Fixing Hal.dll/Boot Problem

Custom / CUSTOM
January 22, 2009 at 21:32:51
Specs: Windows XP Professional, AMD 1.1 Ghz/2 GB Ram
I have the dreaded Hal dll/boot problem. I have had this before. Presently I have a triple boot XP Professional machine.

I was told of a rather risky reinstall procedure in that you pull out from the bad drive in question the folders" Windows, Program Files and Documents & settings - placing them on another drive or other media.

Then you do a full reinstall of that drive or partition. When the install is finished you replace the new files with the old ones that were taken out before the new install was started.

I've tried the old non-destructive rebuild option and it will not work and in fact it will not reboot to finish the job.

How risky is this procedure and does anyone have any further ideas? Believe me I have tried everything under then sun and have read literally dozens of articles on the subject.

I realize that this problem is most common on dual or better boots & can be difficult to remedy ad can result in a full reinstall with loss of all unsaved data as well as all programs, etc.

Any help is appreciated !!!


See More: Fixing Hal.dll/Boot Problem

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#1
January 23, 2009 at 05:02:28
Files can be Missing or Corrupt if file is residing on a bad sector of the HDD.
One person fixed that by doing chkdsk /r

(the hal.dll issue)
http://support.microsoft.com/defaul...
Error Message: Windows Could Not Start Because the Following File Is Missing or Corrupt...
--------------------
(the hal.dll issue)
http://support.microsoft.com/defaul...
Error Message: Windows Could Not Start Because of a Computer Disk Hardware Configuration Problem


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#2
January 23, 2009 at 05:57:19
I have already done the chkdsk /r and read the 1st article and will read the 2nd one you posted.

Thanks !


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#3
January 23, 2009 at 09:34:37
That risky procedure will not work. The Registry is not copied with that. I have my doubts that even copying the Registry along with those other folders would work.

I don't know what you mean by the "old non-destructive rebuild option", but if you mean a "Repair Install", that should have fixed it.
How to do a 'Repair' install

But it 'might' be necessary to 're-activate' the system.

FWIW to XP users: When you click on the 'Command Prompt' you are just causing the 'Command prompt' to be displayed. This prompt gives you access to NTVDM.EXE, the 'NT Virtual DOS Manager'.


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Related Solutions

#4
January 23, 2009 at 15:06:03
The term non-destructive rebuild option is another word for repair install. I have tried that and it will not even finish - when it comes time to reboot and finish the job all I get the this same thing - no boot.

Also - here is a copy of my boot loader:

[boot loader]
timeout=200
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" =optin /fastdetect

I have 2 physical drives and 3 partitions. The 1st and 3rd are on the same drive, different partitions & the middle one (which does not work) is on a separate drive.



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#5
January 23, 2009 at 15:12:17
additional info:

In the boot loader (after the failed rebuild) the first drive is the non-functional drive, the 2nd is my G drive and the 3rd one listed is my C drive.

The boot loader order was different before the rebuild:

C
F
G


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#6
January 23, 2009 at 19:31:37
looking at the boot.ini , under [operating systems] the 2nd & 3rd are on the same hdd , the 1st entire is on a different hdd.

But you post {I have 2 physical drives and 3 partitions. The 1st and 3rd are on the same drive,} so need you to clarify which one is bad.

Do you have any problems reading the folders on the non booting XP?

{I have the dreaded Hal dll/boot problem} post exact and complete error message.


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#7
January 23, 2009 at 20:02:02
On the boot loader the bad drive is now listed as the first one - it is also on a separate hard drive - the other two installs are partitions on the same drive. I can read basically anything I want on the bad drive from my computer on each of the working drives. I will post the error message later - as I am right in the middle of something important on my C drive at the moment.

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#8
January 24, 2009 at 08:48:21
This is the error message that I get when I try to boot into the bad drive:

"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 tried replacing hal and that is not the answer. I fully suspect this has arisen due to some type of booting issue


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#9
January 24, 2009 at 13:45:36
Why do you have three separate installs of XP in the first place?

"So won’t you give this man his wings
What a shame
To have to beg you to see
We’re not all the same
What a shame" - Shinedown


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#10
January 24, 2009 at 15:25:48
All 3 XP's were working in the present set up ?
Is there a boot.ini file on the bad XP ? IF so post it if a lot different.

Your first post you started a repair install, is it failing on the first reboot ?

Both hdd are IDE or is one a sata ?

{I can read basically anything I want on the bad drive } Just what do you mean by basically ?

(I have tried replacing hal) from where ??

Do you remember add/remove any software/hardware on the non working XP?


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#11
January 24, 2009 at 16:33:09
all 3 installs had been working quite some time. All hard drives are IDE - this computer wil not take sata drives. I tried replacing the hall. dll from the other drives. What I meant by basically is anything that is available to me. I had not added or removed any hardware or software at the time. I had this happen on a dual boot on another machine years ago and it happened out of the blue for no reason. That machine had 2 instances of W2K on it and that machine is now deceased.

I attempted a repair install and which failed because it would not reboot into that drive to finish the repair.

I do not know what the boot,ini would be on the bad drive as I cannot access that,but the boot.ini on the other 2 drives are identical.

And lastly - why do I have 3 installs of XP in the first place ... because I can. I also have 3 computers and one is a dual boot of XP and the other is a vista computer. The 3rd is the older triple boot machine.

I'm 66 years old, military retired, had a stroke, and have nothing else better to do with my time. I don't smoke, drink, gave up wild women, take lots of meds, drink coffee, don't hunt or fish and can't drive & I hang out in military chat rooms.


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#12
January 24, 2009 at 17:55:36
I attempted a repair install and which failed because it would not reboot into that drive to finish the repair.
This is important, is this the first reboot or later reboots to the bad XP? If it is the first reboot your boot.ini is wrong. On the very first reboot the boot.ini should have C:\$WIN_NT$.~BT\BOOTSECT.DAT = "Windows XP Installation/Upgrade"
. Look on all partitions for directory $WIN_NT$.~BT.

Is the Windows directory on bad XP named Windows or something else ? (With 98 I would give a different name for mult. installs, don't know if you can in XP)


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#13
January 24, 2009 at 19:12:10
no - this is not the first reboot into this bad drive. I never saw anything that said upgrade on the reboot - I did the repair install and then it need to reboot to finish the repair - it never rebooted to finish and displayed the original message about the "hal.dll". I have looked (searched) on all 3 installs and do not see anything like you mentioned.

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#14
January 24, 2009 at 19:58:54
I am at a loss. Try looking in Disk Management and verify there is only one partition on the second hdd and not a hidden partition that is makeing the problem.

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#15
January 24, 2009 at 21:57:45
Disk 1 shows one O/S on the drive and is the only thing on it - the whole 149 GB. (F Drive)

Disk 0 is the 2 partition one - 111.78 GB total - C = 56.33 GB and 55.45 GB for the G drive.


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#16
January 25, 2009 at 06:42:21
Only one other thing I can think of- check under Disk Management again, look and see if the partition is a logical volume. If it is make change multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(2)

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#17
January 25, 2009 at 07:49:31
The bad drive is listed as a primary partition and resides on an entire 149 GB hard drive.

The C drive is also listed as a primary partition on another drive (healthy - system).
The G drive resides on the other partition of this same HD the C drive is on and is listed as a logical drive.


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#18
January 25, 2009 at 13:21:36
(the C drive is on and is listed as a logical drive) that will be partition (2) not (1).
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(2), so change the boot.ini file.

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#19
January 25, 2009 at 16:00:16
here is what I have already:

[boot loader]
timeout=200
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" =optin /fastdetect

the first one is the non-working drive
the second one is the G or last drive
the third one is my C drive

so you want me to change it to this:?

[boot loader]
timeout=200
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" =optin /fastdetect


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#20
January 25, 2009 at 17:46:18
I would boot into the recovery console and run the bootcfg/rebuild command to rebuild the boot.ini file and then run the repair install on the xp installation that has the hal.dll error.

Silence is golden but duct tape is silver


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#21
January 25, 2009 at 18:03:57
ok - I'll try that on the C drive when I get finished with some stuff and then try the repair (non-destructive rebuild) again on the bad drive.

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#22
January 26, 2009 at 05:57:29
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(2)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect


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#23
January 26, 2009 at 06:52:22
and this would be for all three of my XP installs?

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#24
January 26, 2009 at 07:36:36
no, only change the default and 1st under [operating systems] , leave the other 2 alone.
the entries with rdisk(0) stays the same and change rdisk(1)entries partition to (2) vice (1). The XP that is on the extended volume is partition (2)

[boot loader]
timeout=200
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(2)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" =optin /fastdetect


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#25
January 27, 2009 at 22:19:15
I am having to leave in the morning (28 Jan 09) for Birmingham, AL. I'll return sometime on Monday (02 FEB 09).

I don't want to try what you have suggested until I can sit down and leisurely attempt it and be able to possibly correct anything that goes wrong. I'd worry all during my trip if I had something gone wrong while I was on my trip.

See you on Monday -- be well !!!


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#26
February 5, 2009 at 14:18:48
I have not attempted a cure of the problem - I have come down with some type of bug and I'm not doing very much at all - perhaps next week I will be able to continue. Thanks for your patience

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#27
February 8, 2009 at 09:40:13
I have tried your boot loader suggestion and it did not work.

The 3rd boot choice remained the C drive and it would boot into it. The other two drives were reversed. The first boot selection was the Hal drive and it would not boot and came with a large amount of messages. The middle selection was my other drive which is a very new install and it booted normally.

Do you have any ideas ? I am back now - still not feeling well but have time this week to devote to this problem


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#28
February 8, 2009 at 10:38:30
Running the bootcfg/rebuild will find All windows installations and build a new boot.ini file for you.

Silence is golden but duct tape is silver


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#29
February 8, 2009 at 12:09:17
I will try that and report back

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#30
February 8, 2009 at 15:48:25
I have looked at the bootcfg /rebuild and am totally confused.

It did find 5 installs and I can identify the ones which are on one of the hard drives - the C & E are on one drive and I do know the D drive is on a separate hard drive. The D drive is the one with the hal problem.

My boot loader reads as follows:

[boot loader]
timeout=200
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" =optin /fastdetect

I really have no idea what should be changed to make this D drive boot again.



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#31
February 8, 2009 at 18:45:54
Why don't you give each XP install a different name in the boot.ini, by changing the Load Identifier "Microsoft Windows XP Professional". Also need to change the last entrie, it is currently incorrect.

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" =optin /fastdetect

it should be:

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

If bootcfg /rebuild find 5 XP's but you only have 3 ?

In My Computer do you have any drives show up that should not be there ,IE: show up twice ?

From your prior post: {I do not know what the boot,ini would be on the bad drive as I cannot access that} explain, ie: it is not there, gives an error when you try, or ??

Rereading your post #17 , I'm still at a lose at just what XP is where. Need to see the output form Disk Management. If you need help doing it read :
http://www.computing.net/howtos/sho...

can upload picture to http://www.imageshack.us/ and post the link.


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#32
February 9, 2009 at 13:24:55
Please see the following link - I have posted three pictures which detail what I have seen concerning the bootcfg and the disk management as seen from the C drive. All images were taken with one of my digital SLR cameras.

http://profile.imageshack.us/user/A...


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#33
February 9, 2009 at 13:28:45
The last part of the url was cut off & should read:

/AmunhotepIV/


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#34
February 9, 2009 at 14:29:11
On the bootcfg image, tell me what is in the folder listed for #1,3,5. Till I understand just what you have, it is hard to say what to do.

Main concern is what is in D:\Drive\Windows ? (Looks like when booted into C: drive it will be F:\Drive\Windows). If it looks like it contains a true Windows folder (compare to C:\windows) add to boot.ini, likely will not work but it may.

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\Drive\WINDOWS=" XP test" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect


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#35
February 9, 2009 at 16:20:21
What is the exact hal.dll error message when it fails to boot? When you are booted into one of the ones that does work, are you able to navigate the drive that fails to boot? From the screenshot, it looks like there are folders named windows on the desktop and in document & settings?

Now that the boot.ini seems to be straightened out, boot the xp cd and try a repair install on the the installation that is failing to boot. If that fails to work, it may be necessary to replace the hall.dll and I would also run a chkdsk from the recovery console on the drive if you haven't already done that.

Silence is golden but duct tape is silver


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#36
February 9, 2009 at 16:49:25
Early on I tired a repair install and it failed because when it came time for it to reboot it failed. I have tried replacing the hal.dll also - without success.

To the best of my knowledge there are no such folders on my C drive named windows. My login name is Toras and the c drive and on my little newer drive the login in "Doc" (being that I am a retired Navy Corpsman).

This is the exact message (see earlier posts) that I get when trying to boot into that drive:

"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 will check further to see if there is amiss on the C drive as you mentioned.

On a 2nd look I did find a file named windows but it has nothing in it that pertains to this problem - I thus renamed the file & hopefully an end of that particular problem. I'll also run bootcfg again and see if there is a change on that too.


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#37
February 10, 2009 at 03:35:37
This microsoft article may apply to your issue.

Silence is golden but duct tape is silver


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#38
February 10, 2009 at 06:20:17
I am reading and rereading those articles. I'm afraid this is looking more like a full reinstall and losing everything.

I may pull down all 3 installs and start completely over. I'll lose everything in the process but nothing is forever.


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#39
February 10, 2009 at 07:08:33
I got that same message last night when I was attempting a repair or reinstall and was using the wrong operating system disk. It was too old and after that I ended up with no operating system at all and had to locate a different xp install disk and reformat my hard drive. Luckily I had a chance to save everything I wanted to prior to that.

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#40
February 10, 2009 at 08:24:09

I don't think this is solvable - except I may try something I mentioned in this long post.

I am going to pull a full reinstall of that drive and once it is done then I am going to reinsert the files Windows, Documents and settings and Program Files which I have copied from the bad drive. I did this once on this very same drive & it worked, with exception of a few minor glitches. It is a last ditch effort.

I have few options at this point.



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#41
February 10, 2009 at 15:31:31
You should be able to view the files on the bad partition from one of the working os's. If not you can try another last resort.

Silence is golden but duct tape is silver


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#42
February 10, 2009 at 16:14:26
Yes - I can view everything on the bad drive from my C drive, no problem.

Your last resort sounds interesting, but complicated & I may try it first - but first I really need to start feeling better. I've had some sort of bug since 2/2/09 and relapsed once already. I may wind up seeing a doctor. I might wait and not tempt fate until I am better - please bear with me on this. Right now I feel as if I have been hit by a beer truck & I don't even drink.

I'll keep you posted on my progress - thanks for the help :-)


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