Missing or corrupt HAL.DLL

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by backinhumanform, Apr 26, 2007.

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  1. backinhumanform

    backinhumanform Registered Member

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    Hello,

    I am having a problem with a missing HAL.DLL file. Here is the error message:

    Last December I upgraded my laptop’s internal hard drive, using Acronis TrueImage to create an image of the old drive and install it on the new. The process went relatively smoothly. Then, last week, I got the missing HAL.DLL error when I switched on the laptop. I got this same error when I transferred my hard drives in December, and I solved it by re-creating the image of the old hard drive, and setting the correct partition. This is what leads me to believe that my current problem is due to Acronis.

    The error occurred when I finished working on my laptop, closed the cover, rather than shutting down, which is what I normally do. So my laptop went into hibernation. What I almost always do is switch it off when I’m finished – I think this may have been the first time that I just closed the cover. When I opened it, I got the HAL.DLL error.

    Having read through the posts in the forum, one post referred to possible conflicts with partitioning software. I have Norton GoBack installed on mine, which isn’t partitioning software, but is similar in that it deals with the fundamentals of the OS. I think this may have a conflict – it starts before I get the HAL.DLL error.

    A second solution on the forum was to get a caddy, remove the hard drive, fit it in, and attached it to another PC as a slave. I did this, which allowed me to access it, where I was able to edit the boot.ini file. According to previous posts, the problem may be that boot.ini isn’t pointing to the correct partition. Boot.ini is as follows:

    There are three partitions on the drive. I changed the partition(1) reference to partition(0) in both places, put my hard drive back in, same error message. I repeated the process, setting the partition to 2 & 3 respectively. Same problem.

    Finally, the boot.ini file is time-stamped at June of last year. Which leads me to believe that this may not be the problem at all. The HAL.DLL file may be corrupt but I think this is unlikely. It is time-stamped 2004 which is the same time stamp as the copy in C:\I386. I haven’t tried replacing it.

    What else could the problem be? Please help.

    Thanks,

    Joe
     
  2. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Joe,

    As you know, your situation is very unusual. You did receive the error in December under typical circumstances but now it's atypical.

    When do you see the hal.dll error? With a partition mismatch it occurs immediately after the POST. Does your error appear later?

    On an empirical basis, I'd try Method 2.

    http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=314477


    Is your laptop a Dell? Can you run HD diagnostics?


    .
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2007
  3. backinhumanform

    backinhumanform Registered Member

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    First, the DELL.COM window appears with the option to go into setup or Boot; I went in here and did choose F12, the setup menu; it went through the diagnostic check, eventually stopping me to signify that it was going into the dell diagnostic utility partition; it then goes to the norton goback screen, and then it repeats the HAL.DLL error once more. Perhaps GoBack is getting in the way of the diagnostic? It is a DELL machine.

    Secondly, without going into Setup, the Norton GoBack window appears, offering me the option to restore to a previous point (which I did, no joy).

    I don't know what you mean by POST.

    One further point of information is that after the Norton GoBack screen clears, the message flashes up on the screen, "Loading PBR 1...done"

    In relation to running the recovery console, the good folks at microsoft saw fit not to supply me with an installation CD. I think I got one when I bought my desktop, unfortunately it's at home (if I still have it); I work away from home and won't be there for another week. Does it matter whether I use an XP Home CD or an XP Pro CD? I have XP Home on my laptop.

    Thanks,

    Joe
     
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Joe,

    POST Power On Self Test

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Booting

    I haven't used Norton GoBack and I keep reading about problems associated with the app. I didn't know that it loaded so early.

    From my Dell computer I can run HD diagnostics from the F12 screen. I don't need to go to the Dell Utility Partition even though there are further HD diagnostics there. Is yours the same?

    With your Dell, the OS should be in the second partition so the boot.ini will reference partition(2). You indicated that using that edit didn't work. For the boot.ini, numbering starts at 1 not 0. However you don't have the original HD so are you sure you copied the Dell Utility partition? Your boot.ini references partition(1) so it's not what I would expect.

    No, any WinXP CD will do.

    If you can't easily obtain a WinXP CD you can look at your MBR, partitions and boot.ini with a BootIt NG CD. There is a good pdf userguide with the download but ask questions if you get confused.

    http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/bootitng.html

    I understand you have tried all boot.ini combinations. Weird. Do you have access to a BartPE CD to run chkdsk and look at boot.ini? Can you boot to Safe Mode and uninstall GoBack? Probably not.
     
  5. thomasjk

    thomasjk Registered Member

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    Goback and TI are known to be incompatible. Take a look at this article for Repairing Windows XP in Eight steps. It deals with this problem.
     
  6. backinhumanform

    backinhumanform Registered Member

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    When I hook my internal drive up to another PC (in a caddy, so it appears as an external hard drive) and look at my hard disks in Control Panel/Computer Management/Disk Management, I see my internal hard drive there. The three partitions are in the order, left to right,

    160GB Drive NTFS (healthy)
    Partition 2 FAT16 (healthy)
    Partition 3 FAT32 (healthy) (I'm pretty sure this is the Dell partition).

    To access the Dell partition, I changed boot.ini each time, to point to each partition in turn, put the hard drive into my laptop each time, ran the dell diagnostics and got the HAL.DLL error each time. On the plus side, I can see my data when it's hooked up to the other PC, so I can back it all up (phew!) Still, its very inconveniencing.

    I'll look at the bootitng app and see if it works. But I think it's best to wait until I get home and get an XP installation CD – it sounds like the easiest solution. I'm not 100% confident that it'll work though – based on other posts in the forum, changing the boot.ini file should work. Still, I'll try it out and see.

    In the partition reference in boot.ini, does the numbering run from partition(0) to partition(2) or partition(1) to partition(3)?

    In defence of Norton GoBack, some weeks ago I inadvertently opened a malicious attachment which infected my PC with a virus. Using GoBack I was able to go back to the previous restore before my laptop became infected. It was such an easy solution – removing it manually would have taken ages & even then I wouldn't have been 100% confident that it was completely eradicated. Still, I'll uninstall it once my laptop has returned to working order (hopefully).

    Thanks all,

    Joe
     
  7. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Joe,

    This is the Dell Utility partition.

    This is the Dell Ghost restore partition. Yours won't work without some modifications because you have imaged and restored the original HD.

    http://www.goodells.net/dellrestore/

    When you restored your image to the new HD you must have got the partitions out of order and that's why you received the original hal.dll error. The FAT16 partition has been the first partition on all Dells that I've seen. Your WinXP is now partition(1). There is no partition(0). You have already tried using partition(1) in the boot.ini. In fact that was the default and I'd regard it as correct. It's concerning that you may have a HD problem rather than a boot.ini issue.

    When you get home you could try replacing hal.dll and/or performing a Repair Install.

    Keep us informed.

    PS.... You could try replacing your hal.dll now. Use the spare copy in your i386 folder.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2007
  8. backinhumanform

    backinhumanform Registered Member

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    Some progress. After reading other posts, I disabled Norton GoBack when I attached the hard drive as a slave to my desktop. I put the hard drive back into my laptop, and the HAL.DLL has disappeared. The latest error is
    Then it hangs. So I tried booting again, and this time went into the setup screen and into the diagnostics. After going through several tests, it gets to
    "Booting Dell Diagnostic Utility Partition". I then get the message,
    This may be because the partitions are out of order, as Brian K says, not in the usual sequence, but before the HALL.DLL problem appeared some weeks ago I had no trouble booting. Does the "Bad PBR" message above refer to Partition 2 or 3? I think it's 2.

    I haven't yet tried a Windows Repair using the bootcfg option to repair boot.ini.

    A small point - I searched the forum on "Bad PBR" but it won't search for me as the words are too small. Is there any way around this? It's a real pain, and I think lots of people must experience it on a techie forum.
     
  9. backinhumanform

    backinhumanform Registered Member

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    I just tried to repair Windows using the process here:

    http://www.short-media.com/articles/repair_windows_xp

    This involved booting from my XP Home installation CD, using the Repair option, and getting to the DOS prompt. Then executing the command

    After a couple of minutes I get the message

    I'm stumped. o_O
     
  10. thomasjk

    thomasjk Registered Member

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    I used this procedure to repair a clients XP machine but I had to run Bootcfg /add first then Bootcfg /rebuild. Have you run chkdsk /r on the partition?
     
  11. backinhumanform

    backinhumanform Registered Member

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    I haven't tried using chkdsk yet. I'm a bit nervous of using it with the /r option, too, because I used it on an external hard drive some months ago and I lost everything.

    I think it's a problem with the Dell Diagnostics Partition. I could restore this from my original TrueImage from last December, and delete the one from my hard drive, but I'm not sure yet if that's the best way to proceed or if its even advisable.
     
  12. backinhumanform

    backinhumanform Registered Member

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    I hooked up the internal drive as a slave to another PC. Going into control panel/admin tools/computermanagement/disk management, the three partitions are, left to right:

    C: 145.92GB NTFS Healthy (Active)
    86MB FAT Healthy (EISA Configuration)
    3.05GB FAT32 Healthy (Unknown Partition)

    Should the third partition be "unknown"?? Could this be the cause of the PBR problem?
     
  13. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    When Acronis search refuses your search due to length, etc, switch your browser search engine to Google or Yahoo, etc but search only the Acronis site.

    Sample search phrases would look like this:
    "search word here" site:WildersSecurity.com

    "PBR" site:WildersSecurity.com
    produces 34 hits via Google

    "Partition Boot Record" site:WildersSecurity.com

    produces 78 hits via google

    Another example which includes looking for "startup Recovery Manager" posted in 2007 and info posted by Acronis Support and also posted by me. This is fairly restrictive but works out much better than the Acronis search which will not search on the one 3 word phrase but insists on searching for each word which means you get much more than just the phrase.

    Google search phrase:
    "startup recovery manager" + 2007 + "Acronis support" + GroverH site:wilderssecurity.com

    This got 9 hits. By removing some of the words or dates, then the hits increase because the subject matter is more general in nature. Generally speaking, the more restrictive your search, the better or fewer the results.

    This thread looked very interesting.
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=171589

    I use Firefox which has a google search window. If I type "PBR" site:WildersSecurity.com into the search window, the search will produce the results you expect.
     
  14. backinhumanform

    backinhumanform Registered Member

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    I took a look at the FirstDefense software mentioned in the thread you posted, but it sounds very similar to Norton GoBack, which appears to be the source of all my woe. (part of the FD blurb says, "quickly and easily roll back your system to pre-virus state, pre-service pack install etc)
     
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