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Windows - Corrupted or missing HAL.DLL

November 2015

The corrupted or missing HAL.DLL error message encountered when starting up a Windows operating system is misleading, as the problem comes from inconsistencies in the BOOT.INI file as opposed to the named DLL file. The issue can be solved by editing the boot.ini file manually with the correct partition number. Another way to solve the issue is by rebuilding the Boot.ini file. The computer has to be started with the boot disk to access the boot.ini file. The boot disk for Windows can be downloaded from the internet for free. After Boot.ini has been fixed, the corrupted or missing HAL.DLL error should be fixed.

[Windows] - Corrupted or missing HAL.DLL


Upon starting Windows, the error message below appears on your screen:

HAL.DLL missing or corrupted         
Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: Windows\System32\Hal.dll        
This problem is usually due to the file BOOT.INI instead of the DLL.

Solution 1

  • Restart your computer with a boot disk. If you don't have one you can download it:
  • Go to command prompt.
  • Enter the following commands:

edit boot.ini       
  • You will have access to BOOT.INI. As default, it will appear as below:

[boot loader]        
[operating systems]        
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professionnel" /fastdetect
  • The error often occurs after the installation of a second operating system. Change partition (1) to partition (2), and if it does not work, change it until you fall on the right one.
  • If you do not want to repeat several times the modification of the boot.ini file, copy the line after [operating systems] and change the number each time.

Small tips

  • Copy the entire line after [operating systems] and add it after /fastdetect: /safeboot:minimal /sos /bootlog. Change the name of the option for "Safe Mode".
  • You will now have an option in the menu enabling you to access safe mode without having to press F8 during start up.

Solution 2

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See also

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Original article published by Jeff. Translated by deri58. - Latest update by Virginia Parsons
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