Win XP hal.dll boot error fixed without CD

As much as I don’t like using windows, it is a necessary evil for me because I need to create and edit flash websites. While uninstalling useless programs, installing a new anti-virus and running registry cleaners, I somehow managed to get the hal.dll file corrupted. XP won’t start, not even in safe mode or command prompt.

I have my Linux Ubuntu on another drive. So I boot up Linux and get online to read about that. Almost all articles pointed out that I need to use a win XP CD and go into the Recovery Console. Problem is I don’t have one and I don’t wanna reinstall windows. I did have internet access (broadband, not dial up). I read some more and other articles discussed about editing the boot.ini file.

What I did to get my windows back up was to download a hal.dll file dated 08/03/2004 (I got a 2002 version at first which did not work) and pasted it onto my windows C:\windows\system32\ folder and said yes to overwrite. Logged off my Linux, booted up XP and prayed. It worked! It looked ugly though so I just let it search and install the drivers over the net. Once it was done, I just changed my visual settings to what they were before, reboot and windows will get to stay on that drive another day!


Updated February 23, 2016: Download HAL.DLL


25 thoughts on “Win XP hal.dll boot error fixed without CD

  1. I’m kind of confused…You pasted the downloaded hal.dll file into the system32 folder, on your Linux, and it somehow did the same thing for your Windows XP? How does that work out? lol

      • My XP wouldn’t start and gave me an error message. Using my Linux installation, I searched for it on the web and found that it was caused by the hal.dll file being corrupted. I found and downloaded a good copy of the file and pasted it into my XP. Booted it up and it worked again. I didn’t have to use a Windows CD to repair my XP.

      • Oooh, now i see, well, i guess this won’t work for me than, my Windows XP won’t go to the desktop screen, it only stays at the error page. *Sigh*…Oh well. 😦

      • To Barney : Oh, well…All that doesn’t matter anymore. I found my Windows XP disk, and did a full system restore on my computer, everything is fine now. 🙂

  2. It’s a good thing I downloaded Linux Mint 11 and installed it, because earlier, when I tried to remove both the GRUB bootloader AND Mandriva Linux 2010, it gave me the error message “Missing or Corrupt System32/Hal.dll”. Unfortunately, when I followed the instructions here and pasted your hal.dll file to my System32 folder, it STILL showed that error! I don’t have the Windows XP CD, only the Acer Aspire Revo restore disks that it always prompted me to make.

    • I feel for ya. I’m afraid that’s the only copy I have. I have since flushed my XP and switched to a Linux/Win7 dual-boot setup. I do recall coming across several online sources of intact hal.dll files on the net when I was struggling.

  3. Hey Guys

    I have the missing “hal.dll” message from my HP compaq nx6310 (Windows XP) as of two days ago.
    I “reached” this message by choosing to go for the restore feature which is when I first saw the message. My laptop is locked out now into a “loop” of suggesting I reload this file from disk etc. However, it was originally a work pc and was pre-loaded anyway, so nos disks. I have surfed the net and seen numerous solutions for .dll errors but they all “appear” to have to be downloaded, which is fine but how do I get them onto my unresponsive laptop?
    I am old enough to remember for work carrying around “floppy boot disks” for the “odd occasion”. I think I have skipped some years but kinda guessing I need to plug a USB into my unresponsive laptop to introduce a new .dll somewhere and “wave some magic fairy dust over it”.

    OK …. how is it done?? Please help

    • Sorry for the way late reply. Without the cd, the easiest route to go is get a bootable USB (usually with some form of Linux) and replace your corrupted hal.dll with a fresh/working version.

      But…if you could somehow get your hands on an XP install CD, use the Repair option.

  4. Hi, I have a Dell Latitude D620, secondhand, with Windows XP Professional on it. I don’t have any CDs. System won’t operate in safe mode etc. I have another old laptop I’m using in the meantime (which has other issues…). I don’t know what Linux is. Laptop cost less than the amount if would cost to get it fixed so would like to do it myself if possible. My laptop that does go doesn’t have a DVD burner… any suggesions? Many thanks for anyone who can help

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