Knowledge Base

How Do I Fix the "hal.dll is missing or corrupt" Error Message?

Article Summary: This article provides instructions to manually resolve the hal.dll is missing or corrupt error that prevents a computer from starting Microsoft Windows.

Table of Contents:

  1. Repair the Windows Boot Configuration
  2. Restore the Operating System to Factory Settings

Step 1: Repair the Windows Boot Configuration

The error hal.dll is missing or corrupt can usually be resolved by repairing the Windows boot configuration. Scroll to the appropriate version of Windows to view the repair instructions.

Windows XP
Repair the boot configuration using the Windows XP Recovery Console
The Windows XP CD is required to perform the following steps.
  1. Insert the Windows XP CD into the CD drive and restart the computer.
  2. Press the <Spacebar> when prompted Press any key to boot from CD.
  3. At the Welcome to Setup screen press <R> to start the Recovery Console.
  4. If prompted, select the number corresponding to the Windows installation you want to log into (usually C:\WINDOWS) and press <Enter>.
  5. Enter the Administrator password, if any, and press <Enter>.
  6. At the C:\WINDOWS> prompt, type cd \ and press <Enter>.
    There is one space between cd and \ (the backslash).
  7. Type bootcfg /rebuild and press <Enter>.
    There is one space between bootcfg and / (the slash) and no space between / and rebuild.
  8. When prompted Add installation to boot list? (Yes/No/All), type y, and press <Enter>.
  9. When Enter Load Identifier appears, type one of the following that best describes your operating system and press <Enter>:
    • Windows XP Home Edition for Windows XP Home Edition
    • Windows XP Professional for Windows XP Professional
    • Windows XP Media Center for Windows XP Media Center
  10. When Enter OS Load Options appears, type /NoExecute=OptIn /fastdetect and press <Enter>.
  11. Remove the Windows XP CD from the CD drive.
  12. Type Exit, and press <Enter> to reboot into Windows XP.

Windows Vista/Windows 7

This method applies to Dell computers that were originally pre-installed with Microsoft Windows Vista or Microsoft Windows 7, which does not include computers purchased through the Express Upgrade promotion or computers that were upgraded to Windows Vista from another version of Windows.
For information on accessing the Windows Recovery Environment on a computer that was not originally pre-installed with Windows Vista, please refer to Dell Knowledge Base article:
"How Do I Start the Windows Recovery Environment from the Microsoft® Windows Vista™ DVD?" Article ID: 316051
  1. Restart the computer.
  2. Tap the <F8> key during startup until the Windows Advanced Options menu appears. (If the Windows Advanced Options menu does not appear, restart the computer, and try again.)
  3. Press the <Down Arrow> key until Repair Your Computer is highlighted, and press the <Enter> key.
  4. When the System Recovery Options window appears, click to select your language, and click Next.
  5. Log in as a user with administrative rights, and click OK. (The Windows Vista Recovery Environment appears.)
  6. From the Choose a recovery tool menu, click Startup Repair. (Startup Repair proceeds to check the system for issues and resolve them.)
  7. Once completed, click Finish.
  8. Click Restart.

If repairing the boot configuration does not resolve the problem, the operating system must be reinstalled.
Step 2: Restore the Operating System to Factory Settings
A critical error has occured with your operating system that is neither hardware related, nor can it be repaired using standard system tools. To restore your computer's operating system and software to the original factory settings, launch the link below:
Launch the Microsoft Windows Reinstallation Guide

Article ID: SLN132839

Last Date Modified: 07/17/2015 03:42 AM

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