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RECURRING corrupt boot.ini and other strange problems

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by ZaBEAN, Aug 28, 2009.

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  1. ZaBEAN

    ZaBEAN Thread Starter

    Jan 26, 2008
    Computer wouldn't boot to Windows, throwing error:
    "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."
    Found generic instructions for help on the internet... Used recovery console to
    bootcfg /rebuild

    That helped me boot up back into Windows, but as windows logs on I have an error "C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Desktop" does not exist, (???????? it most certainly does exist) or something similar, obviously lagging the load of explorer.exe and resulting in a blank desktop other than default items.

    And as we shut down Windows, shutdown process (classic ui) would freeze on wlnotify.dll forever.

    Next boot, hal.dll error occurs again, and bootcfg would be blank

    What could be causing this?

    *As typing this, I think I must have screwed up something with the actual hal.dll, because now fixing the boot.ini doesn't do anything, and I still get that error. I'm trying to expand hal.dll to system32 but I'm getting an error "Unable to create file", is there any way past this?

    The machine Dell Inspiron E1505 running Windows XP Pro.

    The XP install is relatively fresh, and we're running Symantec Corperate on it.
  2. DKTaber


    Oct 26, 2001
    Have you run system file checker? That will replace any missing or corrupted Windows files. Easy to run; just Start, Run and type in "sfc /scannow", without the "", of course.
  3. Mumbodog


    Oct 3, 2007
    It could be file system corruption, failing hard drive, heavily fragmented drive. Follow the order below.

    1. Back up important data before doing anything else.

    2. Do a chkdsk on the C drive http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315265

    3. After the chkdsk completes, defrag the hard drive. If it has excessive fragmentation it may take 2 defrag's to clean it up. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314848
    Be sure to do chkdsk Before you defrag.

    4. Determine the manufacturer of your hard drive and then go to the manufacturers website and download their hard drive diagnostics software and run it.
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