How can I revive my netbook from a missing hal.dll error?

Anonymous September 13, 2011
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Hi folks,

my NC10 has seen a lot of use and has reached the point where it’s finally stopped working. Recently it’s been giving the ‘missing hal.dll’ error on bootup, but the Samsung Recovery System has kept things running. Unfortunately, it’s no longer popping up to help and I need advice on what options might be best for me. Although I’ve owned computers for 30 years now I long since realised the limits of my technical ability and I’d appreciate any help to be at an ‘Idiot’s Guide’ level. Thanks. :)

Fortunately, I recently made a C: drive back-up on my new standalone hard drive, using the included Nero software. The NC10 has three partitions; the Sammy Recovery one, then C: at 100 GB approx and D: at 40 GB approx. Windows XP and all my software is on C: and from memory is circa 65Gb, while D: is blank. I know I can do an XP reinstall from the original disc. So, here are my questions:

1) If I reinstall the OS on C: can I then use the restore file over the top of it?
2) Will a successful restore still have the missing hal.dll problem?
3) If the hal.dll problem IS still there can it be solved _easily_, and how?
4) Will the Recovery partition still be functional or just wasted space?
5) Finally, I read somewhere that increased frequency of the hal.dll problem can indicate a failing HD. If it does die and I replace it will there be any problem reinstalling XP onto the replacement?
6) Is there anything else I should consider that I’ve missed?

I don’t think there’s any critical personal data on C: but it’d be nice to be able to check. If push comes to shove I’ll bite the bullet, reinstall XP from the disc and start from scratch, but I’d appreciate thoughts from you folk with more techie knowledge. My Sammy is very important to me and I want to keep it working if at all possible!

Thanks in advance.

  1. Anonymous
    September 13, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    it can be because of damaged or missing hal.dll file. It can also be because of some wrong entries in boot.ini file in case you are using two operating systems on your computer. Also it can be because of improper BIOS entries of the disk drives etc.
    or a missing or corrupt Ntoskrnl.exe file.

    well reinstalling windows will sure solve the problem or even if you inserted your windows cd and choose repair (possibly can fix) or use a restore point to go back to an earlier state where everything was fine.

    Missing HAL
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/309283

    if you have multiple partition your boot.ini for XP is not pointing to the right partition, not necessarily that the hal.dll is wrong.

    How To Restore Hal.dll From the Windows XP CD
    http://pcsupport.about.com/od/fixtheproblem/ht/restorehaldll.htm
    http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_haldll_missing.htm

  2. Mike
    September 13, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314477
    http://pcsupport.about.com/od/findbyerrormessage/a/missinghaldll.htm

    1. I'm not sure how the Nero backup & restore works but my guess is if you restore it you will introduce any (and probably all) previous problems to your system

    2. (see above if it was meant as a sub question)

    3. see links to fix the problem above

    4. Assuming you do a reinstallation: 
    If you just format the existing Windows partition (recommended) the recovery partition won't be touched. You should also be able to remove or change the D: partition on the way without harming the recovery partition. 

    If you decide to format the entire drive it depends on the type of recovery partition. Most of the time those partitions are just simply "hidden", not visible within Windows. This type of recovery partition will be remove during a full drive reformat. If it's within a Host Protected Area (e.g. on a ThinkPad) it won't be touched unless you deactivate the protection within the BIOS

    5. I don't want to confirm nor deny - you should check your Hard Drives health with SMART, surface test etc... But there is also the chance of your system having a different hardware or software related problem. For example chances are you will reinstall and use the same software and tools as before. Maybe on of those is the actual cause for the HAL.DLL error?

    6. answered above