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Author Topic: missing or corrupt "\system32\hal.dll" file  (Read 5463 times)
KM3K
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Posts: 279




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« on: October 14, 2011, 06:24:00 AM »

Hello,

1. On my XP desktop Dell computer, the last thing that happened was the latest Microsoft "de jour" update (I did not record what is was; I never had a problem before with their never ending parade of updates).
Then computer shut-off automatically as it has done in the past.

2. On subsequent power-up, I get this message mere seconds later...
"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."

3a. Thinking this was some kind of flute, I shut everything down and powered-up again; same result; did it again and the same thing.
3b. "control-alt-delete" gets the same result.

4. I googled on the error but the fixes presented seem to be too complicated because some of the terminology is strange to me; I'd be in never-never land.

5. Has anyone else experienced this error or is it quite possible that my hard-drive is going?

BTW, I'm typing this posting on my laptop.
73 Jerry km3k
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W8JX
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Posts: 5489




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« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2011, 08:18:00 AM »

You could try a repair using XP disk but hard drive could be starting to fail. There is no easy fix.  Any old laptop with XP is at least 5 years old now and likely older. I still uses a few old XP laptops and desktops here but they all have had their original HD replaced in last few years. Now would be a good time to replace HD in that laptop and start over. I replace my HD's every 3 years give or take while they are still working. The upside here is not only better reliability but newer drives are much faster too and will speed up performance of system. 
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K0EKL
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« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2011, 05:53:32 PM »

If you have access to another Windows XP PC you could move the failed machine's hard drive to the functional PC (disconnect the CD-ROM drive and connect your hard drive in it's place) and copy hal.dll from the functional PC to your your hard drive.

It is possible that having replaced hal.dll when you attempt to boot it up your PC will complain about additional missing files but you won't know until you try.
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W8JX
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« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2011, 06:54:53 PM »

If you have access to another Windows XP PC you could move the failed machine's hard drive to the functional PC (disconnect the CD-ROM drive and connect your hard drive in it's place) and copy hal.dll from the functional PC to your your hard drive.

It is possible that having replaced hal.dll when you attempt to boot it up your PC will complain about additional missing files but you won't know until you try.

I would advise against this as it could scramble HD if error is in allocation table. If hard drive is failing, the next time you power it up is to try to clone your data off it before it becomes a paper weight. Besides new HD's are pretty cheap on line. Depending on how old it is it will be either a ATA/IDE or SATA drive. SATA drives are current cheap and easy to come by. ATA/IDE are getting harder to find as they were replaced by SATA about 6 years ago. If you have a IDE drive, replacement is even more imperative while you can still get them. One word of caution, if you have a IDE drive, think small as not all laptops can use more than 137gb of hard drive space do to bios limitations. So get a 120 gig or small HD unless current IDE drive is 160 or bigger. Not really a issue with SATA drives. This year I replaced SATA drives in 3 laptops here. Laptops were over 2 years old and I went from 5400 rpm 250 gig with 8 meg caches to 7200 rpm 320 gig with 16 meg caches that run cooler too. Cost 59 bucks each and it is noticeable faster loading, booting and cut hibernation time almost in half too.
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KM3K
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Posts: 279




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« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2011, 08:51:47 PM »

First the good news:
A neighbor, who does IT work for a paycheck, took the hard-drive out of my XP-desktop and connected it to my Vista-laptop via an adapter that makes the hard-drive look like a USB-device. I was able to copy the data (most importantly, our family pictures) to my laptop. So that means no grief from the XYL. Smiley
The plan was for me then to put the hard-drive back into the tower and re-install the Microsoft-XP-Operating-System.
However, the bad news is:
I cannot get the laptop to "STOP" the USB-device, so I 'm unable to unplug it safely. I keep getting the error-message that it is in use. But nothing is using it. I even powered-down everything and started all up again, so I know no files are accessing that drive.
At this point in time (11:51 pm), I'm stumped.
If anyone has any ideas on how to properly disconnect the device, I'd be grateful for them; Plan-B is to talk tomorrow to my neighbor about this problem.
Also, at this point, from some Internet searches, it seems like my "system32\hal.dll" problem may have been caused by a power interruption during a Microsoft update; we did have a sudden storm come through the region last night while the update was happening.
Although I don't know if the desktop's IDE-drive is too old or not, I'm will replace it since it is 5 years-old and gets heavy daily use and get an external-drive for back-up use.
73 Jerry km3k

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W8JX
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« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2011, 09:09:43 PM »

Unplug it and do not worry about it. Your friend might have mapped it as a virtual drive so you will show up in use. Do not waste time trying to re-install/repair on old HD. Bad idea.
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KE4DRN
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Posts: 3714




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« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2011, 09:34:16 PM »

hi,

sometimes the antivirus program will scan the drive
and that is causing the message.

glad you were able to retrieve the files.

all the drive makers have software that will
scan the drive and do a skip displacement,
locates the bad sector and shifts the data around the bad
area, sort of like driving around a pothole in the road.
the area is them marked as bad and the drive is useable.

once you have recovered the files you can try it.

73 james
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WA9IVH
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Posts: 2




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« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2011, 09:37:32 AM »

Jerry, the existing posts were good, and may be the only solutions. 

However, there is a not-very-well-known feature of Windows called System Restore.  NOTE:  I am not talking about a complete hard drive restore.  It's unfortunate that Microsoft didn't come up with a better name for System Restore.   

Here how it works: Each time you install updates, Windows "takes a snapshot" of your system and saves the files in case you need to "undo" whatever you're about to do.  Now, you're in a "Catch-22" because these instructions only work when you can boot your computer: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306084

The solution is to find a utility that will let you access restore points on a bootable CD. Then try restoring to a point in the past where the computer worked.  One such disc is Fix-It Utilities:  http://www.avanquest.com/USA/software/fixit-utilities11-professional-146390

And here's another site with some great tips:  http://www.techrepublic.com/article/10-things-you-can-do-when-windows-xp-wont-boot/6031733

73 and good luck,

Mark WA9IVH
WA9IVH@arrl.net
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N0RF
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Posts: 6




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« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2012, 10:26:51 AM »

Here's how to fix it:

How to fix corrupt or missing hal.dll:

Use the Bootcfg utility in the Recovery Console to correct the Boot.ini file:

    Use the Windows XP CD-ROM to start your computer.
    When you receive the message to press R to repair Windows by using the Recovery Console, press the R key.
    Select the Windows installation that you want, and then type the administrator password when prompted.
    Type bootcfg /rebuild, and then press ENTER.
    When the Windows installation is located, the following instructions are displayed:
    Add installation to boot list? (Yes/No/All)
    [Type Y in response to this message.]

    Enter Load Identifier:
    [This is the name of the operating system. TypeWindows XP ProfessionalorWindows XP Home Edition.]

    Enter OS Load options:
    [Leave this field blank, and then press ENTER].
    After you perform the preceding steps, restart the computer, and then select the first item on the boot menu. This should allow Windows XP to start normally.

    After Windows XP has successfully loaded, the Boot.ini can be modified to remove the incorrect entry.
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STAYVERTICAL
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Posts: 854




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« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2012, 02:02:53 PM »

On a lighter note:

System32\hal.dll Sad    "what are you doing Dave?"

73s
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 02:06:20 PM by STAYVERTICAL » Logged
K1CJS
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Posts: 5888




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« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2012, 08:30:04 PM »

An even easier way to fix the problem is this:  Boot from the XP installation disk as if you're going to install a new copy of the operating system.  When the computer requests you to press R to go to the repair console, press the key that tells the system that you want to install a new copy of the system.  After you go through the first couple of screens in the install sequence, the computer will tell you it found a copy of Windows XP on the disk already--AND it asks you if you want to have it attempt repairs AUTOMATICALLY.  Type the 'Y' to tell it to try, and the system will repair itself--no further editing or work needs be done on your part.
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