Hi sujoy mukherjee,
I have come across this thread only today and I would like to offer my experience with experiments on multibooting. I hope that you still have your WinXP installed, and also I hope I'm not posting too late.
In my experiments, I have come across the error message "... hal.dll ..." more or less on a daily base. In my humble opinion that message is misleading because it does not hit the point. I would like to make a few assumptions in trying to share my experience.
1. Win98SE is still booting ok.
2. You still get a menu asking to choose between Win98SE and WinXP pro.
3. on C: drive you have a file called ntldr and a file called boot.ini.
If all my assumptions are true, then it might be helpful to alter the numbers in section [operating systems] of boot.ini. I have used for a long time a boot.ini file like this:
; edited by Wolfgang Bernady
C:\SECTOR\floppy.bin = "Floppy A:"
C:\SECTOR\msdos622.bin = "MS DOS 6.22 (Win 3.11)"
C:\SECTOR\msdos710.bin = "MS DOS 7.10 (Win 98 SE)"
C:\SECTOR\cmdcons.bin = "XP Recovery Console" /cmdcons
C:\SECTOR\minint.bin = "XPE Mini Windows" /minint
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Pro (3)" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Pro (4)" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(5)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Pro (5)" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
For clarification: the last three entries all refer to the same WinXP installation. I have put three different lines there, because at one point I got fed up with having to boot a DOS OS just to edit boot.ini, and find out the correct value for x in "...partition(x)\WINDOWS...". I can not give a comprehensive list of OS installers, partitioning tools, or other tools, that actually "correct" the number mentioned. But as I have Internet access from within WinXP, I wanted to be be able to boot XP without too much trouble.
I don't know, if any of my thoughts are useful here, but I had the same problem with XP not booting many many times. I always was able to find a solution by trial and error at first. You could review what is in boot.ini, (maybe even post a copy), and check to see if something has edited the line that refers to your WinXP installation.
If I assume everything correctly, it should probably read something like:
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Pro" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
but testing is required to find the correct number.
If I am hopelessly off the point here, please forgive me.
Hope that helps.