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HAL.DLL boot problem in Windows 7

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I have recently moved from XP to Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bits via UPGRADE. . I found the settings transfer feature very handy , even though I still had to re-install ALL the programs I had on XP, which is why I'd hate to re-install Windows 7!

Windows 7 has been working fine, until yesterday. Now, I am unable to boot .

I tried F8 to get to the other options( Safe mode, etc) .I can't even get there. .

I also tried the repair feature, but, after a laborious scanning, the computer returns a message that it i is beyond repair. None of the other repair options worked ( restore to previous configuration, image transfer, etc).

Eventually I got the dreaded message that the HAL.DLL file is corrupt or missing.
I could take the bull by the horns and re-install Windows 7, but I want to avoid it as much as possible because it took me two days to re-install the ton of applications I had on XP, without counting an extra day for network configuration problem which prevented me to access the Internet..

I read about using the EXPAND command in DOS, to reinstate the HAL.DLL file. But why not the straight COPY command ?
To this effect, I ran a test on another computer and, with the COPY command in DOS, I was indeed able to copy the HAL.DLL file from a diskette on drive A ( yes, I still have one!) , to a test folder in Windows\System 32 . So I know the file was copied. I could do the same and copy this file, via DOS, into Windows 7.

The problem is that without being able to boot my computer , I don't know

1) how to get to the DOS screen to type the COPY command, and

2) what is the location of the HAL.DLL file in Windows 7 ?.

In XP, it is under Windows\i386\system32, but it might be elsewhere in Windows 7.

I tried a search on the Win 7 installation disk by clicking on EXPLORE , but I can't find any HAL.DLL file. Besides, the AUTO SETUP kicks in too fast to allow a thorough search.

I'd appreciate your comments and suggestions. I'd be glad to hear about other venues as well, but please address my question regarding the DOS-COPY solution, whether you think it will work or not

Thank you


Montreal, Canada
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Normally when you overwrite such files you're meant to get the file from the Windows installation Disk. You shouldn't try to replace it from a another computer, and certainly not one with a different OS. Because the files on the install disk are compressed you have to use the expand command, copy would just copy over the still compressed hal.dl_ from the disk. It would be somewhat like copying over a Zip file and expecting the file inside to work by default, rather than unzipping it and opening the file properly.

Actually that error is not always a problem with Hal.dll. This is written for XP and you shouldn't follow the instructions because of that, but it explains what I mean.

Edit: Hal.dll isn't used by Vista or 7. It's probably left over from your upgrade. I don't know how you'd go about fixing that, other perhaps than checking that boot.ini is in good condition.

Edited by Ehsanit, 27 November 2010 - 02:28 PM.

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