How to fix – hal.dll is missing or corrupt in windows

by Abhishek Bhatnagar on June 5, 2008



One of our readers Senthil wrote

“When I switch on the computer the following error will displayed : <windowsroot>\system32\hal.dll is missing or corrupt please reinstall the copy of above file”


What is hal.dll ?

Short for Hardware Abstraction Layer, HAL is an operating system programming layer that enables the operating system to operate with a hardware device. hal.dll is the dynamic link library file that implements the functionality of HAL.

hard disk hal.dll error


When “hal.dll missing or corrupt” message appears, 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.


Lets have a look on how this can be fixed.




We have checks and steps you need to follow to fix this error:


Step 1: Check the boot device order in BIOS. For this follow the steps below:

  • Restart your computer and keep pressing the Delete button on keyboard. This will take you to BIOS screen.
  • Go to Boot Menu in BIOS and verify that your hard disk which contains Windows installation is the topmost in boot sequence if you have more than one hard disk.

Step 2: If the above step does not solve your problem, then you need to repair the boot.ini file. See this link for the same.


Step 3: In most of the cases, Step 1 on checking the boot order and Step 2 on repair of boot.ini file will fix the problem. In case the problem is still there, you need to replace the hal.dll from Windows XP Boot disk. For this, boot the computer with the help of Windows XP Boot CD, select the repair setup. On command prompt, type the command as below:

expand  x:\i386\hal.dl_  y:\windows\system32\hal.dll

Where x is the drive letter of your CD-ROM and Y is drive letter of your windows partition (usually c: )


Step 4: Even after Step3 if you are facing a problem, then you need to run a repair setup of Windows XP. See this link for details.


Step5: If you are still facing the problem, then unfortunately your Hard Disk Drive has gone faulty, you need to get it replaced.


We hope the the solution provided above will help you fix the trouble.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Aseem Kishore June 6, 2008 at 12:29 pm

I’ve seen this error before after upgrading the BIOS on an old PC that didn’t support APCI. Good info!

anonymous March 2, 2009 at 10:29 pm

The correct syntax is expand x:\i386\hal.dl_ y:\windows\system32

Rey April 9, 2009 at 3:25 pm

I have a Toshiba Satellite 1805-S204

I tried to fix my boot.ini like you said but my Windows cd won’t boot.

I tried to change the boot setup so the cd would boot but it gave me an PEX-E61 Error.

and I can get into the OS because I think I’m missing the Hal.dll

So can you help me format my laptop


Ebenezer May 5, 2009 at 3:42 am

Dear all,

Thanks for which I was able to recover my ntldr and hal.dll files which was corrupt due to virus.



hameed June 20, 2009 at 12:26 am

while expand. “access is denied.” is coming. how can i access or fix the problem. can u help me. plz send details to my mail.

kalev July 22, 2009 at 9:33 am

hello. I have the same problem and when I put in my bootable xp cd, it doesnt boot, just runs some text trough the screen and finally theres a line like: dos: A\: ( something like that). I cant get to the recovery console. what can I do? please answer. I already so frustrated to get it work.thanks

WTF November 4, 2009 at 7:39 pm

I had tried several online fix including the guide that had published here regarding this stupid problem.

krishnan June 5, 2010 at 9:46 pm

hi i am having acer aspire d250 netbook

initially i had window xp home edition installed to it
however later formatted and installed ubuntu (dont have dual os boot, having only ubuntu os)
now i want to install fresh copy of windows xp home edition, i copied iso to my flash drive
and tried installing xp from the flash drive,

there is no luck same error message, hal.dll file missing please reinstall,

can any one help me on this pleaseeeeeee

fix4me June 7, 2010 at 12:46 am

i have a problem with my cd i cant boot anything… :(
but thank u i know what to do

טכנאי מחשבים June 17, 2010 at 12:36 pm

Don`t forget to run chkdsk before you recover hal.dll, it worked for me!

Nasirpak August 31, 2010 at 6:03 pm

Dear All,
I also faced the problem with WD1200BB in Dell Optiplex GX240
“Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
Please re-install a copy of the above file.”
I tried several times with different troubleshooting bbut failed. Atlast I insert a XP Ghost CD in CDdrive and witnin 11 min I succeeded to install windows but it was XP SP1. PL. TRY XP GHOST CD TO INSTALL WINDOWS

Dr. Higop October 8, 2010 at 3:51 pm

corrupt hal.dll can be repaired by typing these command once you are in the recovery console:

chkdsk /p

checkdisk can resolve the problem. it was just a wild idea but it did work for me.

Arvind October 18, 2010 at 9:26 pm

yes it sure works for me to

sym November 4, 2010 at 2:24 pm

It worked for me …. thanks

טכנאי מחשבים December 14, 2010 at 2:16 am

Use the Windows XP CD-ROM to start your computer.
When you receive the message to press R to repair Windows by using the Recovery Console, press the R key.

izik September 8, 2011 at 3:35 am

Thank you very much.
This was very usefull

Best regards,

Abdulsattar October 7, 2011 at 1:35 am

i am instilling for 1st time i am not getting recovery console option can u pls help me

ali April 26, 2012 at 6:44 pm

dear frd,
i had tried some thing new

1)turn the safe mode on by clicking f8 during the start of window

2)then go to system property

3)then go to start up and recovery

4)go to edit (some thing must be wrong there)

5)and write

[Boot Loader]
[Operating Systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS=”Microsoft Windows XP Professional” /noexecute=optin /fastdetect


Sara June 30, 2012 at 1:13 am

I have a problem with labop i can’t boot anything…
This messege appears
“Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:

I can’t find the repair option on my product recovery DVD-ROM (Toshiba Qosmio F20)

I need your help so much

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