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Missing Root File


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#1
Ben T

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I have a computer that shows this message when on.

"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."

The owner was trying to create a new partition when this happened.
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#2
Macboatmaster

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Is this the same computer, please on which my colleague Essexboy was assisting you in the Malware fourm, on the thread that has only JUST been completed..

And when you say the OWNER was trying to create a new partition., would you kindly explain a little further.
I ask this, bearing in mind our Terms of use, which include the term

We offer free computer help and tech support for home and personal use. We are not here to support others that work for profit,


Please do NOT think, for one moment of time, that I am prejudging the issue. I just wondered, about the relationship between YOU and the owner.
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#3
Ben T

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No, this is a completely different computer than the one Essexboy helped me with.

This machine is for a friend of mine. I do work on computers for people beccause I enjoy helping others. I DO NOT CHARGE people when I work on their computer.

When I run into a situation that is beyond my knowledge, I turn to your site because it is very helpful and you are very patient with us fruitcakes. (I know because I worked with the public before.)
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#4
Macboatmaster

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More than likely in the circumstances, the MBR for windows and in XP the boot.ini. which if you are still with me has now been replaced in Vista and 7 by the BCD boot configuration data is unable to recognise the necessary details following the attempt to partition.

YOUR first and most important consideration I think is to secure the data which may be valuable to the friend

That could be done, either by taking out the drive and accessing it as slave on another computer or by the use of Puppy a Linux based boot Cd which runs in ram and will hopefully allow you to access the drive IN THIS computer and recover the data that way.
http://www.geekstogo...over-your-data/

The above link no longer takes you to Puppy 520 iso as there is a new edition.
HERE is the download link for the 520
http://ftp.nluug.nl/....2/lupu-520.iso

Then follow the rest of the procedure in our HOW to Guide please.

Whether or not you wish to proceed with that step first depends on how much value your friend places on her docs, music, images etc.

Then run a chkdsk /p from the recovery console. If you have the XP CD or a CD of exactly the same version of XP use that OR I can send you the download for the RC to make it on a CD.

After doing that it is then most likely a question of rebuilding the boot.ini
  • bootcfg /rebuild
  • Tthat will scan your hard drives for any Windows XP installations and then display the results. Follow the remaining steps to add your Windows XP installation to the boot.ini file.
  • The first prompt asks Add installation to boot list? (Yes/No/All).

    Type Y in response to this question and press Enter.
  • The next prompt asks you to Enter Load Identifier:.

    This is the name of the operating system. For example, type Windows XP Professional or Windows XP Home Edition and press Enter.
  • The final prompt asks you to Enter OS Load options:.

    Type /Fastdetect here and press Enter.
  • Take out the Windows XP CD, type exit and then press Enter to restart your PC.
  • AND see if you are lucky.

Not that I hold out a lot of hope but of course Last Known Good on F8 should be tried first.
What has actually occurred depends very much on what was used in an attempt to repartition and how far down the path the procedure was taken.
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#5
Macboatmaster

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Further to the above, as I am signing offline shortly, here are the recovery console links

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, make 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.
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#6
Ben T

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I followed your steps above and now the computer starts to load windows but stops/freezes after a short time. I tried rebooting in Last Good Configuration, Safe Mode, and Start Windows Normally but get the same result.

Edited by Ben T, 20 January 2012 - 08:17 PM.

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#7
Macboatmaster

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All of them, part of them or which please.

XP CD or the downloaded recovery console?

Did you have to proceed to the boot.ini or did it boot after the chkdsk.

Is any message displayed please

At what stage does it stop/freeze.

Would you please bear in mind that all I have to work with is what you tell me, so the more assistance you can give me, with your explanation the greater the chance of a solution.

Did you try the LKG - FIRST - it will NOT work after the rebuild of the boot.ini.

I have signed off now I will check about 1800hrs UK time.
It is now 0230hrs.
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#8
Ben T

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1) First tried LKG and it didn't work.

2) used friend's recovery disk but couldn't gain access because he didn't have administrator password. (The correct one.)

3) Created Recovery Console Disc Image as given in your second set of instructions:

[Further to the above, as I am signing offline shortly, here are the recovery console links

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, make 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.]

4) Followed these instructions next:

[Then run a chkdsk /p from the recovery console. If you have the XP CD or a CD of exactly the same version of XP use that OR I can send you the download for the RC to make it
on a CD.

After doing that it is then most likely a question of rebuilding the boot.ini

•bootcfg /rebuild
•Tthat will scan your hard drives for any Windows XP installations and then display the results. Follow the remaining steps to add your Windows XP installation to the boot.ini
file.
•The first prompt asks Add installation to boot list? (Yes/No/All).

Type Y in response to this question and press Enter.
•The next prompt asks you to Enter Load Identifier:.

This is the name of the operating system. For example, type Windows XP Professional or Windows XP Home Edition and press Enter.
•The final prompt asks you to Enter OS Load options:.

Type /Fastdetect here and press Enter.
•Take out the Windows XP CD, type exit and then press Enter to restart your PC.]

5) This is where I am. The computer starts loading. The Dell BIOS screen appears. Then the screen that gives the option to boot in the safe mode, etc. pops up quickly. The Windows splash screen runs for about 10 seconds then it stops/freezes. This is the one that has the windows logo (flag), says "Microsoft Windows XP underneath it, and the loading bar under it. The loading stops after about a couple of passes of the loading bars.

Edited by Ben T, 21 January 2012 - 12:18 AM.

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#9
Macboatmaster

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When you got to this stage what did it find please

•bootcfg /rebuild
•Tthat will scan your hard drives for any Windows XP installations and then display the results. Follow the remaining steps to add your Windows XP installation to the boot.ini


Presuming that it did find an windows installation and ONLY One and you then agreed with that bu keying Y.


Now Try a chkdsk /r at the C prompt - see if it will then boot.

If not go back to the RC C:\Windows> and try a fixboot cmd.
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#10
Ben T

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At bootcfg /rebuild, it found one windows installation. I progressed with the prompts given me, restarted the computer, and had the same results.

Tried fixboot. Wrote new bootsector to C: and restarted machine. Same result.

Also tried chkdsk /r. Same result.

Edited by Ben T, 21 January 2012 - 02:17 PM.

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#11
Macboatmaster

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1. If the data is valuable recover it using Puppy or slaving the drive

2. Try this
Put the CD back in, boot back to that.
Go back to Recovery Console and follow this procedure PLEASE be careful that you follow it exactly.


When you get to the recovery console prompt:

* Type cd \ and press "Enter".
* Type cd system~1\_resto~1 and press "Enter".
* Type dir and press "Enter".

After you press enter you will see a list of folders (like rp1, rp2) If the list of restore points has more than one page then press the "Enter" key until you reach the end of the list

* Type cd rp {number of the second to last folder in the list} and press "Enter". (Example: Type cd rp9 if rp10 is the last restore point.)
* Type cd snapshot and press "Enter".
* Type copy _registry_machine_system c:\windows\system32\config\system and press "Enter".
* Type copy _registry_machine_software c:\windows\system32\config\software and press "Enter".
* Type exit and press "Enter".

Your PC will reboot.

If you get an access denied error when doing the above, then do the following at the recovery console:

* Type cd \ and press "Enter".
* Type cd windows\system32\config and press "Enter".
* Type ren system system.bak and press "Enter".
* Type exit and press "Enter".

Your PC will reboot, go back into the Recovery Console and start from the beginning.



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#12
Ben T

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After entering (cd system~1\resto~1), I receieved the "access denied error."

Followed second set of instructions. After typing in (ren system system.bak) and pressing "Enter", I received notice that states, "Directory or file with the name system.bak already exists.

Rebooted computer with same result.
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#13
Macboatmaster

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Is that a typo -
(cd system~1\resto~1), I receieved the "access denied error."

as the cmd is cd system~1\_resto~1

the _ is missing from yours,
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#14
Ben T

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Sorry. Yes, it is a typo. I entered it as cd system~1\_resto~1.
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#15
Macboatmaster

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Going back to my post 4 did you enter the identifier for the system.

Now going back to recovery console did you enter a password

if you did try it again with the password blank see if it will enter recovery console on the system admin account.

The problem is I do not know what happened with the partition to cause this in the first place.

Thought I would send you this just in case you wondered about the bootcfg rebuild - you receive the hal error when that is the case
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314477

You could try the options here - we have already done some of them.
http://www.kellys-ko...dll_missing.htm
You may wish to try booting with Puppy and seeing exactly what you have.


I HAVE mentioned it TWICE apologies for doing so again - I would get that data off.
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