Seen this before?: \system32\hal.dll is missing or corrupted.
January 9, 2007 12:02 AM   Subscribe

It seems that I need to fix a corrupt BOOT.INI file on my Toshiba Portege 4005. I'm getting this error message: "(windows root)\system32\hal.dll is missing or corrupted. pls reinstall a copy of the above file." This machine shipped with Recovery CDs, but

the only option when using those is to wipe the hard drive clean and reinstall the original setup. Until I'm forced to completely surrender, I'm regarding that choice as a bit drastic. I'd like to repair the BOOT.INI file using a reliable utility or program, but I don't have a floppy drive for this machine and the CD drive sort of sucks. Can I use a PC Card or USB stick in lieu of a floppy? Who, if anyone, make a good utility for making this kind of repair? Any suggestions greatly appreciated.
posted by zephyrbill to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Can you access your current boot.ini ? What you need to find out is if the MBR is pointing to the correct drive number/partition in your current boot.ini .

Your best bet at this point is to start with BartPE, Ultimate BootCD, or a Knoppix CD (the last is Linux, which is not recommended if you aren't somewhat Linux savvy). The other two are similar.

Boot into one of those environments (you can make either a CD or USB boot), and take a look at your existing boot.ini. It may not actually be corrupt, but may point to an invalid partition. If, however, you haven't mucked around with anything, there may be other problems.
posted by stovenator at 12:22 AM on January 9, 2007

Oops. Forgot links:

Bart PE
UBCD4W (Ultimate Boot CD For Windows)
posted by stovenator at 12:24 AM on January 9, 2007

From here:

Option 1:

Boot from your CD and follow the directions to start Recovery Console. Then:

Attrib -H -R -S C:\Boot.ini
DEL C:\Boot.ini
BootCfg /Rebuild

to get to the recovery console without a win xp cd,
direct download:
I assume you know to not just place the iso file on the cd, but to select the option 'burn disk image' in your cd burning program.
posted by defcom1 at 5:20 AM on January 9, 2007

I had this problem about a month ago, and it was my own stupidity. I had connected a USB external HDD used for backup and then shut down the PC. When I started it again, I had the same error message as the OP because (as I later realised) USB was above my SATA HDD in the BIOS boot sequence, so my Windows files 'weren't there'!

What I should have done straight away (and figured out later) was remove the USB drive and restart.

From the post, I assume you're not as stupid as me, but I thought I'd shame myself for the benefit of future searchers ;)

What I actually tried was similar to Option 2 in defcom1's kellys korner link - renaming the existing hal.dll to hal.old and replacing it with a copy of hal.dll expanded from the XP SP2 disk.

That should at least get your PC to boot up so you can have a proper look at the boot.ini, and if it's not corrupted, you can replace the new hal.dll with hal.old.
posted by emtanner at 11:51 AM on January 9, 2007

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