Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 16
  1. #1
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    U.K.
    Posts
    14,010
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    My neighbour's computer can't get past the boot stage, coming up with:
    "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've checked the boot order and run some basic diagnostics on the drive but as I can't get past the error, have decided that a re-install is probably the easiest/best solution. The pc is about 5 years old, so the cleanup a re-install would provide would have great advantages.

    However, am I right in assuming a re-install will obliterate all his 'My Documents' and sub-folders? I personally never use these folders, keeping 'my' stuff in a separate folder if not on a different partition, so I've never had to find out the hard way. He's happy for me to fit a new drive for the re-install and see if we can recover his personal stuff from the original if I make it a secondary drive, and I think this will be the most efficient method to resolve the problem.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    A cultural area in SW England
    Posts
    3,414
    Thanks
    33
    Thanked 195 Times in 175 Posts
    [quote name='Leif' post='795234' date='28-Sep-2009 07:28']My neighbour's computer can't get past the boot stage, coming up with:
    "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've checked the boot order and run some basic diagnostics on the drive but as I can't get past the error, have decided that a re-install is probably the easiest/best solution. The pc is about 5 years old, so the cleanup a re-install would provide would have great advantages.

    However, am I right in assuming a re-install will obliterate all his 'My Documents' and sub-folders? I personally never use these folders, keeping 'my' stuff in a separate folder if not on a different partition, so I've never had to find out the hard way. He's happy for me to fit a new drive for the re-install and see if we can recover his personal stuff from the original if I make it a secondary drive, and I think this will be the most efficient method to resolve the problem.[/quote]
    Have you tried booting from the XP installation CD and attempting a Repair?
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    U.K.
    Posts
    14,010
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    [quote name='BATcher' post='795237' date='28-Sep-2009 08:06']Have you tried booting from the XP installation CD and attempting a Repair?[/quote]
    I thought that you would have been able to determine from the above that I had not!

    I am aware of the Repair using Recovery Console option, and that I should be offered a Repair option in Setup. My main concern is to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that any kind of Repair or Re-install will leave the user's profile (My Documents etc.) intact.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    A cultural area in SW England
    Posts
    3,414
    Thanks
    33
    Thanked 195 Times in 175 Posts
    [quote name='Leif' post='795239' date='28-Sep-2009 08:30']I thought that you would have been able to determine from the above that I had not!

    I am aware of the Repair using Recovery Console option, and that I should be offered a Repair option in Setup. My main concern is to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that any kind of Repair or Re-install will leave the user's profile (My Documents etc.) intact.[/quote]
    I can't imagine why a repair of the operating system would do anything to user profiles!
    Neither would a 'parallel installation' of Windows, if you can do this.

    But for absolute peace of mind do what you're suggesting; make it a secondary drive and install XP again to a new, primary drive. All you have to find are the appropriate power and data cables, Y-splitters, mounting screws, and the like, if they aren't already present!
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    10,550
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
    [quote name='Leif' post='795239' date='28-Sep-2009 08:30']I thought that you would have been able to determine from the above that I had not!

    I am aware of the Repair using Recovery Console option, and that I should be offered a Repair option in Setup. My main concern is to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that any kind of Repair or Re-install will leave the user's profile (My Documents etc.) intact.[/quote]

    My advice is to do an image backup, using True Image or an equivalent product booted from a CD, before you do anything else.

  6. #6
    Uranium Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    6,684
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 11 Times in 11 Posts
    Pulling the problem drive and installing a new HD to recieve a clean install of XP seems the best option. Once slaved to that drive, the old drive should be readily accessable and you can simply move all the appropriate and necessary settings, folders and files to the new drive. Here's a little document I keep around for just such emergencies.
    <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/DocWatson_sig.gif>

  7. #7
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    St Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    23,577
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 1,057 Times in 926 Posts
    [quote name='Leif' post='795239' date='28-Sep-2009 02:30']I thought that you would have been able to determine from the above that I had not!

    I am aware of the Repair using Recovery Console option, and that I should be offered a Repair option in Setup. My main concern is to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that any kind of Repair or Re-install will leave the user's profile (My Documents etc.) intact.[/quote]

    If service pack(s) have been applied you will not be able to do a repair install from the original CD. You'd need an installation CD with the service pack corresponding to the installed version slipstreamed.

    If you can run a repair install the user files should be fine.

    Have you tried booting to "Last know good configuration"?

    Joe
    Joe

  8. #8
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    6,308
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    [quote name='Leif' post='795239' date='28-Sep-2009 03:30']I thought that you would have been able to determine from the above that I had not!

    I am aware of the Repair using Recovery Console option, and that I should be offered a Repair option in Setup. My main concern is to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that any kind of Repair or Re-install will leave the user's profile (My Documents etc.) intact.[/quote]
    If it truly is a corrupt hal.DLL file, you can copy just that file from the original XP CD. I that doesn't do it, a repair re-install seems in order.
    Check this site for hal.dll restoration. http://pcsupport.about.com/od/fixtheproble...storehaldll.htm
    BOB
    http://lounge.windowssecrets.com/S/flags/USA.gif http://lounge.windowssecrets.com/S/f...sachusetts.gif


    Long ago, there was a time when men cursed and beat on the ground with sticks. It was called witchcraft.
    Today it is called golf!

  9. #9
    Uranium Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    6,684
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 11 Times in 11 Posts
    My last problem for a client a couple weekends ago, started with corrupt .dll warnings. Replaced the one said to be a problem and then the next and the next and the next, ad infinitum. Worth a try, for sure, but be forewarned.
    <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/DocWatson_sig.gif>

  10. #10
    Plutonium Lounger
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    10,550
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
    [quote name='Leif' post='795234' date='28-Sep-2009 07:28']
    "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."
    [/quote]
    This message does not always mean what it seems to, because hal.dll is the first file to be loaded from the location pointed to by boot.ini, so a corrupt or missing boot.ini can also cause this message.

    Another possible cause is when you have a multi-boot system and the active partition is NOT the same one as where you have all your XP files, if the XP disk is missing or completely corrupt then I think this is the error message you will see.

  11. #11
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    U.K.
    Posts
    14,010
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Thanks one and all for the suggestions.

    I've just tried Viking's suggestion of copying (expanding) the file from the installation cd, but it don't want to know. From the repair console I can browse c:\ and c:\windows\, but c:\windows\system32\ gives me a drive 'enumerating' error.

    I have a suspicion the drive may be on it's way out - I'll stuff a spare IDE drive in and see where I get to with a clean install.

  12. #12
    Uranium Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    6,684
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 11 Times in 11 Posts
    [quote name='Leif' post='795350' date='28-Sep-2009 15:15']I have a suspicion the drive may be on it's way out - I'll stuff a spare IDE drive in and see where I get to with a clean install.[/quote]
    Sounds like a plan.
    <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/DocWatson_sig.gif>

  13. #13
    Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Sonoma County, California, US of A
    Posts
    63
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    [quote name='Leif' post='795350' date='28-Sep-2009 12:15']Thanks one and all for the suggestions.

    I've just tried Viking's suggestion of copying (expanding) the file from the installation cd, but it don't want to know. From the repair console I can browse c:\ and c:\windows\, but c:\windows\system32\ gives me a drive 'enumerating' error.

    I have a suspicion the drive may be on it's way out - I'll stuff a spare IDE drive in and see where I get to with a clean install.[/quote]


    FWIW I've had this kind of problem twice, once an unknown transient problem that an image restoration solved, and once it was a hard drive failure (which various drive diagnostics did not point out)

    Good luck, Dave

  14. #14
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    U.K.
    Posts
    14,010
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    To wrap it all up:
    I fitted a spare IDE drive I had and a clean install went fine. On connecting the original drive, chkdsk kicked in immediately on power-up and it spent 30 minutes deleting and repairing. (Chkdsk reported no bad sectors, but I don't believe everything I read!)
    I reckon I've got 95%+ of the important data safe, so my neighbour is happy. All that remains is to trash the original drive, sell him the idea of investing in a back-up usb drive, and enjoy the pint or two I'm due

  15. #15
    Plutonium Lounger
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    10,550
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
    [quote name='Leif' post='795723' date='30-Sep-2009 20:27']...and enjoy the pint or two I'm due [/quote]
    Do you need any help with this part?

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •