My computer won't boot XP due to a missing/corrupted hal.dll error, which appeared after a successful boot. The machine hadn't been run for few years and the CMOS battery was flat. After setting the clock in bios it booted to XP fine, then produced error after 5mins. Puppy Linux mounted the drive but was too unresponsive to actually use. Ubuntu live cd won't mount the hard drives, giving exit code 13. My goal now is data recovery - I'll probably try to reinstall Windows or dual boot Lubuntu afterwards.
I've read lots about my error but nothing given how it appeared I need some advice as I don't want to damage the drive (I just want to recover the data before setting up a new dual boot config). Further details and steps below just in case it helps to isolate the issue, as I've read some people saying that the problem won't be with hal.dll but the boot.ini file (which I'd find odd as it did boot just like it used to). Additionally, whilst the error message said windows could not start, the message was the same when it did boot as well as when it couldn't. Is it just that the drive is still mounted in windows or some of the file system is corrupted?
1. Powered on/off few times trying to get keyboard working
2. Reset clock in bios
3. Booted to windows xp from hdd
4. Logged in, no issues
5. After loading desktop couple of error dialogs appeared (I think i tried clicking the taskbar afterwards)
6. Went away for 5 mins, came back and was at a command prompt with hal.dll error
7. Powered off machine, tried rebooting, same error
8. Tried booting Precise Puppy DVD to mount hdd, booted fine although was running impossibly slow with hdd
9. Puppy gave a warning about ntfs-3 when trying to mount. After about 3 minutes it started showing a few folders inc Windows on the "ACER" drive.
10. The system was so unresponsive I gave up, puppy just didn't respond to anything. I tried clicking to unmount etc but I wasn't getting any feedback, so I (probably impatiently) powered off to try a different DVD
11. Booted into Ubuntu 12.10 live DVD with no issues (have used the DVD before) and got a more responsive desktop
12. Tried to mount both partitions, got the same error message with mount exit code 13
13. Rebooted (from the Ubuntu menu), hitting F8 to get boot options. I thought that checkdisk was accessible from here but my memory failed me 😅
14. Tried XP safe mode, wouldn't boot, powered off
15. Tried checking bios for any other disk checking tools, gave up
What's the best course of action here?
A. Try and run chkdsk from the recovery console?
B. Try and reinstall the hal.dll file from XP cd? I think i only have a copy of XP Pro, but I expect the file is the same?
C. Use some other tool like Testdisk to recover data?
D. Use a Windows 7 DVD to do the notepad/open/explorer trick to copy/paste files?
E. Something else?!
Basically my goal is to backup the data and then worry about getting the machine rubbing again another time. Really wish I had proper backups of this machine!
Thanks in advance.
* Acer Aspire E300 desktop pc
* Windows XP Home SP3
* One hard drive partitioned (by acer) into two: ACER (C:\) and ACERDATA D:\)
* No hardware installed except for a Soundblaster Audigy 2. On-board AC97 disabled in bios, sound was working when it booted
Errors in full - photos of errors attached:
Ubuntu mount error:
Failed to mount '/dev/sdb1': Input/output error
NTFS is either inconsistent,
Error mounting: mount exited with exit 13: ntfs_attr_pread_i: ntfs_pread failed: Input/output error
Failed to read NTFS $Bitmap: Input/output error
NTFS is either inconsistent, or there is a hardware fault, or it's a SoftRAID/FakeRAID hardware. In the first case run chkdsk /f on Windows then reboot into Windows twice. The usage of the /f parameter is very important! If the device is a SoftRAID/FakeRAID then first activate it and mount a different device under the /dev/mapper/ directory, (e.g.
/dev/mapper/nvidia_eahaabcc1). Please see the 'dmraid' documentation
for more details.
Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
Please re-install a copy of the above file.
Edited by peskystarfish, 27 April 2017 - 03:42 PM.