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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi,
been working off a fresh install of xp pro for the last week, and i swaped in an old hdd this morning, and xp failed to boot after. the error given says there the <windows dir>/system32/hal.dll is missing or corrupted.

the obvious soln would be to grab it off the install cd (nope), my sp1a disc (nope), or otherwise acqure a new copy (no good). the file itself is present, in the right locale, and unaltered (last modified sometime in 2002 [when sp1 was finished])

so the next suggestion i've heard/read is:

"Type bootcfg /rebuild, and then press ENTER.

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]."

this doesn't work either. tried several iterations of this.

then i heard: look at boot.ini, which i did. i tried maually switching which drive was poined to

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(2)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect

but this is right as well (3rd physical hdd [E:] and 1st [only] partition)

so i went to see what ms had to say:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;320252&Product=winxp

but this isn't really geared for someone with a completed and otherwise functional install.

so i've duplicate installed XP (in the cleverly named WINDOWS2 folder) from which i'm writing.

i really don't want to reformat. and i'd rather not to a repair/upgrade install that will force me to rebuild all my settings/drivers/reinstall all connected programs. i'll do it if i have to but it's a last resort.

oh, and 'restore from an earlier registry (i.e. scanreg)' isn't helping either. nor is removing the new hdd. it's still snafu'd

help help help.....

-mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
by fresh install, i meant xp, from disc, not by upgrade, on a blank hdd about 10 days ago.

and i put a secondary hdd in on my 2nd IDE channel, i already had an old IDE on the primary (cd/dvd's are the slaves on each, but they were already in and stable), and my main, recently new hdd is a sata, which shows up in bios as ide#3 (hence E:)

when i added the new drive, the rdrive# went from 1 to 2, as it should, but it became foulded up in some otherway and the symptom is the hal.dll error mesage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
ok, so it's not fixed at all. grr.

reformated/reinstalled after last post, things worked fine for a week, then hdd doesn't repond on boot. after a few retries, i get the HAL error again. so i figure it could be the SATA drive is damaged, or the connector or cable is, since they are known to be fidgety.
to test this i instal xp on a 40GB (parallel) IDE drive that i have been using for years (but known to have a small number of bad sectors... i scanned imediately prior to the install). this worked for the base install of XP, booting normally and allowing access to the SATA once more (though the bios was very slow to see it, and fails to do so entirely once every time i change the hardware config). after installing SP1A, firefox, java runtime, gaim, an ATI driver, a Gateway keyboard driver, azureus, and winamp all in one go , i get the HAL.dll error again. so my new suspect is one of these drivers/programs except that i had them all installed and working nicely for severaly reboots on the SATA prior to having problems.

I have since installed XP, SP1a, and the ATI driver sucessfully on a third 4GB IDE drive (from whence i type), and can access all three drives cleanly, but the 40GB and SATA remain unable to boot XP. i have coppied the system32 directory from the opperational 4GB to the 40GB, but it still won't boot from the larger drive (so it's not a question of the HAL.dll actually being damaged or missing). to further test the driver/progam error theory, i will install each one at a time and reboot in between to check stability. if that doesn't reveal anything, i will try installing xp again on the 40GB in a different machine, to test if it could be a mainboard problem (the IDE and SATA controllers are in the same ICH5 southbridge). I have also tested with two different, new power supplies, so that's not the issue either.

one last thing: i also had a kernal panic in mandrake about a week before my first post, seemingly caused be missing file(s) on boot, so this may have nothing at all to do with XP, or it could be coincidence.

this is really pissing me off. i've been through at least 8 OS installs in the past 3 weeks trying to figure this out. if you see anything obvious, please email me or IM me or at least post. I can still RMA the hardware for a day or two, but if it's a software issue that's not going to help (of course) and will cost me time and money.

thanks in advance
mark

[email protected], AIM=faminenull

specs:
SATA = 120GB samsung/7200/sata150
IDE= 40GB maxtor/7200/ata100, 4GB WD (speed unknown), DVD, CDRW
MB= MSI 865PE neo2
vid= ATI 9000
PS= enermax 350
 

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I have a similar problem this is on my old machine, specs;
XP HE sp1, P4 1.5GHz, 512MB PC133, 60GB WD HDD

My sister told me that first the system began freezing, eventually becoming unusable. She switched restarted it but then XP refused to boot up.

Basically, when I start up the machine, it'll ask for a choice of Safe mode, SM with Network, SM with Command console and Normal boot. No matter what I choose, as soon as it hits the XP load bar a few seconds the PC will restart.
I've tried booting from a floppy, but it comes up with something "missing hal.dll". Now I've done a search, downloaded the file and placed it along with the MSDOS boot disc. I can get the PC into MSDOS boot, but I can't see to copy the file over to C drive (using "copy a:\hal.dll c:\windows\system32" as it keeps saying invalid drive something etc.

My only other choice is to use the system restore disc, which basically puts it back to factory settings and I'll lose all the data. Please advise.
 

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Bigger problem now, I tried the Recovery disc (worked fine 6 months ago) and as it formated the drive and restored it, the program kept stalling with a Write error. I kept restarting and eventually it reached 94% complete. Then it stalled and now the recovery program won't run, it just says Critical error.

Well I'm stumped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
well, this issue is finally resolved for me. unfortunately, it required replacing a hard drive (at least it was new and i could RMA it. newegg's good about that). the kelly's korner link is good advice, though it was not helpful in my case. failing that, you might want to try the 'repair an installation of windows' option on the install disk (note that i do not mean the repair console you get by pressing R). this may clarify errors that are not a botched boot.ini. if nothing else works, try installing on another drive (if you have one) to see if it is related to a specific physical drive (as mine was) or if it's something else. also see if there are any other indications of disk damage/failure. check my above entries for some examples of this.

hope this is helpful for someone else. thanks to all who had suggestions, even if they just eliminated possibilities.
 

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Hmm, I'm beginning to think the HDD is buggered now, ah well 3 years of service it has kept well. Problem is, the XP I got is on the HDD partition as it came with the PC system. So to replace everything I'll need to get a new HDD and a copy of XP...bummer. :cry:
 
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