop for now. My stuff is too good for that.
I’m about done with my rant because my new installation on my SATA drive is almost done. Then it’s time for the long patch and re-installation process to begin: Office 2007 Ultimate, Adobe Suite, World of Warcraft, Ashampoo, iTunes, Firefox 3, ServicePack 3, etc., etc., etc.
So much for beginning my online empire today. /sigh.