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Dual boot XP & XP or boot from clone problem

Posted on 2007-04-01
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-30
I have a partition  which has a clone of my XP Professional installation made with Acronis True Image Home. It sits on a partition on a 400GB IDE drive. The original is on an 80GB IDE drive
What I need to do is boot from the clone partition, but there is always a HAL.dll error. I copy over hal.dll and still the same problem.
What I would like to do is either dual boot or preferably just boot from the clone.
All the options given with the XP installation disc in the drive require the whole disc to be wiped, but I don't want to lose other data at this stage (about 180GB).
Any help, please?
Question by:Harry_Stottle
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LVL 32

Accepted Solution

and235100 earned 400 total points
ID: 18831447
You will probably need to boot to Recovery Console (using a Windows CD), and hit "R" on the first blue screen.

Then run the following commands:




You should now have an option to boot from the second drive.

If no - boot into your first OS - and edit the boot.ini on the boot partition.

You can use msconfig (start, run, type msconfig) to change the boot.ini

In msconfig - click on the boot.ini tab - and copy your first line ending with "Windows XP Professional" to a second line (under it) - and then change the disk path:


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

(change the disk/rdisk values as appropriate.

Examples here:

Author Comment

ID: 18831472
I have already tried fixmbr, but did not run fixboot.
the dialogue stated something along the lines that the structure was not correct.
Sorry if I am vague, but this was late last night!
I will try the boot.ini editing and see how I go.
The link you sent is very good,
LVL 70

Assisted Solution

KCTS earned 400 total points
ID: 18831489
This problem occurs becasue the HAL (Hardware Absraction Layer) required by the machines is different. For instance, an older Pentium 4 machine will use the Uniprocessor HAL, while a newer Pentium 4 machine likely has a hyperthreading processor or even a Pentium D Dual-Core Processor, both of which qualify for the Multiprocessor HAL.To get around this you need to do some preparations before imaging the machine and copying the image to the other machine,

You need to create a sysprep.inf setup file  on the first machine and run sysprep on the original machine .

You will first need to install the deployment tools from the Windows CD onto the XP machine. Install the XP CD, navigate to the \Support\Tools folder and double click on the file. Selcect all of the files in Deploy,cab, right click, extract, and extract all the files to a folder called C:\sysprep. (the folder name is important)

Run the SetupMgr program from C:\Sysprep and  select a new answer file, for a sysprep install for Windows XP. Select, Yes fully automate.  and go through and supply all the relevant information. If you select a fully automated installation as suggested you will not be able to leave some entries like ‘computer name’ and ‘product key’ blank but if you want to enter them at install time, don’t worry too much now, just type in something and you can remove it in the next step.

After completing the answer file save it as C:\Sysprep\sysprep.inf. and close the dialog box. If you want to edit it the sysprep file, you can right click on sysprep.inf and select Open With… Notepad.  You can then change bits. For example if you want to be prompted for the computer name at install time change the line that reads


As the value is now blank, you will be prompted for the computer name at install.

As for the HAL, If you are going imaging from Uniprocessor HAL base machine to Multiprocessor HAL clone, then add this line to the UNATTENDED section of the sysprep.inf

UpdateHAL = "ACPIAPIC_MP,%WINDIR%\Inf\Hal.inf"

Once you are happy, it might be a good idea to copy the C:\Sysprep folder to a removable device such as a USB memory stick as the whole of the C:\sysprep folder will be permanently deleted later on in the process.

Now we need to run Sysprep. Douple click on Sysprep.exe. Make sure that the ‘Mini-setup’ and 'PNP' optiona ARE selected and ‘NoSidGen is NOT selected and the SHUTDOWN option is selected before pressing RESEAL.

Windows will then strip the SIDs and other identifies out of Windows and prepare it for imaging. Windows will then shutdown.

Once Windows is shutdown you need to start the PC booting from either a floppy disk or CD that contains your third party imaging program. This can be Symantec Ghost, Acronis, Drive Image similar. You then need to copy the image file to a removable disk, CDs/DVDs network drive or whatever.

You then need to start the new PC, boot that from the floppy disk or CD that contains your third party imaging program and copy the image that you mage of the first PC to the new PC.

When the image has been copied you can reboot the new PC. Windows will start and go through the mini-setup and configure itself using the sysprep.inf file that you created. If you left any of the required options, like computer name blank, you will be prompted to type them in.  Otherwise setup will be automatic. As its only re-configuring, not reinstalling the mini-setup takes about 5mins, at then end of which you will have a new computer which is identical to the first one but with a different name and different SIDs. All of the software and configurations will be preserved.


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Author Comment

ID: 18831534
Thank you for the reply.
My problem is that both the original XP installation and the clone were made on the same PC. I haven't had to migrate, so the HAL should be the same. I can see the point about stripping SIDS from Windows and then reinstalling, but the cloned version on the partition on the 400GB HD is identical to the original on the 80 GB drive.
When I disconnect the 80GB drive and try to boot from the partition with the clone, this is when I get the HAL.dll error.
I have copied hal.dll from the good drive, over to the partition. They are identical. Same size, date, etc

Assisted Solution

Calmar46 earned 200 total points
ID: 18832672
The problem is, you have BIOS booting to a 'system' partition which does not contain a proper boot.ini. This is usually the cause of a HAL error. You apparently have ntldr, or the HAL error would not appear. Best, if you want to boot from the cloned OS, make sure ntldr,, and boot.ini are in the "Active, System" root.

Further, if both HDD's are installed, be sure boot.ini has a line for each OS (rdisk(0)partition(1) and rdisk(1)partition(1), assuming the OS's are in the first primary partition of each HDD). This will give you the ability to double boot.
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 18835621
Glad I could help out.

Thank you.

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