missing or corrupt: system32\hal.dll
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Thread: missing or corrupt: system32\hal.dll

  1. #1
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    Exclamation missing or corrupt: system32\hal.dll

    Specs:
    Windows XP
    Compaq Presario 6024US
    80GB Hard Drive (not sure who makes it. came with computer)

    This is my 3rd thread in the past week. I keep having issue after issue and now I just want to cry. Before all the issues, I had a western digital that I used as my master drive (crap that doesn't work now) and the 80GB slave drive. I began to have problems with the WD HD about 2 weeks ago. I decided to do a Factory Restore of the master drive which is what Thread1 was about but I accidentally did the restore on my slave drive :0/ So I went back and backed up all my files onto the newly restored slave drive. Then I did the factory restore on the master. It didn't fix squat and nothing else i did fixed the problem (Thread2). So now the master is no more. I decided to use the slave drive in the meantime. ::Sigh:: So today I changed the jumpers on the 80GB HD to make it into the master and i disconnected the WD HD. I turned on the computer and I got this message:
    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 googled the message and tried a few things that came up.
    1. The first part of this didn't work for me because the first thing it has me type gave me a negative response. I don't remember exactly but it said that the command didn't work or something. I tried the second thing at the bottom where it asks me to type EXPAND D:\I386\HAL.DL_ C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\HAL.DLL but that gave me a message that said Access is denied.
    2. This one is by microsoft. I abandoned this one because typing "bootcfg /list" also didn't work for me.
    3. This next one is pretty much like the microsoft one but w/o the bootcfg /list. I didn't notice this till later. I followed the steps and when I got to step5 I typed Windows XP Home Edition in all caps (why in caps? I dunno, just cuz it was already on caps lock). I restarted the comp after all the steps but then i got a screen that said
    Please select the operating system to start
    WINDOWS XP HOME EDITION
    Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
    I selected the first and then I got this message
    Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
    \Backups\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM
    When I select the Microsoft one, it gives me the original error message in the title of this thread.
    4. I lastly tried booting in to safe mode. When I clicked F8, i saw a screen with 11 boot options. Usually i only see 5. Well I clicked Safe Mode and it then had me select the OS to start...then I get one of the 2 file missing/corrupt message.

    I'm done trying to fix it on my own. I really don't want to screw things up even more. I really want to fix this without having to do a factory restore. This is the drive with all of my backups. I can't lose them! How can I fix this problem without having to do so?

    As always, I thank anyone who posts any helpful replies!

  2. #2
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    Anyone??

  3. #3
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    These sets of problems involving hall.dll are often difficult to deal with (I'm not really experienced enough with it to jump in myself) so it may take a bit longer for someone who can help to come up with some suggestions.
    Don't believe everything you think.
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  4. #4
    HAN's Avatar
    HAN is offline Virtual PC Specialist!!!
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    I don't know a great deal about this problem but I know it happens here and there. Here is a site that I have a fair amount of confidence in for some ideas...
    http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_haldll_missing.htm

  5. #5
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    HAL.DLL is the Hardware Extraction Layer DLL (incidentally, .dll files are "dynamic link libraries). You have bigger problems than just expanding the .DLL from the XP disk from the sounds of it. I've run into this error before. Most recently on a Dell (go figure. lol). I copied the .dll file and then it gave other errors of being unable to load system .dlls.

    The solution was to do a repair install of Windows. You can do this by going through the standard Windows install procedure, but after pressing F8 it will search for previous installs, find yours and ask you to either push "R" to repair it or "Esc" to install a fresh copy of Windows. In your case you'd press R.
    Bash him into the ground, make jokes and call him names while he's alive...Revere him when he dies. Pathetic.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAN View Post
    I don't know a great deal about this problem but I know it happens here and there. Here is a site that I have a fair amount of confidence in for some ideas...
    http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_haldll_missing.htm
    Thanks for the link Han. I'll be checkin' it out for sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirKenin View Post
    I've run into this error before. Most recently on a Dell (go figure. lol).
    Hi SirKenin. Geez, dells sound like they suck. Good thing I know that now b/c I was thinking of getting an XPS when I have enough money.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirKenin View Post
    The solution was to do a repair install of Windows.
    This won't wipe out all my files will it? Just repair the drive, right?

  7. #7
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    If done exactly as mentioned, it will simply repair your Windows install. All your programs and files will still be intact.

    If you happen to still be in doubt about the process, please read up on Windows XP repair installs before proceeding.
    Bash him into the ground, make jokes and call him names while he's alive...Revere him when he dies. Pathetic.

  8. #8
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    Unhappy

    Man, computers really don't like me. I started the Repair Install but I only got to the part where you selectthe XP installation you want to repair from a list. There is only one thing in the list and it is highlighted in white. It says C: Partition1 [NTFS]. I pressed R but nothing happened...aaarrg! WTH? I quit the setup and tried again but again nothing happened. I am sad.

  9. #9
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    Make sure you have the right version of Windows. If it's XP Home, you must do it with an XP Home disk. If it's XP Pro, it must be done with an XP Pro disk. If it's XP Media Centre... well, you get the idea.

    Btw, I like Dells, I really do. The silly things are fundamentally tanks. They run forever. The problem is the occasional design fubar, like opting for those Caviar or DiamondMax 8 pieces of crap, or jamming the drive in a cage with no breathing space.

    Otherwise, Dell hardware very seldom fails. The software goes BOOM! maybe, but seldom the hardware. I've seen underspec'ed Dells give serious problems (for instance, not having enough RAM, thus causing Windows to thrash the drive during operation..particularly paging ops).. But I seldom repair Dell hardware, apart from the drives.

    I had one Dell in the shop not long ago that had been in a fire. Actually, there were three of them in the fire. I got the first two fired right back up pretty much immediately. The third needed a motherboard, after which it fired back up again too.

    People speak harshly of Dells, but realistically speaking I'll take one over an Acer, Emachines or Gateway (all the same owner, Acer) any day of the week.
    Bash him into the ground, make jokes and call him names while he's alive...Revere him when he dies. Pathetic.

  10. #10
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    It's the same version. I used the same CD when I did the factory restore 2 weeks ago.

    Thanks for clarifying the Dell thing. I'm sure I'll be back to this site to ask for computer buying advice when I get some money.

  11. #11
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    If it doesn't find the Windows install, that drive is probably fubared too. Are you sure you don't have a bad hard drive cable or bad RAM? Have you tested the RAM using memtest?
    Bash him into the ground, make jokes and call him names while he's alive...Revere him when he dies. Pathetic.

  12. #12
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    I ran that test last week for about an hour. No errors were found.

    I took out the drive, set it as slave and put it in another PC. At first, it had a red question mark next to it but I was able to open the folders. It doesn't have the red "?" anymore. I am currently copying all the files on to an external drive. Hopefully it doesn't get interupted by some crazy problem. After it's done, I will be less stressed about losing any files. I'll try the Repair Install one more time and if that doesn't work, I'll just factory restore.

  13. #13
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    That's a great idea. The personal files are the most important thing of all. The rest is easily replaceable. Make the backup, then after that it doesn't matter any more one way or the other.
    Bash him into the ground, make jokes and call him names while he's alive...Revere him when he dies. Pathetic.

  14. #14
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    I tried the repair install one more time but it didn't work so I just went ahead and did the factory restore. Everything is fine now.

  15. #15
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    I've been routinely getting the hal.dll and the other error recently because I've been adjusting my partitions on my hard drive. The actual problem is with the boot.ini file because after adjusting the partitions, the boot.ini no longer points to the correct partition to boot XP.

    And with your removing of your main hard drive and making your secondary hard drive the new master, that's exactly the situation you're encountering.

    My solution is to boot to a live linux cd and edit the boot.ini as root. (root in linux = administrator in windows)

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