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Win XP Can't find file windows root\sys32\hal.dll


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#1
TooNew2

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Hello, Geeks;

My original, excellent assisting Geek has gotten busy with some personal matters and has suggested I start a new topic. I am currently working from a different newer computer, so should be accessible during any processes needing to be performed on the ACER.


Last year I was having problems with the Windows XP program on my old Acer and first had it thoroughly checked for malware and then had various repairs tried, all unsuccessfully. It was finally decided I'd need to reinstall the Windows XP program; here is the original thread:

Multiple problems on old Acer; need Malware Check


Thereafter, I found a temporary solution to the worst problem so procrastinated a bit but eventually did get nearly everything backed up, and because there had been concern that the hard drive might be failing, I had started looking for a replacement drive. While looking on the Seagate site, I happened upon their program to check the original hard drive, so I (perhaps inadvisedly) downloaded it and ran the short generic scan which said everything was fine. Then I started the longer generic scan...which was also supposed to just look, not do anything like perform fixes...but when I returned a while later, I found the BSOD. I can restart using f2, getting to the point where it has the options of using Safe Mode, Last Good Configuration, etc. but using any of the choices gives me a message that it can't find this file:

...windows root\sys32\hal.dll


I have the 4 original discs (1 system, 3 recovery) which came with the computer, plus extra versions of them all which were made directly from the system early in the computer's life. On the recommendation of the previous owner, who also thought this step wouldn't erase document files (which I'd prefer not to do yet), I tried running the first ACER-supplied system disc, to no avail. I would think that abstraction layer would be very close to the 'bottom' so had hoped the first (system) disc would fix it ... but decided to get further advice here when it didn't. I wanted to double-check my files against the back-ups before purposely deleting them all when trying to reinstall the programs. Also, nothing seemed to happen when running the first disc so am not sure running all will do anything either. Thus I am now Impatiently awaiting further instructions from a new helper as to what else is possible.

I need to get this system up and running before the MS support for Win XP ends in a few weeks.



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Edited by TooNew2, 21 March 2014 - 11:27 PM.

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#2
SleepyDude

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Hi,

Do you have the Windows XP install CD?

If you have please try the steps on the following tutorial:
How to run checkdisk from recovery console - Windows xp
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#3
TooNew2

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Hello sleepyDude and thanks for the reply;

Also, sorry for my delay but I was away from the house most of the day for a change.

The system came preloaded with Win XP and also with what ACER calls a "Recovery CD Pack"; it contains one System CD and three consecutive "Recovery CD's". I'm not sure what's on each disc but the instructions which came with them do say that using them all will reformat the drive so all data will be erased. As stated earlier, I did try to run the first System disc but didn't see any changes and wasn't sure it had actually run as the drive seemed to stop fairly quickly.

If I start the computer just by hitting the start button, I soon get the ACER screen followed immediately by the message about the missing hal.dll file against a grey background, whether or not the System disc is in the drive. Hitting a key will cause the system to blink, and then by trapping F2, I can get into the Phoenix BIOS Setup Utility but I don't get the "Welcome to Setup" or see an option for the Recovery Console.

Well, I had just reset the BIOS to load from the disc again, and this time, the first System disc ran successfully. I now have a message telling me to run the Recovery CD and to continue; I guess I'm now at the point of no return and need to continue with the other discs? I will try to leave it in this state for a while I wait for an answer, but don't think I can leave it like this too long.

Thanks
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#4
SleepyDude

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Well, I had just reset the BIOS to load from the disc again, and this time, the first System disc ran successfully. I now have a message telling me to run the Recovery CD and to continue; I guess I'm now at the point of no return and need to continue with the other discs? I will try to leave it in this state for a while I wait for an answer, but don't think I can leave it like this too long.

Thanks

Hi,

Try to cancel the process it should be possible if not power off the machine.

Do you have access to another machine with a CD/DVD burner and a blank CD?
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#5
TooNew2

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Hello;

Nothing I tried could get me out of the last situation, I didn't know if shutting the system down might cause irreversible problems, and I didn't want to leave it 'working' as it seemed to be all night, so after a few hours I finished running all the discs and now theoretically have it back to its original condition when new. The Alt F10 command doesn't do anything though; I think it used to work some while ago. Right now, everything is enabled in BIOS.
I haven't been getting enough sleep, partly due to a sore neck, and should have either postponed dong anything last night or at least been more careful to not go too far...but it's done now. I'll reinstall the malware programs from my stick drives and later see if I can reinstall the Windows updates somewhere like a library where the connection speed is greater than here.

Any suggestions or warnings about the next steps would be appreciated.

Nearly forgot to answer the last question; yes, this system I'm on now has a burner and I have lots of blank discs (plus an empty 32GB stick drive too).


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Edited by TooNew2, 23 March 2014 - 10:29 AM.

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#6
SleepyDude

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Hello;

Nothing I tried could get me out of the last situation, I didn't know if shutting the system down might cause irreversible problems, and I didn't want to leave it 'working' as it seemed to be all night, so after a few hours I finished running all the discs and now theoretically have it back to its original condition when new. The Alt F10 command doesn't do anything though; I think it used to work some while ago. Right now, everything is enabled in BIOS.
I haven't been getting enough sleep, partly due to a sore neck, and should have either postponed dong anything last night or at least been more careful to not go too far...but it's done now. I'll reinstall the malware programs from my stick drives and later see if I can reinstall the Windows updates somewhere like a library where the connection speed is greater than here.

Because the system was running from the CD it would be ok to simply turn off the computer.

Any suggestions or warnings about the next steps would be appreciated.

Sure...

  • *Always* Keep a backup of your important files;
  • When installing\updating any program, make sure you always select Custom Installation, this way you can Uncheck any possible drive-by-install (foistware), like toolbars etc., which may try to install along with the legitimate program. Do NOT click Next button without looking at any given page;
  • Always try to download programs from the authors home pages. Today many big download sites are forcing users to install download helper tools that includes Adware, Spyware and extra crap you don't need to install; There is a new free program available called Unchecky, when installed it will try to automatically uncheck the checkboxs for you and alert when you are about to install extra crap.
  • To protect your computer from being infected its very important to keep Windows Updated and all the programs related with the internet, Web Browser, Flash Player, Adobe Reader and Java only to mention the most targeted by today security exploits.
  • it is also a good idea to check for the latest versions of commonly installed applications to fix vulnerabilities, this can be done manually by using the Update feature included in most programs or you can use one of the following programs to help you with this task:
  • FileHippo.com Update Checker
  • Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI)

Nearly forgot to answer the last question; yes, this system I'm on now has a burner and I have lots of blank discs (plus an empty 32GB stick drive too).

Doesn't matter now because you restored the machine.
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#7
TooNew2

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As I understand it, Acer hides the Restore Console on the front of the disc; would this have been overwritten and not reinstalled, even using the discs supplied by Acer? According to something I read before, it used to only be re-installable by Acer. Do you know if that's still true? Would it perhaps be on the extra restore discs made by the PO from this system when it was nearly new (but I think had been partly updated already, perhaps even to SP3)? Or, by being 'hidden' would it not have been copied?

Might the Restore Console in the hidden partition still be fine but somehow the Alt-F10 command just isn't working?

Yes, I am normally very careful when installing updates or (rarely) new programs. I usually read everything carefully and rarely do I make the kind of errors I did last night ....


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Edited by TooNew2, 23 March 2014 - 03:15 PM.

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#8
SleepyDude

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As I understand it, Acer hides the Restore Console on the front of the disc; would this have been overwritten and not reinstalled, even using the discs supplied by Acer? According to something I read before, it used to only be re-installable by Acer. Do you know if that's still true? Would it perhaps be on the extra restore discs made by the PO from this system when it was nearly new (but I think had been partly updated already, perhaps even to SP3)? Or, by being 'hidden' would it not have been copied?

In some cases there is a hidden partition on the disk that could be used to restore and also some program that creates the recovery discs, very useful in case of a bad hard disk replace or if the recover partition gets corrupted.
You have to check because if its the original image the Service Pack 3 could be missing.

Yes, I am normally very careful when installing updates or (rarely) new programs. I usually read everything carefully and rarely do I make the kind of errors I did last night ....


I hope you don't take it personally, I post my standard recommendations and not something specific for your case.
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#9
TooNew2

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This site was apparently down for updating early last evening when I tried to reply, and now for me, the copy and paste function isn't working here nor is the quote-to-reply function at the moment although it did a few minutes ago. FWIW, I liked the old look of the site just fine.

 

Regarding your last post, I didn't mean to imply I was taking your advice personally; it is sound advice and I was just confirming I do try to follow it carefully.

 

 

Last week, my XP system had the Microsoft Backup utility under System Tools but now I don't find it there or by doing a quick search.

I had tried using it  some weeks before the "Restore" to put (IIRC) all or most of the C drive on an external hard drive, now I'm sure it didn't work as the drive is empty of any new files. I also had backed up lots of files to Flash drives and see on one what appears to be a Microsoft Backup  made using that utility. I think its extension is .bak. Might that include Microsoft Security Essentials which I'd installed a month or two ago, or more likely just Windows Updates and in any case, how do I go about reinstalling it?

 

Right now, the system has no security programs. What is the best/safest way to install some before going online to download MS updates. I had been using MSE and SuperAntispy but of course lost them in the Restore. I seem unable to find information here using a Search and my sore neck, headache and lack of sleep don't help any. As stated earlier, I can download with this system to either discs or flash drive and transfer to the Acer.

 

 


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#10
SleepyDude

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This site was apparently down for updating early last evening when I tried to reply, and now for me, the copy and paste function isn't working here nor is the quote-to-reply function at the moment although it did a few minutes ago. FWIW, I liked the old look of the site just fine.
 
Regarding your last post, I didn't mean to imply I was taking your advice personally; it is sound advice and I was just confirming I do try to follow it carefully.
 
 
Last week, my XP system had the Microsoft Backup utility under System Tools but now I don't find it there or by doing a quick search.
I had tried using it  some weeks before the "Restore" to put (IIRC) all or most of the C drive on an external hard drive, now I'm sure it didn't work as the drive is empty of any new files. I also had backed up lots of files to Flash drives and see on one what appears to be a Microsoft Backup  made using that utility. I think its extension is .bak. Might that include Microsoft Security Essentials which I'd installed a month or two ago, or more likely just Windows Updates and in any case, how do I go about reinstalling it?

 
Maybe it's there but the shortcut is missing?
Try clicking on Start > Run > type ntbackup to see if it starts.
 

Right now, the system has no security programs. What is the best/safest way to install some before going online to download MS updates. I had been using MSE and SuperAntispy but of course lost them in the Restore. I seem unable to find information here using a Search and my sore neck, headache and lack of sleep don't help any. As stated earlier, I can download with this system to either discs or flash drive and transfer to the Acer.


MSE is fine but it's only a basic Antivirus we are recomending AVAST Free instead because it gives you more protection.

Check if you have Windows XP Service Pack 3 installed or not if not install right away, after that upgate Internet Explorer to version 8 and then the updates.

 

Links:

- Microsoft Security Essentials

- Avast Free


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#11
TooNew2

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The cited run command gives me a message that Windows cannot find the backup file. Was that a later addition to the Home Edition of XP, perhaps with SP 2 or 3?

I now have the first version with no updates, as originally released and installed by Acer. The extra set of discs which I thought the PO made seem to also be from when the system was new.

 

Sorry if I was unclear; I generally know where to get updates and to find programs I want to install but I don't know how to download those programs to a memory device hooked up to this computer so I can then download them from that device onto the Acer without first hooking the Acer to the internet. Is there some way to do so?


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#12
SleepyDude

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The cited run command gives me a message that Windows cannot find the backup file. Was that a later addition to the Home Edition of XP, perhaps with SP 2 or 3?
I now have the first version with no updates, as originally released and installed by Acer. The extra set of discs which I thought the PO made seem to also be from when the system was new.


I don't know about the Windows Backup tool, maybe you are right and it's included on the Service Pack.
 

Sorry if I was unclear; I generally know where to get updates and to find programs I want to install but I don't know how to download those programs to a memory device hooked up to this computer so I can then download them from that device onto the Acer without first hooking the Acer to the internet. Is there some way to do so?

 
If your computer is connected to a router with firewall it's safe to access the links on my post to download the Windows Service Pack 3 and the other programs.


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#13
TooNew2

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The cited run command gives me a message that Windows cannot find the backup file. Was that a later addition to the Home Edition of XP, perhaps with SP 2 or 3?
I now have the first version with no updates, as originally released and installed by Acer. The extra set of discs which I thought the PO made seem to also be from when the system was new.


I don't know about the Windows Backup tool, maybe you are right and it's included on the Service Pack.
 

Sorry if I was unclear; I generally know where to get updates and to find programs I want to install but I don't know how to download those programs to a memory device hooked up to this computer so I can then download them from that device onto the Acer without first hooking the Acer to the internet. Is there some way to do so?

 
If your computer is connected to a router with firewall it's safe to access the links on my post to download the Windows Service Pack 3 and the other programs.

 

 

My connection here is extremely slow (and sometimes unreliable) and I don't want to take the Acer somewhere like a library where the speed is fast but I don't know about the security. I can use this new system with its existing security programs there to download safely so my question remains, is it possible to do what I'd like and if so, how?

I don't mean to be argumentative, but I currently have other obligations which make it difficult to watch over the Acer as it downloads MS updates for a whole day.


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#14
SleepyDude

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My connection here is extremely slow (and sometimes unreliable) and I don't want to take the Acer somewhere like a library where the speed is fast but I don't know about the security. I can use this new system with its existing security programs there to download safely so my question remains, is it possible to do what I'd like and if so, how?

I don't mean to be argumentative, but I currently have other obligations which make it difficult to watch over the Acer as it downloads MS updates for a whole day.

 

I see. All the links I post give you a full download you can do it using a different computer the only one I'm not sure is Internet Explorer 8 because the program will try to connect to the internet to download updates during install.

 

I suggest to download the XP Service Pack 3 and after install enable the Windows Firewall it should provide you with enough protection to download the windows updates.


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#15
TooNew2

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I was wrong; before leaving here, I used the Run command to find out I do in fact already have SP2 installed and found that MS only has an enhanced SP3 version available for download-to-save. I'll need to use the online updater service directly to get the appropriate version  on the Acer.  I did get and save the Avast file from your link and have it on the Acer but see it has lots of features I probably don't need or want, particularly on that old system which won't be surfing  far or often. I'll need to do a bit of 'research' do decide what parts I want to install.

The M Security Essentials link was apparently the wrong one for my system but because the files were so small, I downloaded over my line the 32 bit XP version from this link

 

http://windows.micro...ls-all-versions

 

 However, I now get a message partly through the installation about a filter package rollover manager file being missing. The message shows a link where I can get the file once connected to the internet, after I finish with Avast.

 

Should get a bit more time to work on it tomorrow...no, it's already past midnight here, so it'll be later today....

 


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