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hal.dll missing or corrupt


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#1
cpsdyal

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Hi,

I have a Dell Dimension 4700 with Windows XP Home edition and only running this one OS. Upon startup, it loads the Dell screen and then a black screen with the following message:


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.



I have read through numerous forums and notes but my issue diverges from the standard procedure once the recovery console is running. The first difference is that I am not prompted to select the Windows installtion that I want to log onto. It goes right to "C:\>" (not "C:\>WINDOWS). It also does not ask for a password. bootcfg /rebuild fails to run and recommends chkdsk which fails after reaching 50% and indicates that files are too corrupt.

I suspect I need to get the few files off the machine that have not been backed-up as this appears to be a serious failure and will need assistance. Otherwise I'm hoping that one last effort here at Geeks to Go might get this machine up and going again. Note that this type of troubleshooting and repair is not something I am good at so you may have to be patient........

Thanks in advance......
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#2
Ztruker

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Sorry but I agree with your conclusion. Backup everything. The best way to do this is to buy an external USB attached hard drive.

Download and install Macrium Reflect Free.
Create a Macrium Rescue disc.
Backup the entire hard drive, MBR, Recovery Partition which is normally 4-5GB in size, definitely under 10GB and boot partition.

According to the Users Manual, there is a Recovery Partition on the hard drive. You could try restoring that as follows:

Using Dell PC Restore by Symantec
Use Dell PC Restore by Symantec only as the last method to restore your operating system. PC
Restore restores your hard drive to the operating state it was in when you purchased the computer.
Any programs or files added since you received your computer —including data files—are
permanently deleted from the hard drive. Data files include documents, spreadsheets, e-mail
messages, digital photos, music files, and so on. If possible, back up all data before using PC
Restore.
NOTICE: Using PC Restore permanently deletes all data on the hard drive and removes any applications or
drivers installed after you received your computer. If possible, back up the data before using PC Restore.
To use PC Restore:
1 Turn on the computer.
During the boot process, a blue bar with www.dell.com appears at the top of the screen.
2 Immediately upon seeing the blue bar, press <Ctrl><F11>.
If you do not press <Ctrl><F11> in time, le t the computer finish restarting, and then
restart the computer again.
NOTICE: If you do not want to proceed with PC Restore, click Reboot in the following step.
3 On the next screen that appears, click Restore.
4 On the next screen, click Confirm.
The restore process takes approximately 6–10 minutes to complete.
5 When prompted, click Finish to reboot the computer.
NOTE: Do not manually shut down the computer. Click Finish and let the computer completely reboot.
6 When prompted, click Ye s.
The computer restarts. Because the computer is restored to its original operating state, the
screens that appear, such as the End User License Agreement, are the same ones that
appeared the first time the computer was turned on.
7 Click Next.
The System Restore screen appears and the computer restarts.
8 After the computer restarts, click OK.


If that doesn't work and you don't have a Install or Recovery CD then you can try the following which I've done successfully several times.

Replace the old drive with a new one.
Boot the Macrium Rescue disc.
Restore the Recovery Partition and MBR. You can also try restoring the boot partition and see what happens. If all is well you're done. If not then use the Ctrl+F11 key at boot time to start the Symantec Recovery process and restore the system to factory new state.
Install Macrium Reflect Free again then you can browse the backup you made of the boot partition and restore your data.
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#3
cpsdyal

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Thanks Ztruker. I'll get to work. Note that it may take a few days to assemble the tools and another few days to get through the above due to a busy schedule. I'll keep you posted.

One thing: The link for Macrium Reflect Free did not work (404 NOT FOUND)
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#4
Ztruker

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Sorry, I fixed the link.
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#5
cpsdyal

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Hi Ztruker,

I have a CD-R, USB hard drive, and a burner. I'm a little ahead of my anticipated schedule......

I created a Macrium rescue disk and started the Dell. I'm stuck on the "Locate Image" screen in the Restore Wizard v5.0.4688. The file explorer shows an img folder on the "E[DELLRESTORE]:" drive but will not let me select anything and press the "Next" button. Perhaps I did something wrong???

In Macrium, I selected "Other Tasks", "Create Rescue Media", "Linux", and checked both "Advance Options" (Compatibility and Debug). It then burned the CD. Note that my DVD player quit working on this machine about one week past the warranty period.......

What do I need to do to backup my data???

Thank you.......
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#6
Ztruker

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You start Macrium, select Backup or Create a backup, something like that (I don't have it installed on this computer as I use Acronis True Image which is not free). Then you select the drive to backup then where you want to backup to. That's about it.

You can use Macrium to browse the backup once it's created and if ever needed, you boot the Rescue disc to restore the backup.
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#7
cpsdyal

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I am confused........Perhaps I am not using Macrium correctly.

I assumed that the rescue CD is placed in the CD drive and that I have to boot the PC from the CD (since it will not boot any other way). In this instance I do not get the option to backup files. It only allows me to locate an .img file which does not appear to exist.
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#8
Ztruker

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No, the rescue CD is used to restore the backup since you can't restore to a partition you are booted from.


Look through the Help here: What is Macrium Reflect, under Main Screen, Backup.
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