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Non-Boot because of Hal.dll - need a fix!

November 13, 2010 at 04:46:46
Specs: Windows XP Professional SP2(?), unsure and can't check
Hello! Let me start by saying thanks for reading. A little help would mean alot to me.

I'm having some confusing problems with my tower right now.

Yesterday, I shut it down and restarted it to try to solve a network adapter error. I do this regularly.

It seemed to be booting up normally: it passed the XPC Shuttle screen, showed me a screen that told me:

Verifying DMI Pools
Boot from CD: _

Then, instead of skipping to the windows logo and booting normally, it told me:

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupted:

It told me there that I needed my XP boot CD and to press 'r' on the first screen to start repair. I got this tower hand-me-down, so it did not come with a disk set and I neglected to make my own (silly me). I downloaded a file and used it to make a boot disk. However, when I put this boot disk in the drive, it did not boot from disk as I expected. It did not give me that option, nor can I find any way to boot from disk manually.

Instead, this is what happened: XPC screen, "verifying" screen, and then it flashes a breif, quick OS selection menu which shows TWO options of Windows XP Professional, instead of just one. I'm thinking, wait a minute, where did that come from? No matter which I select, I get the following error:

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupted:
<windows root>\system32\hal.dll
Please copy or reinstall the file (guess on that last line)

I've now gotten ahold of a Windows XP Professional Boot Disk. Hooray! It is a Dell brand disk, while my computer is a Shuttle brand tower, but as far as I can tell, that doesn't seem to matter, right? Anyways.

These are the solutions I have tried already:

On each, I have run into various problems.

I can report these problems as needed if anyone needs to know them, but to make this post considerably shorter, I will skip that and go straight to my questions.

What can I do to fix these errors?
What are these errors anyways?
Have I seriously fried my computer? Should I reformat?
Every time I follow instructions, I run into errors, roadblocks, etc - how do I get around them to actually repair my computer?
Will a repair installation fix these easier and faster than trying to fight with Recovery Console?
Should I buy a new computer?

Once again, thanks for reading. I hope I can get some feedback on this soon. It would mean alot to me.

See More: Non-Boot because of Hal.dll - need a fix!

November 13, 2010 at 15:26:15
To simply repair an install you can borrow a similar level service pack cd from a friend.

If not same service level it will down level your install and you will have to then update.

Might try sfc.exe too.

Why did it take me over a year to phone in a problem to ATT?

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November 13, 2010 at 16:06:23
Did you go into BIOS and set your disk drive ahead of the main hard drive in the boot sequence?

How to know you are getting old 2:
Your feet seem further away from your hands

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