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Windows fails to load. Missing/corrupt file.

paulo
Grafter
Posts: 157
Registered: 02-01-2008

Windows fails to load. Missing/corrupt file.

My PC fails to load windows and I get a message. 
"Windows could notstart because the following file is missing or corrupt
<Windows root>\system32\hal.dll.  Please re-install a copy of the above file."
How do I get this file, what medium do I use and where do I put it??  Suspect this may be only the first file problem.
Any help or advice would be much appreciated.
I can resist everything except temptation.
11 REPLIES
minkey
Grafter
Posts: 386
Registered: 22-07-2007

Re: Windows fails to load. Missing/corrupt file.

googling presented this website which details 9 ways to fix your hal.dll problem
http://pcsupport.about.com/od/findbyerrormessage/a/missinghaldll.htm

HTH
Jeff
paulo
Grafter
Posts: 157
Registered: 02-01-2008

Re: Windows fails to load. Missing/corrupt file.

Jeff, Many thanks for leading me to this solution article.  There is a lot of info there so I will try and no doubt learn a lot too.
I can resist everything except temptation.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Windows fails to load. Missing/corrupt file.

If you have a PC that has inbuilt hardware diagnostics (or on a separate bootable CD) I'd run those first to check the hard disk is OK.
Personally I would then use the Repair Console (as described in the link supplied) to check if the file still exists and recreate/replace it.
Either of these steps could report back with further errors.
p_w_d_stone
Grafter
Posts: 315
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Windows fails to load. Missing/corrupt file.

Did anything unusual happen before the failure- power cut or improper shutdown for example?
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,576
Thanks: 3
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Windows fails to load. Missing/corrupt file.

Couple of points here if you have SP3 installed and boot from an install cd which isnt SP£ and replace the hal it will be the wrong one, also there are several as some are  for specific hardware.
First job boot from the XP cd and get to the recover consul then run chkdks c: /f see it it finds any errors. Reboot
If it still doesnt work go back to the xp cd and the consul and see if the file is actually there by typing
dir c:\windows\system32\hal*.*
you should get
13/04/2008  23:01          134,400 HAL.DLL
              1 File(s)        134,400 bytes
              0 Dir(s)  53,712,826,368 bytes free
Note the file size the above is xp pro SP3
If its there you could try typing
fixboot c:
fixmbr \Device\HardDisk0
reboot and try
If all that fails you can try replacing the hal but try and get one from the same SP if you can if you cant your last hope would be from the XP cd

If all that fails do a recovery or reinstall
paulo
Grafter
Posts: 157
Registered: 02-01-2008

Re: Windows fails to load. Missing/corrupt file.

Thanks PJ and Samuria, yes something very useual did take place, my fault entirely.  Long story but will be very concise.
Bought really good used PC to replace my old one.  Working well when I got it couple of weeks ago.  Thought the easiest and quickest way to move all my files and setting was to move my old HD over to the new PC.  I forgot my old OS was XP PRO and the new PC was running XP Home.  This may (or maynot) not have mattered had the new PC only got one HD but the new PC has two HDs (one being a SATA) so I think there may have been some sort of conflict with one HD running XP and the other HD running Home.
PC would not boot so put the HDs back in their original positions.  Fortunately my old HD still works OK in the old PC (useing that one now for this posting)  but the new PC with its HD back in fails to boot and gives rise to this posting.
Have tried various rescue CD attempts and followed advice closely from you kind people but not got anywhere.  I am now seriously considering putting just one brand new HD (which I already have) into the new PC and starting from scratch.
Any other thoughts or advice re this new task you can give me would be much appriciated.
I can resist everything except temptation.
p_w_d_stone
Grafter
Posts: 315
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Windows fails to load. Missing/corrupt file.

Try this-
Quote
  1. Use the Windows XP CD-ROM to start your computer.
  2. When you receive the message to press R to repair Windows by using the Recovery Console, press the R key.
  3. Select the Windows installation that you want, and then type the administrator password when prompted.
  4. Type bootcfg /rebuild, and then press ENTER.
  5. 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. Type Windows XP Professional or Windows 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.
For more information about how to edit the Boot.ini file, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
289022  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/289022/ ) How to edit the Boot.ini file in Windows XP

After that, and if it hasn't worked, go right ahead and try what Samuri suggested.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,576
Thanks: 3
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Windows fails to load. Missing/corrupt file.

The problem is if you have a AMD system and go to an INTEL or the other way around the disk controller isnt the same which is why it cant find the file.
A clean install is always the best option in the long run
paulo
Grafter
Posts: 157
Registered: 02-01-2008

Re: Windows fails to load. Missing/corrupt file.

Fortunately both PCs are AMD.
Followed your previous instructions but still seemed to have original problem so I changed the boot priority to see if it would boot and XP loads fine.
This has thrown up a coulpe of questions that I need to get right in my mind to understand the system a bit more to avoid confussion in the future.
Do you need full copies of XP to be loaded onto both HDs on a two HD system or once XP has booted from which ever HD, can you work from either HD?
I can resist everything except temptation.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,576
Thanks: 3
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Windows fails to load. Missing/corrupt file.

You only need windows loaded on one drive the one set to boot from in the bios. However if you have a version on each drive and the partition on each drive are set active the bios may get confused and boot from the wrong drive, some bios can cope with it other throw a wobbler and wont like to active partitions.
David_W
Rising Star
Posts: 2,297
Thanks: 30
Registered: 19-07-2007

Re: Windows fails to load. Missing/corrupt file.

I am not sure if it works from the boot CD, but if you type sfc /scannow it should can all the system files and repair broken ones.