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Ok so my cousin called me today because she got this message when she tryed to turn on her computer...

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

<windows root>system32hal.dll.

Please re-install a copy of the above file.

...can anyone please help me out here, how can I fix this problem without having to re-install windowsXP?

Any help is dearly apreciated...

Thank You

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Shaun Gray (3/2005) states:

Let me review my experience / problem with hal.DLL with you all:

I Received a computer with win XP home sp2 that after uninstalling IML4, and Installing IML5, and rebooting. (IML being Imesh light)

Computer displayed windows rootsystem32hal.dll is missing or corrupt, please re-install.

NO MODES would boot from advanced boot options

Only bootable option was from CD

Repair console would not EDIT system from OEM XP HOME CD

FixMBR did not solve anything

Bootcfg /list, bootcfg /rebuild did not solve anything

Fixboot did not solve anything

Solution Option 1 wouldn’t work with multi attributes with out “|†in between them. ******

Solution Option 1 didn’t solve anything, except inadvertently adding a second OS to boot.ini

Solution Option 2 was unusable with OEM XP HOME SP2 CD.

Solution Opt 2 with XP PRO SP2 Integrated CD “Functionedâ€, but was "unable to expand file"


Final Solution:

Removed hard drive from system.

Added Hard drive to a 2nd WORKING XP PRO System. As Slave on Cable select.

***(all references to “D:†are the Slave Hard drive damaged windows)***

Booted system and enabled - Explorertoolsfolder options

Display contents of system folders.

Show Hidden Files and Folders.

UN-check Hide Protected OS Files.

Go to “D:†open Boot.ini in NOTEPAD, remove the Extra OS’s added with option 1.

Close and Save changes to Boot.ini

Go to “My Computer†Right click on “D:†select SEARCH “D:â€

Search “All or Part of the File Name†= “halâ€

Hal.dll may or may not be found in “D:WINDOWSSystem32†either way it’s no good.

A working copy of hal.dll WILL be found in “C:WINDOWSServicePackFilesi386â€

COPY THAT FILE “D:WINDOWSServicePackFilesi386hal.dllâ€

And Paste it to “D:WINDOWSSystem32†folder; if it asks to overwrite say YES.

You may now un-do the changes made to Explorertoolsfolder options to RE-Hide files.

Shut Down the computer.

Remove the 2nd Drive and reinstall it to its own tower as Master.

You should Now be able to boot the computer up as if nothing ever happened.

With the exception that it will prompt you to reinstall some drivers, Just say YES and let it auto detect …THEY ARE ALREADY THERE. And will setup fine.

This "FIX" assumes that the computer in question HAS at ther very least service pack1, if not service pack 2.

If these patches have NOT been installed , I dont belive any such Reserve copy of hal.dll will wxist on the drive!

Thanks for reading,

Shaun Gray


We'll need a few more specifics but is this any good?

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Place the windows xp disk in the drive and go to install it and when it comes up with what you want to do. Press R to repair the current install once the command prompt comes up type chkdsk -r or /r forgot which one exactly. It will take awhile usually to go through the process but it usually works when people come to me with boot issues.

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Shame your cannot get to command prompt in XP with CD-rom support all you need is (assuming you have the XP disc in the drive d: )

expand d: i386 hal.dl_ c: windows system32

There is another driver too if you want to use ACPI again:

expand d:i386halacpi.dl_ c:windowssystem32

then you have to delete the current hal.dll file in the sys32 folder and rename the halacpi.dll file there to hal.dll

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