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Dual boot Win XP Pro x2 hal.dll error

Last response: in Windows XP
April 13, 2006 1:19:20 AM

Hey guys,

I'm trying to dual boot win xp pro on two separate drives. I want to use one for a workstation windows, and one for gaming/normal use. I seem to have to reformat every 6 months no matter how clean I keep my system, and its getting annoying so I figured this is a good solution to at least keep the workstation part clean.

So I have two physical disks, a 30 gig partition set as the primary partition on each disk. I installed in on the first one fine. I installed it on the second one, and when I rebooted as per the installation instructions, it sees both xp's, but can't load the second one. When you select it from the boot menu, it says that the hal.dll is corrupt or not found. I searched online, and it seems to be pretty common, but repairing the boot sector editing the boot.ini doesn't help.

I have tried it 2-3 times with no success.

This is my boot ini.

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)windows="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)windows="Microsoft Windows XP Professional 2" /fastdetect

I'm hoping someone here has overcome this problem and can help me out.

January 1, 2009 6:59:46 PM

Got the exact g'dang same problem - and it's got me going. If I find a solution I will post it here.
Wish me luck peeps
All I can say at the moment is that this is definitely a bug that has to be worked around.
Anyone agree/disagree?
January 1, 2009 10:14:38 PM

I found this on the internet see if that helps
It's talking about dual core which I don't have so I don't have any personal experience with that
I actually have triple boot
I can boot to windows 98 or xp on one hard drive and I can also boot to an xp that is on a separate hard drive
Since you have one xp installed and working you can compare the file that is supposedly corrupted with the one you have on the xp that is working
But it may not have anything to do with that file if you read the link and have a dual core
Related resources
January 2, 2009 6:01:48 AM

Dual-boot XP and Vista... problem solved. ;-)

Or better yet, install Linux on the worstation side... then you never have to worry about malware again.

I find it extremely usual that you have to reload so often. With a decent anti-malware program, you should only reload because you want to, not because you need to. I never had to reload XP so often and I haven't had to reload Vista yet.

If your mobo has the ability, it's better to install each OS on each drive seperately and choose which hard drive to boot from after POST... rather than letting either XP's or any other bootloader to make the choice for you. That could be the solution to your problem.
January 7, 2009 10:47:26 AM

"Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
<Windows root>\system32\hal.dll.
Please re-install a copy of the above file."

I got this error when trying to install Windows XP Pro for a friend on an EXISTING secondary hard disk. (On the primary disk was Windows XP Home Edition).

As there were already lots of data files already on this disk I chose not to format it when asked during the installation but to "Keep existing file system" or some such.

All went when but when the text section of the setup was completed I got the above error message on the reboot.

This is how I resolved this problem (after a lot of pain):

When I received the computer it had two CDROMs/DVDs and two hard disks in the following configuration:

Primary HD Drive C:
Secondary HD Drive E:
Primary CD/DVD Drive D:
Secondary CD/DVD Drive F:

I assumed that when my friend got the computer it had only one hard disk and one CD/DVD drive configured as:

HD Drive C:
CD/DVD Drive D:

I guess a second hard disk was later added and allocated the drive letter E:
Finally a second CD/DVD drive was added and given the drive letter F:

I didn't like this confusing configuration. (In my book all hard disks should be consecutively lettered such: C: D: E: etc. In my systems I always allocated my optical drives starting at letter M: leaving plenty of room for quite a few hard disks).

The first thing I did, therefore with my friends system, with his approval, was to reconfigure the disk letters using Windows' Disk Management utility thus:

Primary HD Drive C:
Secondary HD Drive D:
Primary CD/DVD Drive M:
Secondary CD/DVD Drive N:

After trawling the internet and trying many, many suggested solutions, (mainly editing Boot.ini), I noticed that when I went into the Recovery Console The two Windows installations on offer to boot into, (the second Windows being the one I had part-installed), was:

1. C:\Windows
2. E:\Windows

2. E:\Windows? - it should be D: I had changed it to D: using the disk management utility.

Could this be the conflict? It turned out it was!

This is what I did:

I removed the second disk and installed it on another system. I then backed up all the data on it and the reformatted it (NTFS) using Partition Magic and selected "None" for the drive letter.

I then put it back in my friends machine and reinstalled Win XP Pro. When it rebooted NO ERROR! and continued to complete the setup. I then installed it back in one of my machines to reinstall all the data I had backed up and then put it back in my friends machine.

As I'm writing this I'm thinking that maybe I didn't need to backup the data and reformat. Maybe I could've just changed the drive letter to "None" in Partition magic. I think I'll try this first next time if it ever happens again.