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Fatal Startup Solutions
     
 

<Winnt_root>\System32\Hal.dll missing or corrupt

 
  Description  
     
 

The hardware Abstraction Layer file hal.dll is either missing or corrupt. This file is used to interface to hardware such as the keyboard and mouse ports on your system. Most desktops use a common hardware platform supported by a default hal.dll file. Many laptop manufacturers will replace this file with their own custom hal.dll file. Without this file, Windows cannot be run, even in Safe mode.

Aside from the file actually missing or corrupt, it can be caused by hard drive problems, a wrong BIOS boot choice or a misconfigured start up files - BOOT.INI file (XP) or BCD (Windows 7/Vista).

 
   
  Sample Screen  
     
 

<Winnt_root>\System32\Hal.dll missing or corrupt
Please re-install a copy of the above file.





 
   
  Key Facts  
     
 
Full Title
  <Winnt_root>\System32\Hal.dll missing or corrupt 
Please re-install a copy of the above file.


Type
  Fatal Loading 

occurance meter
Windows
  All

Vendor
  Microsoft Corporation
 
   
  Solutions and Fixes  
     
 
  Date votes Ratings
Fix Boot.ini (XP/2003)
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If the Boot.ini file points off to the wrong partition or drive, this error can occur.

If you have Fix-It Utilities Professional or SystemSuite Professional, we suggest using it's BOOT.INI repair tool as it is much faster and deals with some special situations. Simply boot from the Rescue CD or diskette and at the menu, select BootFixer. Remove the CD and select Exit.

To fix Boot.ini using the Windows boot CD:

  1. Boot from your bootable XP/2003 installation CD and go into the XP Recovery Console. Follow our guide and you'll end up at a command prompt.
  2. At the prompt, type: bootcfg /rebuild
  3. This will locate any XP installations and display them. At the prompt Add installation to boot list? enter Y and press Enter.
  4. Next it asks for you to enter the text to use for the OS Enter Load Identifier. For example type Windows XP Professional and press Enter.
  5. One last prompt asks you to Enter OS Load Options. Type /Fastdetect and press Enter. (View Boot.ini options at Microsoft).
  6. Remove the boot CD and type Exit and press Enter.

If the BOOT.INI was the cause of the problem, Windows will boot normally.

 
   
 
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  FaultWire Staff
Posted: 6-Oct-2008
 
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Run Startup Repair (Windows 7/Vista)
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Windows 7/Vista/2008 offer a semi-automatic way to fix a range of startup and file problems.

  1. Boot from your bootable Windows installation DVD and go into the 7/Vista Recovery Console.
  2. At the System Recovery Options menu, select Startup Repair.
  3. Remove the DVD and select the Restart button.

With luck this will correct the problem.

 
   
 
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  FaultWire Staff
Posted: 6-Oct-2008
 
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Set the Correct BIOS Boot Choice
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The BIOS may be configured to boot from the wrong device. If you suspect this, the device boot order can be changed in the BIOS setup. Be aware there little consistency in BIOS setup operations, even with the same manufacturer on different models. As such, these instructions are bit less precise than we'd prefer.

  1. Reboot and enter the BIOS setup. Often the BIOS displays the correct key to use briefly on screen or you may need to refer to the computer's user manual. Typically you hold down the Del, Esc, F1 or F2 key immediately after booting. The setup key can also be found in our BIOS access list.
  2. Look for a section on Boot or Booting. Often this appears on top menu. Select the Boot option, and if necessary the Boot order choice. The Boot order choices should list the order of boot devices. Typically the CD is the first boot device with the hard-disk typically second. The diskette may also occur before the hard disk, which is acceptable, although this will slow your hard disk boot by a few seconds. Avoid USB and network boots before the hard disk unless you know for sure you are using them (which is exceptionally rare).
  3. Save and exit the BIOS. It will force a reboot. See if this change corrects the issue.
 
   
 
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  FaultWire Staff
Posted: 6-Oct-2008
 
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Repair Damaged or Missing OS Files
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Use the Windows RE (Repair Environment) under Window 7/Vista to repair and replace missing or damaged files. For XP users, you can re-install XP without erasing applications or settings, or use the XP Recovery Console to fix some problems. Pick the OS solution below.

Using Windows RE for Windows 7/Vista/Server 2008

For detailed instructions with screen shots, go to Using System Restore 7/Vista/2008, or use the brief summary here:

You'll need the Windows installation DVD. Note that many OEM manufactures leave out the installation DVD, which has to be purchased separately, or they only include a limited restore DVD that just erases the system and starts over (often a poor choice). All retail copies of Windows include this bootable DVD.

Insert the Windows DVD and reboot the system. Assuming the BIOS defaults to booting from the DVD (usually the default) then select the language. Next click on Repair your computer. A list of Windows installations should appear. Select your installation (typically there will only be one).

A list of recovery options will appear including an automatic repair function, restore from a previous system restore point, restore the computer from a backup (assuming one is available), run the memory diagnostic tool, or go to a command prompt (for advanced users).

Using Windows Recovery for XP

For detailed instructions with screen shots, go to Using System Restore XP.

As a reminder, not all hal.dll files are the same and if the system was using a different version or one provided by the PC manufacturer that is different than the one you copied, it may cause odd behavior and/or hang at a later point.

 
   
 
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  FaultWire Staff
Posted: 5-Oct-2008
 
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  Vendor Summary  
     
 
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  Microsoft Corporation (more info...)

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