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How to Resolve the Missing Or Corrupt Hal.dll Error in Windows XP

If one of the following error messages is displayed as Windows is booting up (before you see your desktop, but after the POST screen), you have a corrupt HAL.dll file:

This problem is usually fixable, but it takes some work. TO fix the error, you will need access to a Windows XP installation CD. Once you have your CD handy, do the following:

  1. Get to the recovery console (instructions here [1]).
  2. Type bootcfg /default and press enter. Wait for the process to complete.
  3. Type fixboot and press enter. Wait fro the command to complete.
  4. Reboot your computer (type exit in the recovery console) and see if the error has been corrected. If not, continue on.
  5. Return to the recovery console.
  6. Type expand d:\i386\hal.dl_ c:\windows\system32\hal.dll where d: is the drive letter of your CD-ROM and c: is the drive Windows XP is installed on.
  7. If oyu are prompted to overwrite the file, press Y.
  8. Restart the computer (type exit at the recovery console).
  9. The problem should be fixed.