trying to fix hal.dl error in XP recovery console. No prompts to select which window installation or admin password prompt. takes me to C:\ command line. access denied when use expand, CD, and other recovery commands

Dell Inspiron Laptop with Windows XP Media Center 2005 w/ Update Rollup2

Problem:
"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 Can't Run Windows XP System Restore from a command prompt.

Using Windows XP Recovery Console,
I do not get prompt to select which windows installation would like to load. I don't get prompt for administrator password. Just get command line "C:\"


From C:\ I tried the following commands:

  • "logon",  -> returns back with C:\ (looks like it does not recognize windows installation).
  • "fixboot", -> "Fixboot cannot open partition"
  • "bootcfg /rebuild", -> "Failed to successfully scan disks for Windows installations. This error may be caused by corrupt file system...."
  • "chkdsk", -> "volume appears to contain one or more unrecoverable errors.
  • "expand d:\i386\hal.dl_ c:\windows\system32", -> "Access is denied"
  • "DIR", I can see my files and directories
  • "CD WINDOWS" or any folder, get "Access is denied"

Diagnostic Info:
When I ran diagnostics, received following errors:

IDE Read Test: Failed
Error Code 0F00:0244
Msg Block 1613360: Uncorrectable data error or media protected

IDE Verify Test: Failed
Error Code 0f00:1A44
Msg Block 1613360: Uncorrectable data error or media protected

Questions:
Any ideas how to logon windows when it's not prompting me to do so?
Any other ideas how to fix hal.dl error when I can't access folders and the fixboot, chkdsk, and bootcfg commands do not work?
Any ideas how I can save my files if I have to re-install Windows?

 
Question Info

Last updated August 3, 2018 Views 10,476 Applies to:

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okidokie the reason you don't get  a prompt is because when it was first installed the password for that account was never set to anuything hence you can simply bypass haveing to log in.

the reason you got access dienied is because you need to be an administrator to copy hal.dll into that folder
before you type that expand command do this first:

runas /user:Administrator cmd

from there it will change the prompt into an administrators prompt and allow you to make modifications to the system32 folder

BUT

if that still doesn't work, what you can do is just take out the hard drive and ask someone else to copy the hal.dll file from their windows xp system32 folder over for you. i reckon there will be more to it than that though i reckon heaps of other files will not be working. windows just seemingly says hal.dll is corrupt for every problem gees next it will blame hal.dll for global warming heheheh

good luck

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Thanks for the tip.
When I tried the runas command, looks like it doesn't work in Recovery Console. I will see if I can get someone to copy the hal.dll file for me as you mentioned or have someone save my files using Linux Live CD as mentioned in another post.  Then I will try to repair Windows or re-install. 

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I have used a Windows 7 recovery disk this negated the need for the runas command as that does not work in window xp restore.

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runas /user:Administrator cmd
That doesn't work as you can't see any of C: because it found no installations, even when the Administrator is enabled with a pwd.

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None of these replies are appropriate or helpful for this condition.

As you can read, everything says it doesn't work - and those replies will never work.

You need something that does work for this condition and maybe even some advice and replies from someone that actually knows what is going on with this situation, what it means (and what it doesn't mean), knows how to fix it, and has actually fixed it before without trying a bunch of junk that doesn't work... and it ain't here.

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Like the OP, I had this problem on an XP MCE PC when trying to do Recovery Console from an XP Pro Install disk, because I can't do it from the built-in one as the Boot was broken.

Yet when I fixed the Boot, the XP Pro disk still did not work in this way but the XP MCE built-in one did work.

Also the XP Pro disk did run the Recovery Console on a Vista PC!

So, maybe it's something particular with XP Media Center Edition?

 

 

 

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Typically the Recovery Console will start with a prompt at the %systemroot% (Windows) folder.  Not being able to gain access to the %systemroot% folder, or having the Recovery Console start at the C:\ prompt, or getting access denied error message when trying to log on to the Recovery Console it is often a telltale sign of disk or file system corruption.

Run a chkdsk /r on the drive.  At the Recovery Console a handful of commands can be run without having to log on to the Windows installation, chkdsk is one of these commands.  Fixboot and Fixmbr are two other ones, if chkdsk cannot complete or if you cannot execute the Fixboot or Fixmbr commands the file system is corrupt.

From the information that you post it appears that your disk may have failed, you can try mounting the disk in another computer and see if the disk is accessible.  If the nature of the failure is NTFS corruption you can try accessing the disk with a Linux boot disk, Linux can often read NTFS disks when Windows cannot.  If these don't work then you will have to look into file recovery software or entrust the drive to data recovery professionals.

John
Programmers are either not taught about Occam's razor or they forgot about it the following day.

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If the Windows CD, a Recovery Console CD will not "see" the HDD when using the Recovery Console, it is also a sign that you may need to adjust your BIOS configuration for your hard disk so that when you boot into the Recovery Console you can do what you need to do.

The problem is most likely an afflicted boot.ini file.

Unfortunately, the MS Answers forums does not prompt for any system information when a new question is asked, so we know absolutely nothing about your system.  This gross deficiency in the MS Answers forums implementation unnecessarily prolongs the resolution of simple problems.

We don't know anything about your system make and model, how your system got this way, what you think might have happened to it since it last worked properly, what your antivirus/antimalware situation is, what your Service Pack is...  you know...  little things like that.

Here is one excerpt from my notes, but it may not apply to your situation:

You can get into the system BIOS and locate the Serial ATA or SATA configuration section (or sometimes is called On Chip Config) and change the mode from the AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) to IDE or Compatibility and then your XP CD and the Recovery Console will see the drive just fine.

For the hal.dll missing problem, you need to first start with a chkdsk /r (somehow) and then take a look at your boot.ini file.

The message rarely means the hal.dll file is really missing or corrupt - it means XP can't find it.

And you should not be extracting any hal.dll from your installation CD unless you know which of the possible hal.dlls on the installation CD match your hardware.  You have a 1 in 7 chance of getting the right one. 

I can guarantee you that (unless you are running VMWare) extracting the hal.dl_ from your installation CD is the WRONG one and if somebody gives you that advice, they need to go to XP school.  Then you will have wasted more time going down the wrong road like the poor folks before you in this thread.  I have never had to replace a hal.dll in my life.

If you cannot get the Recovery Console to behave, you can create a Hiren's boot CD and do the same thing (even easier).

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With respect I think y'all are reading too much into this.

My original problem was that I simply had an incorrect BOOT.INI (me bad!) which I did fix easily by deleting it with Hiren's boot CD. Thanks for endorsing that.

However the point of my post was not seeking that fix but observing that on my XP MCE PC attempting to run the Recovery Console (RC) from a XP Pro Disk always results in:

  • No prompt to select which Win Installation to use
  • No prompt for administrator password
  • The C:> prompt is displayed but there is nothing there (i.e. DIR says "Not a Floppy or CD")
  • MAP cmd shows only A: Floppy + 2 x CDs; no HDDs at all

regardless of whether XP MCE PC is working/booting correctly or not,

Whereas the XP MCE's own built-in RC always works correctly .

Also the XP Pro Disk's RC always works correctly on Vista.

So leading to the conclusion that there is something particular about my XP MCE (see my next post).

 

On other points raised:

  1. The HDD is unlikely to be corrupt if the XP MCE in-built RC works OK every time; it's simply that the XP Pro RC doesn't see the HDD..
  2. CHKDSK does not run because there is no C: drive to see. Similarly with BOOTCFG.
  3. There was nothing wrong with HAL.DLL itself; just an error msg about it which is triggered by the faulty BOOT.INI and so I never even contemplated replacing it. In fact the is a M/S KB about just this occurrence: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314477

 

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You can get into the system BIOS and locate the Serial ATA or SATA configuration section (or sometimes is called On Chip Config) and change the mode from the AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) to IDE or Compatibility and then your XP CD and the Recovery Console will see the drive just fine.

Now that looks promising for the cause of the XP Disk's RC misbehaving in this way, since it never sees the HDD..

When I look at my BIOS's SATA Mode, it has the choices AHCI/RAID/IDE and mine is set to RAID.

So, should I risk changing it and what am I losing by doing so?

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