Who Took My Hal.DLL ?


I was looking forward to a nice, relaxing weekend. In efforts to decrease my stress levels – I was planning on spending the entire weekend planting and fussing with pretty things in the new flower bed that I built a few weeks ago. (I’m still holding off until Memorial Day Weekend to plant anything in the veggie garden — in Wisconsin, you cannot be 100% sure winter is over until the end of May).

As my workday on Friday wound down to an end – I rebooted my computer. That was my first mistake – – but it was running sluggish and was obviously unhappy and in need of a reboot. Once it rebooted, I was met with the following error:

“Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
Please re-install a copy of the above file.”


I rebooted again – sometimes Windows is just stupid, ya know? I thought it was a glitch – – I mean – I certainly didn’t do anything to my hal.dll file! So I reboot – and got the same error. Ugh.

I did the following – and STILL got the error:

  • Rebooted with my XP recovery disk
  • Attempted recovery
  • Used my XP CD and rebuilt the boot.ini file
  • Expanded the hal.dll file from the XP CD into the \windows\system32\ directory

Sigh – I was getting no love from Microsoft products! No matter what I did – my PC kept telling me that my hal.dll file was either gone or corrupted.

Luckily, back in March, when I rebuilt my computer with all sorts of new equipment – I used a RAID set up. I proceeded to boot my system with the mirrored drive – to which my system promptly told me that both arrays were degraded. DEGRADED! In big, ugly red letters, too – I guess that adds insult to injury.

To make a long story short – I set my mirrored drive as the boot drive and it booted just fine. I deleted the previous drive (the one that USED to be the boot drive but was now missing hal.dll). Then, I made a complete and total backup of my system. Then I rebuilt the array so that I, once again, had a boot drive and a mirrored drive and could begin functioning somewhat normally again.

The 95GB backup creation took a good amount of time. Rebuilding the array took forEVER. It’s almost noon on Sunday and I’m finally done and back to where I started (or ended?) on Friday afternoon. Yes, of course – before you ask, this is exactly the way I wanted to spend my weekend….NOT!

I’m sure there is an easier way I could have proceeded with this fix. I was, however, desperate not to do a new install of XP at any cost.

I did get some planting done, though – in between backups, rebuilds, etc – I spend a good amount of time outside on Saturday. Without sunscreen, of course – so now I look like a lobster. I really need to learn that whole sunscreen lesson someday.

And finally – here’s a picture of my new birdie friend, Jingles. I’ve discovered she LOVES to go into the shower with me. I can hold her under the shower for hours and hours and she’d be perfectly happy. After we were done – she sat on my shoulder and just preened and preened….and made herself a little tent with my hair:

Lorikeet, Red Lory, Chattering Lory, Shower, Hair

11 thoughts on “Who Took My Hal.DLL ?”

  1. Hal.dll? That’s just hilarious, considering that HAL, the most famous computer in film history (2001 Space Odyssee) ended up decimating the whole crew of a space ship…

  2. Paul – I’ll have to check my Akismet.. not sure why it would eat your comment…unless, of course, it was hungry.

    The bird was preening herself AND me. lol – she loves to preen my hair for some reason — it tickles, too!

    Charles – that is ironic. I can laugh at it now – – if you would have talked to me on Friday, though, I may have bitten you head off! :o)

  3. Hi John – I didn’t really fix the problem, otherwise I would have provided an explanation of what I did to fix it.

    Because I have a RAID set up – I was able to boot off my mirrored drive, delete my old boot drive, back up and re-mirror it again. Not really a fix for people who don’t have their systems set up that way.

  4. I get into your site looking if I could answer the same question as the title of this page [who did it?], by now, I still don’t know [found some viruses and a tHorse, but not what I need to point my finger], and I’m getting a little paranoid…
    The easy way to fix this is simply getting the C:\Windows\system32\hal.dll from another working machine and copying it to where it is needed. It helps having several machines with similar configurations so you can rely on something when [and I know that happens… a lot!] it happens. I know you can download the file from several websites, but I aint very trusty this days.

  5. *SMOOOOCH* You are a life saver. Also am running a RAID 1 and read your post after getting the corrupt hal.dll message. I went directly to my RAID utility and forced a manual rebuild based on the mirror drive and i am operational in less than 2 minutes. Thank you thank yo thank you!! Have a great day.

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