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How to fix Boot.ini error?


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26 replies to this topic

#1 Julesie16

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 03:01 AM

Hello,

To give you a bit of background to my problem, a few days ago I ran a scan of my hard drives on my laptop using Maleware Bytes and found i had an infected file. M-Bytes offered to remove it and i stupidely did without realising it was a system file. I was asked to reboot my machine to complete the process and since, Windows XP won't start and it says the hal.dll file is missing and i need to reinstall it - as follows:

"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."

None of the options to start my computer in safe mode etc in the Windows Advanced Options (F8) works and unfortunately, i cannot find my backup CD and therefore, have lost my copy of Windows to operate a recovery.

Since all this happened, I have managed to boot Ubuntu (demo version) on my laptop and to access my data on my hard drives and back them up. Then I tried to replace the hal.dll file by going into windows/servicepacks/i386 folder. But this hasn't worked and Windows still won't boot.

My question is, does anyone know how I could fix Windows using Ubuntu to explore my files? I have tried to access 'My Computer' (in Ubuntu) and to get to the 'Properties' tab but it won't let me do that...What I would like to avoid is having to reinstall Windows in full and formatting my hard drives as I do have software on my laptop which I cannot replace and I would like not to lose.

I would really appreciate if someone could help me, i don't know very much about computers (obviously!)...

Thanks,

Jules

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#2 Romeo29

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 06:06 AM

Can you open C:\boot.ini from Ubuntu? (Assuming you have installed Windows in C:\Windows)
If yes can you post its contents here?

#3 Julesie16

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 06:40 AM

I will try but I have already looked for boot.ini and haven't found its location before. I'll let you know the content when i find it. Thanks!

#4 johnfernandez

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 08:07 AM

he BOOT.INI file simply lists other microsoft operating systems that are installed on the same partition on your drive. It shouldn't be a problem unless you have two operating systems on your computer. Either way the repair cd should fix the problem.......

#5 Romeo29

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 11:45 AM

he BOOT.INI file simply lists other microsoft operating systems that are installed on the same partition on your drive. It shouldn't be a problem unless you have two operating systems on your computer. Either way the repair cd should fix the problem.......


He doesnt have repair cd or Windows XP cd. But he has Ubuntu CD. So my thought is that he can edit the boot.ini from Ubuntu to get rid of the problem. He has already replaced hal.dll so that should not be problem.

#6 Julesie16

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 08:06 PM

Ok, I cannot find the boot.ini file in Ubuntu by browsing my C:\ drive...what to do?

#7 Romeo29

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 10:01 PM

Create a file boot.ini in C:\ folder with the following contents :
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP" /fastdetect

Try booting into Windows. If that doesn't work, download RC.ISO. Burn this image to a CD and boot from that CD. This would take you to Windows Recovery Console. In the console, Press 1 and hit Enter. Enter admin password. In the console type the following command to rebuild boot.ini : bootcfg /rebuild

More information : http://support.microsoft.com/kb/330184

#8 Julesie16

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 05:01 AM

The first part involving creating a boot.ini file did not work so I have burnt the recovery CD and i am now just about to get started with the repair. Silly question though what would be the Administrator password?

#9 Julesie16

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 05:51 AM

Ok, i've managed to get around the password request and i am now trying the boot.ini recovery.

#10 Julesie16

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 06:16 AM

Hey,

I've followed the instructions on Microsoft webpage to run the recovery and it was all good apart from the fact my 'Total Identified Windows Installs' were 2 (instead of 1 as in step 8.a). So i did follow the same steps for both. Then when i restart my machine, it asks me whether i want to start with:

microsoft windows xp home edition
microsoft windows xp home edition
Microsoft Windows xp


Not sure where all these come from (the first 2 i think are the ones that were identified and that i renamed that way in the recovery mode) and also, none of them seem to start...the first one starts loading and freezes, the second one won't start and i get the following message:
"Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
\Minint\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM
"

And if I select the third one, I still get the hal.dll error message! crazy stuff! :thumbsup:

Okay, maybe i should just purchase a new Windows XP CD and reinstall everything. What do you think? Assuming this is my only option, do you know if there is a way I could rescue all the software I have on my C:\ drive (they came installed on my machine) before doing so? This is really the main thing I am worried about now...

#11 Romeo29

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 06:56 AM

Okay you already had boot.ini and new entries got appended to it. (You earlier could not find boot.ini so I thuoght it was missing.)

From Ubuntu Linux, download and copy hal.dll to C:\ folder. So you have C:\hal.dll as downloaded file.

Start into Recovery concole. Give the following command in same order as shown:

REN C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\HAL.DLL C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\HAL.OLD
COPY C:\HAL.DLL C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\HAL.DLL
CD \
ATTRIB -R boot.ini
ATTRIB -H boot.ini
ATTRIB -S boot.ini
DEL boot.ini
BOOTCFG /REBUILD
FIXBOOT
EXIT

Note Here I assumed your Windows folder is C:\Windows.

Edited by Romeo29, 26 September 2009 - 06:57 AM.


#12 AustrAlien

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 07:12 AM

do you know if there is a way I could rescue all the software I have on my C:\ drive (they came installed on my machine) before doing so? This is really the main thing I am worried about now...

There is NO way this can be done: The existing installed programs cannot be saved/copied such that they will ever function again.
If the existing system is important, keep working with Romeo29.

Edited by AustrAlien, 26 September 2009 - 07:12 AM.

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#13 Julesie16

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 08:40 AM

EXcuse my ignorance but when I am in the recovery console and i have selected 1 and entered the administrator password, as expected, i get the command line:
C:\WINDOWS>
Is this where I need to start typing your commands so that it is as follows?

C:WINDOWS>REN C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\HAL.DLL C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\HAL.OLD
COPY C:\HAL.DLL C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\HAL.DLL
CD \
ATTRIB -R boot.ini
ATTRIB -H boot.ini
ATTRIB -S boot.ini
DEL boot.ini
BOOTCFG /REBUILD
FIXBOOT
EXIT

Also, do i need to press enter after each line?

#14 AustrAlien

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 08:45 AM

i get the command line:
C:\WINDOWS>
Is this where I need to start typing your commands so that it is as follows? YES, THAT IS CORRECT

C:WINDOWS>REN C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\HAL.DLL C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\HAL.OLD
COPY C:\HAL.DLL C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\HAL.DLL
CD \
ATTRIB -R boot.ini
ATTRIB -H boot.ini
ATTRIB -S boot.ini
DEL boot.ini
BOOTCFG /REBUILD
FIXBOOT
EXIT

Also, do i need to press enter after each line? YES, YOU NEED TO PRESS ENTER AFTER EACH LINE
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#15 Julesie16

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 09:20 AM

Okay, i have tried twice to type command line 1 and it says: "The parameter is not valid. Try /? for help."




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