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hal.dll issues

Posted on 2008-10-20
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
On startup I get error Files are missing or corrupted hal.dll. I boot my Media Center machine from an old XP Pro disk and run recovery console.All efforts to edit boot.ini fail. When I try to expand hal.dll from my XP disk, I get "Access is denied". Any suggestions?
Thanks
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Question by:pcunningham39
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 22758363
If you have an XP CD, then you should be able to build the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows, described below.  This tool should allow you much more freedom in editing Boot.ini or replacing hal.dll, etc.:

http://www.ubcd4win.com/

What is the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows?
UBCD4Win is a bootable CD which contains software that allows you to repair, restore, or diagnose almost any computer problem. Our goal is to be the ultimate free hardware and software diagnostic tool. All software included in UBCD4Win are freeware utilities for Windows®. UBCD4Win is based on Bart's PE©. Bart's PE© builds a Windows® "pre-install" environment CD, basically Windows® booted from CD. We include many free hardware and software diagnostic tools that allow you to fix almost any problem you will face with your computer. With network support, the ability to modify NTFS volumes, recover deleted files, create new NTFS volumes, scan hard drives for viruses, etc. this project includes almost everything you need to repair your system problems. This project has been put together to be the ultimate recovery cd and not a replacement OS (Operating System). Please visit the "List of Tools" page for a complete list of what is included in the latest version of the project.

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by:t0t0
ID: 22758708
When at the recovery console, try expanding the file using the following command:

    expand d:\i386\hal.dl_ c:\windows\system32\hal.dll

If you're prompted to overwrite the file press Y. Then exit and reboot.



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by:pcunningham39
ID: 22758932
When i tried the expand command, I get the error message "Access is denied" . Any way around this?  i am going to try the UBCDWin disk, but what will it allow me to do that recovery console wouldn't, and how do I use it in my damaged machine? Thanks for your comments
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 22759209
The reason it should allow you to do almost anything, while the Recovery Console is very limited, is that it bypasses all Windows security.  When you boot from the CD, you will be starting a sort of "mini" Windows XP, with all sorts of utilities built in, even some Windows Explorer substitutes.  It looks quite a lot like XP, with a Start Menu and Taskbar.  The tools have been arranged in a logical way on the "start menu" under various categories.  There is even a way of going to the Command Prompt, which is like the Recovery Console, except there are none of the restrictions about what directories you can enter, copy from or to, etc.  Look on the List of Tools page to see what will be available for use.
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by:pcunningham39
ID: 22759737
I am now trying to build my UBCD disk. I have copied my XP disk to a folder named xpcd following instructions from the ubcd website. When i get to the main screen I use this source path C:\UBCD4Win\xpcd\. If i try to use the plugins button I get "Please enter a valid source path first C:\UBCD4Win\xpcd\i386\ntldll.dll not found" If i try to ignore plugins option and create ISO image I get "Cannot find file C:\UBCD4Win\xpcd\i386\setupdlr.bin" Sorry for my lack of expertise with syntax. Can you point me in the right direction?
Thanks again
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 22760029
I have an old i386 folder on my Vista computer's, copied from an old original version XP installation CD.  I looked for a file called ntldll.dll and couldn't find it.  I think you may be using the same version of XP for building your UBCD4Win CD, and that is the reason for your error message about ntldll.dll not found.  BUT, from the following page:

http://www.ubcd4win.com/faq.htm#require

quote:  

What are the requirements for building UBCD4Win?
1. The files from your Windows® Installation CD-Rom.
Supported Windows® versions are:

Windows® XP Home Edition (must be slip streamed with Service Pack 1 or higher)
Windows® XP Professional (must be slip streamed with Service Pack 1 or higher)
Windows® Server 2003, Web Edition
Windows® Server 2003, Standard Edition
Windows® Server 2003, Enterprise Edition
2. UBCD4Win Builder runs on Windows® 2000/XP/2003 systems.
3. You must be able to record an ISO image to a CD-Rom or DVD media.

So the XP Pro CD must be slipstreamed with Service Pack 1 or higher.  Is it true that the version of XP on your CD is not SP1 or higher?

If this is so, then either you should see if you can borrow someone else's XP CD with SP1 or higher already included or you should download SP3 and sllipstream it into your XP CD.  Instructions can be found on this web page:

http://www.lancelhoff.com/2008/03/12/how-to-slipstream-service-pack-3-into-windows-xp/
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by:t0t0
ID: 22760375
Have you tried booting your PC to floppy or CD using NTFSDOS ?

This would givew you immediate access to your hard drive and you would be in a position to correct any errors and a copy a downloaded hal.dll file to the hard drive.

Why use a sledgehammer to crack a nut?

Obviously, if there are issues with the filesystem on your hard drive then you can investigate further.

The UBCD is not some magic piece of kit guaranteed to solve your problem - it's merely a collection of software tools and utilities which are part of an engineers collections of tools in one form or another and can be downloaded from various sources on the internet. Most of the utilities are freeware but bear in mind, in the wrong hands some of these tools can actually do more damage than good.
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by:pcunningham39
ID: 22761528
Never mind, i figured out the proper source path. i am proceeding with the build. I'll let you know how I make out
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by:pcunningham39
ID: 22761649
How wuld I go about booting to CD using NTFSDOS. i am unfamiliar with this process
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by:pcunningham39
ID: 22763302
I have created my UBCD. When i try to launch UBCD for Windows, I get the BSODI can boot the Ultimate Boot CD, but now I am afraid, very afraid. Which tools should I use to attack my problem, and which should I avoid
Thanks again
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by:pcunningham39
ID: 22763324
I tried Salvation Scan which could not find hard disk drive. I'm getting scareder and scareder
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by:t0t0
ID: 22764955
The first thing you should ascertain is whether your problem is hardware or software related

From a hardware point of view, your drive may have died.

On the otherhand your drive might not have died but merely become corrupted. The hard drive boots off the Master Boot Record (MBR) and if the MBR is corrupted then your drive will show up as not being present.

(1) Establish whether or not the PC BIOS can see your drive.

Enter your PC's BIOS during the boot up process known as POST (Power On Self Test) usually by pressing the [DEL] key on the numeric keypad, of [F2] or [F10] of some other key specific to your PC - check your manual or check the net.

Your hard drive should show up in the BIOS (usually on the first page/screen) as being present. If it isn't then you may have a hardware problem.

At this point you should confirm the BIOS setting are what they should be.... More on this in a mo.

If you suspect you have a hardware problem, you'll need to open up your PC and check your drive.

(i) If the drive is mounted upside down, check there isn't a layer of dust on the drive's printed circuit board as dust can act as a conductor - so blow off any dust.and dry wipe clean.

(ii) Listen to the drive while there's power to the PC - you should hear ithe sound of it spinning.

(iii) Reseat the power connector - unplug the hard drive's power connector and plug it back in agan.

(iv) Reseat the data cable - unplug the hard drive's data cable from the hard drive and the system board and plug it back in again.

(v) If the hard drive's data cable is also plugged into another drive, say the CDROM drive, unplug it so that you have a direct connection to just your hard drive (this isolatates possible problems cused by other devices).

(vi) Does your BIOS 'see' and recognise your hard drive? Confirm your BIOS's drive settings are what they should be. Is the drive disabled? Has the BIOS become corrupted?

If at this point your PC's BIOS cannot find your hard drive you must do further tests... such as, swap out the data cable (eliminate the possibility of the data cabe being faulty (has been known).

Confirm the hard drive's jumper settings, if any, are what they should be (may have worked loose). Reseat them, if any (has been known to cause failures).

Can you restore your 'BIOS' default settings'? If things are really dire at the BIOS level, you can boot from a floppy (or CD) having first downloaded an updated BIOS image and utility for updating your current BIOS - check your system board's manufacturer's website.

Does the drive 'spin up' when you fire up the PC? (Good sign).

Do you hear any 'clunking' sounds from the hard drive when you power up the PC. (Bad sign).

If all fails, try fitting the hard drive into another PC to see if the other PC can 'see' the drive (isolates the hard drive controller circuit).

If you cannot get your PC's BIOS to 'find' your hard drive then you cannot proceed any further. In which case, your hard drive may have died (happens more frequently than you'd believe).

If you can 'see' you hard drive in your BIOS or on the screen during the POST then your problems might not be hardware related - Good.

Boot from a floppy or CD, at the DOS prompt, try changing to drive C by entering 'C:' (or whatever your drive letter is - could be D: in a two drive setup).

If you can't change to the drive then the drive my be corrupted. From the floppy (or CD) use DOS's FDISK utility and choose option 4 (or 5) to view your hard drive's partition tables.

If FDISK cannot see your hard drive then your problem might be hardware / BIOS related and you cannot proceed.

An 'FDISK /MBR'command can repair the hard drive's Master Boot Record, in which case data on the drive may still be intact.

That should keep you busy for a while.... let us know how you get on.
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 22772421
>An 'FDISK /MBR'command can repair the hard drive's Master Boot Record, in which case data on the drive may still be intact.

This part I don't agree with;  FDISK /MBR was for versions of Windows prior to XP.  Do NOT use FDISK /MBR with a Windows XP computer.  It is not meant for use in XP or 2k systems.  See the following question for some good info on the Master Boot Record in Windows systems:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/WinXP/Q_20408614.html

As further evidence that FDISK /MBR shouldn't be used with XP, I'll quote from this page:

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/treeview/default.asp?url=/technet/columns/bong/winxppro/default.asp

fdisk /mbr should never be used with a NT OS's unless you want to eliminate the NT boot sector and replace it with the DOS boot sector, so you can reload DOS/Win9x OS. Difference being - FDISK /MBR sets a system up to boot DOS, thus the boot sector tell the machine to look for a file call IO.SYS to continue booting the OS. NT OS's on the other hand have utilities (depends on which version of NT - 2k/XP use the "recovery console" - I'm unsure about NT 4.0) to replace the boot sector with the NT boot info to look for the files NTLDR, NTDETECT.COM, and BOOT.INI.

The proper way to fix the MBR in XP is to use Recovery Console and type the FIXMBR command.  But this presumes that you have either: a) installed the Recovery Console on your XP system, and have a copy of the installation files for XP on your hard drive, usually in a folder (or subfolder) called i386  or b) you have the XP install CD and can boot to it and run Recovery Console from there.  See this article:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;307654
HOW TO: Install and Use the Recovery Console in Windows XP
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 22772439
>When i try to launch UBCD for Windows, I get the BSOD

What do you mean by "launching" UBCD?  Are you booting from the CD?  In the next sentence you said you can boot the UBCD.  And what sort of error is connected with BSOD?
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by:pcunningham39
ID: 22772612
I've explored all of the tests that I felt comfortable trying on the UBCD disc. My hard drives get detected, data is apparently there, but any time I try to access the Windows repair console, I get the BSOD. I've tried another approach, and with all due respect to your expertise and the substantial amount of thought that you've offered me, i would like to know what you think. I've downloaded Knoppix, and can boot from the disk (a little bit of work involved to find the cheat codes to allow my monitor and mouse to function properly.) From this point I intend to copy the files and applications that I intend to save to an external hard drive (yet to be purchased), then do a clean install of Windows XP Media Center. What do you guys think? Thanks again and kudos to you guys for your expertise and effort
)
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by:t0t0
ID: 22772639
Thank you LeeTutor for pointing out the above. A genuine oversight.
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 22772651
Well, you don't need to use Knoppix to copy files to an external hard drive, you can use UBCD4Win, using one of the Windows Explorer substitutes on the disk.

This page gives some possible explanations for the hal.dll issue:

http://pcsupport.about.com/od/findbyerrormessage/a/missinghaldll.htm

You should be able to try at least some of them using UBCD4Win.  If that doesn't work, then I heartily approve your idea of doing a clean install of XP Media Center.
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t0t0 earned 500 total points
ID: 22772667
Yeah, a clean XP install will re-prepare the disk and give yo a fresh install....

I take it you can access the files at the moment and copy the important ones to a safe location first though.

Of course, another quick fix would have been to whip the drive out of the PC and connect as an additional drive to another XP PC. Fire up the PC and yo should be able to see your drive.

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