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Help Please - Boot Problems Involving Hal.dll


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#1 neophyte

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Posted 15 October 2005 - 09:31 AM

I wonder if anyone can help.

I am running Windows XP (with SP2) on a Mesh computer. A couple of days ago, the computer crashed while I was trying to access my Hotmail account. It wouldn't reboot in Safe Mode and gave me an error message saying that HAL.DLL is corrupted and should be reinstalled.

Now the computer doesn't even get as far as trying to load Windows (and no longer gives the HAL.DLL error mesage). It just gives me a prompt telling me to boot from a CD.

A fair bit of Googling has suggested that this is not an unknown problem and I have got as far as working out that a "repair install" might do the trick. However, I only have something called a "recovery CD" that came with my computer when I got it.

Can you do a "repair install" from a "recovery CD"? I am starting to worry that you can't. All of the information on "repair installs" suggests that the system ought to detect an installed version of Windows and prompt me to choose that installation to repair it. I get no such prompt.

I have also seen other posts that suggest that the first step to an alternative solution is to type : "ATTRIB -H -R -S C:\Boot.ini" after a C: prompt in the recovery console. When I do that, I get an error message saying that no disk is inserted in my chosen drive or suchlike.

Does anyone have any ideas on what I should do? Help really would be appreciated.

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#2 HappyShiner

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Posted 15 October 2005 - 09:57 AM

Hi there,

there are several things you can try:

Repair the boot.ini file

Put in your XP cd.
boot off of it.
Press r to enter the command console
type in:
cd \ (enter)
edit boot.ini (enter)
try deleting the /safeboot option

Start the System Restore tool at a command prompt
1. Restart your computer, and then press F8 during the initial startup to start your computer in Safe Mode with a command prompt.

For additional information about the Safe mode with a command prompt, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
315222 A description of the Safe mode boot options in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315222
2. Log on to your computer with an administrator account or with an account that has administrator credentials.
3. Type the following command at a command prompt, and then press ENTER:
%systemroot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe
4. Follow the instructions that appear on the screen to restore your computer to an earlier state.


How to use recovery consol
http://www.webtree.ca/windowsxp/repair_xp.htm

How to do xp repair install
http://michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm

Invalid Boot.ini" or "Windows could not start" error messages when you start your computer
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?...kb;en-us;330184

Also, see here:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?...kb;en-us;307654

Now, you should be able to do a Reapir from your recovery CD, but in the steps above where it requires the XP disk you may be able to do it by creating some XP Setup boot disks.....see here:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310994/

Let me know if that's of help to you :thumbsup:

Big Smiles

HS

#3 neophyte

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Posted 15 October 2005 - 10:18 AM

Thanks very much for your extremely helpful response.

I am using my computer at work at the moment, but will try your suggestions this evening and report back on Monday.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

#4 HappyShiner

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Posted 15 October 2005 - 10:19 AM

Let me know how you get on and you have a good weekend too :thumbsup:

Big Smiles

HS

#5 neophyte

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 02:52 AM

Thanks again for your help.

When I tried your first suggestion:

Put in your XP cd.
boot off of it.
Press r to enter the command console
type in:
cd \ (enter)
edit boot.ini (enter)
try deleting the /safeboot option


when I typed cd \, I got an error message saying that I had no CD or floppy disk inserted in the drive. (I had not removed the recovery CD at this point). Also, I noticed that, before I entered the Recovery Console, there was no message indicating that the Recovery Console had recognised a previous installation of windows.

Should I worry that the computer is not recognising any installation of Windows on the C drive, or that somehow it is trying to boot off another drive?

Thoughts appreciated.

#6 HappyShiner

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 07:43 AM

Hi there,

you may have to create some floppy boot disks, instructions here:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/305595/

You can also download a boot disk from here:

http://freepctech.com/pc/002/files010.shtml

Also, to help you fix an unbootable machine see the following utility:

http://www.rescueme4win.org/

Let me know if that's of help to you :thumbsup:

Big Smiles

HS

#7 hamluis

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 10:38 AM

I think I would have done a repair install...but I am not sure how to do such using Recovery CDs.

The recovery CDs are designed to take your system back to the way everything was when you bought it. I don't know if you can use the Recovery Console from such...I don't even know if it is included.

I suppose that can be verified/refuted by whomever sold you the system.

Louis

#8 neophyte

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 12:53 PM

Thank you both HappyShiner and Hamluis.

I will try the boot floppy idea, tho' that will involve me lining up a friend whose computer is working to produce these. If that fails, I might just bite the bullet and take the wretched thing to a computer store.

Will post back in a week or so. Thanks for bearing with me.

#9 hamluis

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 04:46 PM

Thank you both HappyShiner and Hamluis.

I will try the boot floppy idea, tho' that will involve me lining up a friend whose computer is working to produce these. If that fails, I might just bite the bullet and take the wretched thing to a computer store.

Will post back in a week or so. Thanks for bearing with me.


Don't take it to a computer store...that's just giving money away to have them do what you can do for yourself.

If you have a valid license, borrow someone's copy of XP and use it to try a repair install. Takes 35 minutes or so, all data files and programs installed will remain intact.

Louis

#10 HappyShiner

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 04:53 PM

Hi there,

The problem with recovery CD's is depending on your computer manufacturer....some will allow you top perform a basic repair whilst others will only allow a complete repair or reinstall....which means you lose all your old data. The fact you don't have a Win XP CD makes it all rather tricky and means we have less options.

To simplify things a bit, you may find creating this boot disk easier:

http://www.xxcopy.com/xxcopy33.htm

If we can get you booted up from the floppy.....and get you logged in....then putting the I386 folder on C:\ with the relevant registry entry will allow us to repair damaged files. but we need to get you booted up.

Big Smiles

HS

#11 Enthusiast

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Posted 18 October 2005 - 02:35 AM

Hi there,

you may have to create some floppy boot disks, instructions here:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/305595/

You can also download a boot disk from here:

http://freepctech.com/pc/002/files010.shtml

Also, to help you fix an unbootable machine see the following utility:

http://www.rescueme4win.org/

Let me know if that's of help to you :thumbsup:

Big Smiles

HS


There are two kinds of manufacturers recovery cds.
One is completely destructive and places the computer back as it was when it was new, without updates or provisions for added peripherals if any.

The other will effect a repair.

#12 neophyte

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Posted 18 October 2005 - 03:08 AM

Thanks everyone.

Will give HS's post suggesting how to create quick boot floppy a go. Will track down friend with a healthy XP computer and post back with an update.

#13 neophyte

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Posted 25 October 2005 - 04:32 AM

To simplify things a bit, you may find creating this boot disk easier:

http://www.xxcopy.com/xxcopy33.htm

If we can get you booted up from the floppy.....and get you logged in....then putting the I386 folder on C:\ with the relevant registry entry will allow us to repair damaged files. but we need to get you booted up.


I created the floppy as suggested. Computer wouldn't boot up from it. (It let out a series of high pitched bleeps and then an error message saying that it could not boot up owing to a hardware error).

I suspect that my hard drive is corrupted :thumbsup:. I think I am looking at a complete reinstall, but before even doing that, if there is a problem with the hard drive, presumably that would need to be sorted out first?


Thanks again for your help.




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