Missing hal.dll

It happened to me this way, buy installing SUSE on one of my machines and not watching what I was doing. I created more partitions with my choice of boot loader. So when I rebooted in to Windows it came back saying:
Error message: Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: <windows root>/system32.hal.dll. Please re-install Windows or a copy of the above file.

Your message can vary by your setup. And it can happen from a virus or just starting up your computer. Okay the last one maybe not, but it seems that way. You can download a fresh copy of the hal.dll here. But that really isn’t an option. What happens is your boot.ini file gets corrupted or altered and the fix that works the majority of the time is this: >

The steps to repair a missing or corrupt boot.ini file are:

1. Insert and boot from your Windows XP CD.

2. When you receive the “Press any key to boot from CD” message, press a key to start your computer from the Windows XP CD-ROM.

3. When you receive the “Welcome to Setup” message, press R to start the Recovery Console.

4. Press the number that corresponds to the correct location for the installation of Windows you want to repair, typically this will be #1.

5. Type “bootcfg /list” (without quotes) to show the current entries in the BOOT.INI file. At this point you may get a message telling you that the boot.ini file does not exist. The next step will correct this error.

6. Type “bootcfg /rebuild” (without quotes) to repair it. This will scan your hard dives for installations of Windows XP, 2000 or NT and display the results. Follow the on-screen instructions to add your Windows installations to the boot.ini file. Those steps will be:

  • 1. Total Identified Windows Installs: 1 (1) C:Windows Add installation to boot list? (Yes/No/All) Type y and hit enter.
  • 2. Enter Load Identifier This is the name of the operating system. When you receive this message, type the name of your operating system, and then press ENTER.
  • 3. Enter OS Load options When you receive this message, type /fastdetect, and then press ENTER.
  • Note: The instructions that appear on your screen may be different, depending on the configuration of your computer.

7. Take out the CD ROM and type exit.Now you should be able to reboot and go about your happy way.

But if that did not work, here are the steps to replace the hal.dll from a CD. If it is missing, Windows will not function in situations where it has become damaged, either from virus activity or hardware failure, it may be necessary to replace it with an undamaged copy. Here are the steps necessary to replace the hal.dll file with an undamaged copy from the Windows CD:

1. As above, insert and boot from your Windows XP CD.

2. When you receive the “Press any key to boot from CD” message, press a key to start your computer from the Windows XP CD-ROM.

3. When you receive the “Welcome to Setup” message, press R to start the Recovery Console.

4. Press the number that corresponds to the correct location for the installation of Windows you want to repair, typically this will be #1.

5. At the command prompt type: expand D:i386hal.dl_ C:windowssystem32hal.dll. (where D: is the drive letter of your CD and C:windows is the location for your Windows installation folder.) If prompted for permission to overwrite an existing version of the hal.dll file select yes.

6. Once you have expanded the file type “exit” to exit the Recovery Console and restart the computer.

In rare cases this will not replace the hal.dll file. In those cases you have three choices.

1. Remove your hard drive and install it in another computer with the same OS as a slave or D drive, so that you can copy an undamaged hal.dll file from that system to your hard drive. In this case hal.dll may or may not be found in: D:WINDOWSSystem32 but regardless if found it will need to be replaced. A working copy of hal.dll will be found in: C:WINDOWSServicePackFilesi386. Copy that version of the file to: D:WINDOWSServicePackFilesi386hal.dll as well as the D:WINDOWSSystem32 folder; if it asks to overwrite say YES.

2. Perform a repair installation of Windows.

3. Reformat and perform a complete installation of Windows.

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Posted in Windows

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