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Missing or corrupt hal.dll file XP will not start


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#1
jdohr

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I was rebooting my PC tonight and Windows will not start. I get an error message saying that the <windows root> system32\hal.dll file is missing or corrupt. I have tried to start Windows in safe mode and to revert back to the last known configuration that worked using F8 at bootup, but that netted the same result. I went to a different laptop running Windows XP and put the hal.dll file on a flash drive... Can you help??
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#2
jdohr

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I have tried to read through the documentation. I used my recovery disk to run the Recovery Console...I entered 'R' to run the recovery from the CD-ROM drive, and it completed the process. From there, I tried to reboot the PC, but I still get the same error message. Reading the historical posts on this topic, I've tried to figure out how to run the Recovery Console and enter commands, but I never get that option. I am asked if I want to run the Non-Destructive System Recovery or if I want to format the hard drive and wipe all of the data from it. I don't see any option or any menu which allows me to enter commands whereby I could replace the existing hal.dll file with a clean one...but I don't see that option at all. I can't say that I am very comfortable with that sort of thing...I would do it following directions explicitly, but I am not at all confident understanding what I would be doing... I think I need some administrative help. Heading to bed...will check the post in the morning.
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#3
rockmilk

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Try a repair install.
http://www.michaelst...pairinstall.htm
http://www.geekstogo...air-windows-xp/
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#4
jdohr

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This is frustrating...these fixes want me to boot XP from the CD, which the PC will not do. I have a set of 7 XP Recovery disks for the PC. I set up the boot priority so that it boots from the CD drive. When I let it boot up, though, I am not given an option to Setup, and I cannot actually get Windows to boot. The only things on the black screen are:

Boot from ATAPI CD-ROM :
No Emulation
Detected Boot Image on LBA 0x00000015
Press 'R' to display System Recovery Options

From there, as far as I can tell, the only thing I can do is type "R"...if I type anything else it immediately tries to boot from the C drive and says that the hal.dll file is missing or corrupt.

If I type 'R', I get three options...R for Standard Systems Recovery Options, F for Format the drive, or Q for Quit. I realize that I do NOT want to choose F...but these are the ONLY options that I get. I do not have the option to enter any commands.

I have chosen the Systems Recovery option twice now. When I do that, it tells me that I can either say 'No' to recovery...and that takes me to the System Restore, which fails because of the missing hal.dll file. I have chosen System Recovery twice now, and it runs through a sequence to recover files and application data which succeeds. When I try to boot up from that point though, I get the same "missing or corrupt hal.dll file" error message.

I'm sorry - I'm know a tiny bit about this stuff, and I can follow directions, but I'm not computer savvy. Ultimately, I'd like to get the PC booted up and working again, but the most important thing is I don't want to lose my personal files. Thank you for your help.
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#5
Macboatmaster

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rockmilk has asked if I will look at your thread.

have tried to read through the documentation. I used my recovery disk to run the Recovery Console...I entered 'R' to run the recovery from the CD-ROM drive, and it completed the process.


Please explain what you mean when you say -it completed the process.

If you enter R to access the recovery console, what screen is then shown to you.

Do you have this one
Posted Image

The reason I ask is that there is no process as such on the recovery console - after choosing the windows installation to repair using the console you should then be presented with a C: prompt

It is possible that your recovery discs DO not include the recovery console.

From what I have read on the thread I presume this is branded computer eg. a Dell HP etc.
Are the discs the ones provided with the computer OR are they the discs YOU made when you first got the computer following the instrcutions to maek yourself a set of recovery discs.

Please post in addtion to the above re the screen, the make and full model details of the computer.

Is your data ie your pictures, music and documents of importance to you, if so do this to recover your data.
Hopefully we will repair the error without loss of data but there is always as a risk, however slight of data loss.

Recover using Puppy
http://www.geekstogo...over-your-data/

Edited by Macboatmaster, 14 November 2011 - 06:59 AM.

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#6
jdohr

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Macboatmaster -
Thank you for your help. The PC is an HP Pavilion...getting very, very old...almost 11 years. I will need to go and see if I can find specifics on the model details of the unit. I'll put that in the next post. The disks that I have were sent to me by HP AFTER I purchased the computer. There are 7 of them, and they are printed with "HP Windows XP Recovery Disk"...and they are numbered Disk 1 through Disk 7. I am reading on the web that providers like HP typically supply Recovery Disks, which are not the same as Setup Disks. Apparently these are used to re-install the Windows files like they were fresh from the factory. The websites I've read suggest that they are called Recovery Disks, but you can't actually get to the Recovery CONSOLE using these disks. This is just what I am reading...I can't say that it's true, or that I know what it means.

Anyway, I hit F1 after I turn the unit on to go and set the boot priority so that it boots from the CD. When it tries to boot from the CD, I get a black screen similar looking to the one in your post, but with different information, and not a lot of it. I am at work, so I'm not looking at the computer... It says "Enter 'R' to begin the recovery process" - and not much more than that. As I recall, the top of the screen does NOT say "Windows XP Recovery Console". If I type 'R' from this first screen, I get three options...R for Standard Systems Recovery Options, F for Format the drive, or Q for Quit. I wish I could give you a screen shot of it, but since I can't get the PC to boot up, I can't do that. When I hit 'R' the second time, it says "Beginning the recovery process", and takes me to a blue screen, where it has several 'icons' on the left hand side...from my experiences with it, these 'icons' are the steps to complete the "recovery" process, which it says is replacing the Windows system files on the hard drive with the files that the PC originally came with. It also says that it is not affecting the data files on the computer, but that the Windows updates will have to be redone. The "recovery" process marches through these 5 or steps automatically, and takes about 13 minutes or so. When it finishes this copying process, it brings up a dialog box which says that the "recovery" process was successful, and to hit OK to finish. This is the only option available. When I hit the OK button, it brings up a black screen again and says that is booting Windows...if I leave the CD in the drive, obviously it tries to boot from the CD drive and it brings up the same black Recovery screen as before...if I take the CD out of the drive or reset the boot priority, it tries to boot from the hard drive, and immediately gives me the same error message...that the hal.dll file is missing or corrupt. It is interesting to note that it never asks me to put any of the other 6 disks in...I found this odd. I guess they are just needed if I chose to format the hard drive and reload Windows completely... I have successfully completed the "recovery" process that I described above twice now, so I assume that if I ever get Windows to boot again, I will have a "more original" version of XP and I'll have to download all of the updates again...SP1, SP2, etc...which I'm sure will take a looooooonnngggg time on this old dog.

Here's an idea -- I think that if I hit F8 at bootup, I can get to the screen which allows me to choose Safe Mode, etc. I have tried this before, and I've gotten the same error message...but I'm wondering if I can select the option for a command prompt. I have not tried this yet, but if I could get a command prompt, maybe you could help me figure out how to copy a clean hal.dll file from a flash drive (or the CD ROM drive). I have a hal.dll file that I copied from another PC with the XP OS onto a flash drive...but I don't know what the letter of the flash drive would be... I don't know, just thinking of options.

The data files are important to me, so I do need to try to recover them. I will go home tonight and try the Puppy recovery that you suggested while I wait for your next suggestion for how to get XP to boot...and I'll try to find some of the specs of the PC as well. Thank you very much again for the help.
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#7
Macboatmaster

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1.

The websites I've read suggest that they are called Recovery Disks, but you can't actually get to the Recovery CONSOLE using these disks. This is just what I am reading...I can't say that it's true, or that I know what it means.

your quote from your last post

It is possible that your recovery discs DO not include the recovery console.

from my first post

That is what I said as soon as I saw you had 7 discs.

2.

I think that if I hit F8 at bootup, I can get to the screen which allows me to choose Safe Mode, etc. I have tried this before, and I've gotten the same error message...but I'm wondering if I can select the option for a command prompt.


That is Safe mode with a command prompt window and for that to load it has to load Safe Mode. If the hal.dll file is damaged it will NOT load Safe Mode.

That said you should try all options on F8.
However I do not hold out a lot of hope.

My recommendation before we make any attempt to repair/recover etc is to secure your data - for the reason stated in my first post.

NB I do need that model number when you get chance.

Edited by Macboatmaster, 14 November 2011 - 03:47 PM.

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#8
jdohr

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I will try all options on F8. Safe Mode did not work before, and Last Successful Configuration did not either. I'll try them all again. I'll also get the model number and as much other info as I can for you. Lastly, I'll try the Puppy file recovery, and then I'll re-post.

Side thought #1 - I seem to remember creating a boot-disk at one point...pretty sure I can dig it up. I've never used one, so that would be interesting.
Side thought #2 - the PC has two hard drives...the C: drive that came with the unit is only 60GB, and was very full, which I think may have caused this mess. I installed another internal hard drive (D: and E: with a partition), which is something like 120GB and I believe is about 75-80% empty. That second drive is where I have saved the vast majority of my personal data...but there are many files on the C: drive that I need to recover as well. I've seen some posts on G2G which suggest loading XP to the second hard drive and booting from there...don't know what you think about that. That would be scary, since that's where the vast majority of the family pictures and other info is, but I thought I'd mention it.
Side thought #3 - I also have an external hard drive (H:, I believe)...that's where I'm supposed to be backing everything up...but it's literally been a couple of years...yeah, I know... Anyway, I thought I'd mention these things to help you understand what we have to work with.
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#9
Macboatmaster

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It is not necessary to try them again
I meant try the one you said you did not try.
Safe Mode with Command prompt.

It will if that is what it says, NOT work, but try it. otherwise if this goes pear shaped you will always worry - should I have tried it.

In respect of your sidethoughts - there are a number of possibilities
1. make a recovery console cd see if we can get a boot from it and go from there.

2.Recover your data - then try various solutions - the ideal situation. GET THE DATA first.

3. Installing XP on the drive with your personal data on it - unless we know we can install from your recovery discs without a formatting of the drive is perhaps NOT the best idea.

Please do not think I am being awkward - but PLEASE get what you want off C Drive. If you say it was FULL to all intents and purpose, then you are 100% correct, but I am surprised you did not receive warnings about it before.

Have you received ANY warning messages. BSOD, sudden shutdowns etc before this last complete failure to boot.
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#10
jdohr

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Ok, I will try to get the command prompt and run Puppy...(not sure how to do that because I haven't gone to the website yet, but I'll try). The PC has been brutally slow for years...it usually would happen when the thing was checking for updates or when it was running Norton... There were times recently where I rebooted because it was very slow and it usually helped somewhat to do a cold start...but I don't know of any crashes. My kids used it a fair amount, and I'm pretty sure they would tell me if it did. One thing that I noticed recently was that iTunes was particularly problematic...just very, very, very slow. There were a few times that I had to kill that program, and I would typically reboot because it seemed to have that hangover lingering. Anyway, I'll check it out tonight.
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#11
Macboatmaster

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Post back when you have made the Puppy CD and got your data that you wish.
OR of course if you have problems doing that.
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#12
jdohr

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Working on the Puppy CD...did not have access to a CD writer last night. Incidentally, I had no success with the F8 console. I'm going to apologize in advance for the delay - it may take a day or two to get this done. Thanks again for your help.
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#13
Macboatmaster

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While I wait for your reply after Puppy have we got that full model number yet.

It may be of help if you told me what those 7 discs are titled if they are - other then of course disc1, 2 3 etc.
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#14
jdohr

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Hello - sorry that took so long. Recovering the files took a very long time, and I had to complete the task over several sessions, a little each day. I have everything that I can think of saved to an external hard drive...I'm sure I've missed a few things, somehow... Anyway, that step is complete. I have also connected the external hard drive to a different computer to see if the files were indeed saved. Everything looks to be in order.

As far as the PC model goes, it is an HP Pavilion 750n, with a blazing 1.6 GHz Intel Pentium 4 processor, and a whopping 512 MB of DDR SDRAM. It says it has an 80 GB ultra DMA hard drive...and as I mentioned, I added a second internal hard drive several years ago.

The Recovery CD's are printed with "System Recovery...HP Pavilion Home PC...WinXP Home Edition"...and then they say Disc 1 through 7. They also say "for distribution only with a new HP Pavilion Home PC" and "This CD contains a backup copy of all software originally installed and can ONLY be used with an HP Pavilion home PC. Refer to the printed instructions provided with your Recovery CDs."
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#15
Macboatmaster

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Recovery Console Disc Image
http://www.thecomput...om/files/rc.iso

Here is the ISO burning program
http://sites.google....-console-for-xp

Using the links above make a recovery console CD.
Download the program from the first link and as it is an ISO image, just as Puppy was burn the CD., using the program in the second link which contains the instructions.

Insert the CD - and see if you can get a boot to the Recovery Console please.
Post back when you have done that
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