One of those days ...
My Stratus mailbox is full. In the process of trying to clear out some chaff Outlook died and would not restart due to "Operation Failed". So, I rebooted the laptop (my primary laptop) to see if that would solve the problem. Unfortunately, the laptop won't boot. It is complaining about a bad boot.ini file and then a missing hal.dll file.
Let's see which problem to try to solve first. Since the mailbox problem is understood, I suspect I should go investigate the laptop problem first. Time to pull the disk and stick it in another machine.
Obviously, I'm getting little real work done today.
Comments about how I should drink the koolaid and start paying Apple big bucks or switch to a gelded operating system without a lot of required software are not necessary or appreciated. Those are not an option.
Update: It looks like all non-protected files in C:\ got deleted. Probably by someone (me?) doing del *.* in the wrong directory. (No viruses or file system corruption were found.) Of course why boot.ini was not +S +H +R is another story. Double fail. At least the machine is back.