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The hal.dll error: Need further instruction


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#1
Jennie Doomsday

Jennie Doomsday

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Hi! Sorry I'm making yet another thread that concerns this issue. I needed some specific instructions on what to do next because I'm terrible with command prompts and know nothing about the commands I need to use. The goal here is to get my computer running again WITHOUT wiping the hard drive.

Here's a detailed list of what's happened so far:

1) For no reason I could see, I started getting errors on my desktop. I can't remember exactly what those errors said, but I could not open any programs in Windows anymore.

2) I rebooted, thinking that might fix the issue.

3) My computer booted up to a black screen with white text that read:
"Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
<Windows root>\system32\hal.dll.
Please re-install a copy of the above file."


4) Thankfully, I have a laptop! So I used that to go to http://support.dell.com and spoke to a representative about my problem. The rep told me to find the Windows XP CD and boot directly from that.

5) I still had the CD, so I loaded it in and tried going to BIOS, as instructed, to make it so it would boot directly from CD. However, even after editing the boot sequence, my computer still would not boot from CD.

6) The rep told me to go back into BIOS and he instructed me to do something in the DRIVERS menu. I think he had me turn something off there, but I can't clearly remember. Either way, it worked, and my computer booted straight from the Windows XP CD when I restarted.

7) Somehow, the rep taught me how to put in my ADMIN password and I successfully opened up the Recovery Console.

8) At the Command Prompt, I was told to put in this command: EXPAND E:\I386\HAL.DL_ C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\HAL.DLL
When I put that in, I got this message:
"Unable to create file hal.dll.
0 file(s) expanded."


10) I told the rep and he instructed me to put in this command next: CHKDSK /r
Then I got these messages:
CHKDSK is checking the volume...
CHKDSK is performing additional checking or recovery...
25% complete


11) The check was going really slow, so I went to bed and let it run all night. When I got up this morning, this message was added:
CHKDSK found and fixed one or more errors on the volume.
385792940 kilobytes total disk space.

Then it listed how many kilobytes are available, how many are in each allocation unit, how many total allocation units are on disk, and how many allocation units are available on disk.

12) The Command Prompt is still up on my screen and I don't know what to do now.


Hopefully, this is all good progress. Is it looking like I might be getting my computer back, with all my data still on the hard drive?
I'm a little tired of dealing with Dell Support, and I wanted some second opinions from this community before I went back to Dell and asked about what the next step should be.

Thank you in advance, if anyone gets the time to respond! If not, well...I've still got Dell Support, as long as I absolutely milk the answers out of them. They seemed reluctant to help me keep my data, and they kept pushing for me to just wipe the hard drive... :)

By the way, I think this whole hal.dll problem might have started with some strange possible spyware I was detecting on my AdAware program. I have no idea though. Anyone want to add any speculation they might have on this issue and where it can originate?

Thank you!

*edited post for typos.

Edited by Jennie Doomsday, 04 September 2008 - 12:04 PM.

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#2
happyrock

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Hi Jennie Doomsday...wecome to G2G... :)

after running chkdsk did you remove the cd and reboot...did it boot into windows
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#3
Jennie Doomsday

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It's still giving me the error.

"Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
<Windows root>\system32\hal.dll.
Please re-install a copy of the above file."

Windows cannot start. :)

Should I have booted from CD again?

*EDITED POST TO ADD:

I went to Boot Device Menu and performed the Hard Drive Diagnostics. It says my hard drive is fine.

Edited by Jennie Doomsday, 04 September 2008 - 12:47 PM.

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#4
Jennie Doomsday

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UPDATE:

I went back to Recovery Console and put in this command:
fixboot
Then I entered: fixmbr

No luck.

Now I'm back at the Recovery console again and entered:
bootcfg /list
Then I entered: bootcfg /rebuild

The scan failed. :)

Is there any hope?
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#5
happyrock

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you need to run sfc /scannow...
if you don't have a xp cd you will have to borrow one from a friend or coworker...
it has to be the same flavor of xp you have installed...IE: if you have xp pro...the one you borrow has to be xp pro

How to use Scannow sfc...

The main reason for using this utility is when you suspect there may be a problem with a Windows XP system file.

Perhaps you get a dialog box appear informing you of a problem with a .dll file, or your program will just not load! It is therefore worth checking to see if there are any corrupt system files using scannow sfc.

To do this click on start...run...then type in...sfc /scannow

This command will immediately initiate the Windows File Protection service to scan all protected files and verify their integrity, replacing any files with which it finds a problem.
you will not lose any data doing this but you will have to get the windows updates again
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#6
Jennie Doomsday

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I already have the correct XP CD and that's what I was using to get to the Recovery Console. I cannot get to the desktop, the start menu, or anything IN Windows at all, even with the CD. So I cannot get to Start > Run...

Are there any other options I can try to get to my desk top?

And if not, is it possible for me to take the CPU apart and take the hard drive out manually, so I can hook it up to my lap top and transfer all the data to an external hard drive of some kind? There's got to be some way where I don't have to lose years of hard drive data.
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#7
happyrock

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many things to try before yanking the hard drive out..put the cd in and use the recovery console to run sfc /scannow

BTW...any data that you don't have 3 copies of ...is data you really don't care about

Edited by happyrck, 05 September 2008 - 07:31 AM.

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#8
Jennie Doomsday

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Okay, thanks. I'll try sfc /scannow and report back here today. Thank you for your help, it's great to get responses. :)
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