View Full Version : error: <windows root>/system32.hal.dll.

13-03-2009, 01:38 PM
Hi I'm new and computer illiterate, please be gentle and type slowly :-)

Booting my laptop with Windows XP SP3 I got a black screen with an error 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 error on my my desktop and followed instructions to boot from the XP disk. I got to the point of running C:\WINDOWS>BOOTCFG /REBUILD and got an error message:
"Failed to successfully scan disks for Windows installations. This error many be caused by a corrupt file system, which would prevent Bootcfg from successfully scanning. Use chkdsk to detect any disk errors."
I then ran C:\WINDOWS>CHKDSK and it identified errors however a subsequent C:\WINDOWS>CHKDSK /P and it didn't show any problems. I have also run C:\WINDOWS>CHKDSK /R. I've looked at C:\WINDOWS>BOOTCFG /LIST but it says there are no boot entries available. I've also C:\WINDOWS>FIXMBR but it didn't solve the problem and I still get the original error message.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

13-03-2009, 02:14 PM
Welcome to PF1:)

Try doing this first:

Attrib -H -R -S C:\Boot.ini
DEL C:\Boot.ini
BootCfg /Rebuild

In recovery Console.

If that still doesn't work, you may need to replace the hal.dll file using your windows XP disk.

You will need to expand the hal.dll file from the cd to the system32 folder, using this command:

x:\i386\hal.dl_ c:\windows\system32\hal.dll

Replace X with drive letter of dvd drive


13-03-2009, 02:15 PM
Welcome to PF1.

you can always try doing a repiar install - sometimes simply trying to put back a good copy of files doesn't always work.

Heres how to do a repair install if you want to.

You will need your 25 digit product key for this.

Place XP CD in drive: Reboot or shutdown and start PC.

1.When the Press any key to boot from CD message is displayed on your screen, press a key to start your computer from the Windows XP CD.

2.Press ENTER when you see the message To setup Windows XP now, and then press ENTER displayed on the Welcome to Setup screen.

3.Do not choose the option to press R to use the Recovery Console.

4.In the Windows XP Licensing Agreement, press F8 to agree to the license agreement.

5.Make sure that your current installation of Windows XP is selected in the box, and then press R to repair Windows XP.
NOTE: if it doesn't locate your old OS STOP! As any further actions may result in wiping your data.

6.Follow the instructions on the screen to complete Setup.

You will have to do any windows updates afterwards, but all your programs and data should still be intact.

16-03-2009, 10:40 AM
Thanks Blam & Wainuitech

'Attrib -H -R -S C:\Boot.ini' didn't work because it wouldn't recognise the parameters.

I'm sorry but I kind of chickened out with the other suggestions and got in professional help. The tech ended up with a complete Windows XP install. I regret not trying the other suggestions first - didn't have much to loose except for some data (some of which I lost anyway). The tech reckoned it was just a bad sector that held the <windows root>\system32\hal.dll. file and that the CHKDSK scan fixed the disk. I'm still left wondering if I should be shopping for a new hard drive.
Thanks again for you help