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Fatal Startup Solutions

load needed DLLs for HAL.


Windows startup could not find a DLL that the HAL.DLL specifies. This is often caused by a hardware memory problem or an improper HAL.DLL file.

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load needed DLLs for HAL.

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  load needed DLLs for HAL. 

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Check Memory
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You may have a defective memory. This is even more likely if it only occurs when the system is cold or hot, but not all the time. Use a memory tester to confirm if it is defective or if you have spare memory, try replacement.

Windows 7 and Vista include a Memory Test program when booting from the Windows Installation DVD. Step-by-step instructions with screen shots are available at Using System Restore on 7/Vista/2008 as part of System Recovery.

Several software products that also provide memory and video diagnostics includes Fix-It Utilities Professional and SystemSuite Professional. Other diagnostic products include Eurosoft's PC Check and Iolo's System Mechanic.

Additional Memory Solutions:

  • Confirm all the memory is of the same type and speed. Many motherboards only work correctly when the memory is installed with matched sets and matched speeds.
  • If you added or changed your memory just before this problem occurred, try reverting to the prior memory configuration to confirm it's the source of the problem.
  • Check that the memory is fully seated in the sockets. Memory sockets often have side latches that need to be upright to indicate the memory is correctly locked in place.
  • Confirm the memory resides in the correct slots on the motherboard. You'll need to refer to the motherboard manual to confirm this. There is little consistency, even within a single vendor. Some systems require that memory is installed as matched pairs, but not always adjacent to each other!
  • It's also possible the memory problem is on the video card, as they often contain additional memory. The video card should be tested and/or try a different video card to see if the problem goes away.
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  FaultWire Staff
Posted: 5-Oct-2008
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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