Technology Tales

Adventures & experiences in contemporary technology

HAL.DLL: a roadblock on the resurrection of a poorly PC

2nd August 2007

My PC is very poorly at the moment and Windows XP re-installation is the prescribed course of action. However, I have getting errors reporting missing or damaged HAL.DLL at the first reboot of the system during installation. I thought that there might be hard disk confusion and so unplugged all but the Windows boot drive. That only gave me an error about hard drives not being set up properly. Thankfully, a quick outing on Google turn up a few ideas. I should really have started with Microsoft since they have an article on the problem. has also got something to offer on the subject and seems to be a good resource on installing XP to boot: I had forgotten how to do a repair installation and couldn’t find the place in the installation menus. In any event, a complete refresh should be a good thing in the long run, even if it is going to be a very disruptive process. I did consider moving to Vista at the point but getting XP back online seems the quickest route to getting things back together again. Strangely, I feel like a fish out of water right now but that’ll soon change…

Update: It was in fact my boot.ini that was causing this and replacement of the existing contents with defaults resolved the problem…

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