How to restore missing hal.dll in windows XP

Missing hal.dll error is mostly encountered when you boot Windows OS. Since this error occurs at startup, it prevents you from completely booting the system. This article explains the ways to restore missing hal.dll file from Windows XP.

What is hal.dll file?

HAL stands for Hardware abstraction layer, as the name suggests HAL.dll file allows communication between windows & hardware. Moreover, it manages all the hardware devices. Hal.dll file provides an interface that enables application to access abstract layer instead of accessing hardware directly. This is a hidden file & resides in System32 directory.

When HAL.dll needs to be restored

When DLL (Dynamic link library) fails to load hal.dll, it gives an error "windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt Windows\System32\hal.dll". This error forestalls you from getting into your system. Hal.dll error occurs in Windows XP, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10, Vista. However, the process of restoring corrupt or missing hal.dll in Windows XP differs from later versions of Windows OS.
The main reason of the error is that the file gets accidentally deleted or gets corrupted. Furthermore, corruption in either file system, hard disk, primary boot sector, or bad partition leads to the corrupted Hal.dll.
Hal.dll error can be shown in the below screen:


Methods to restore missing or corrupted hal.dll:

Restore boot.ini file:

In Windows XP when system boots, NTLDR gets loaded from boot sector & reads configuration details stored in Boot.ini file, if the configuration information is wrong due to any reason like either changed BIOS setting or added/removed hardware results in invalid boot.ini file. Missing hal.dll in Windows XP can be resolved by rebuilding Boot.ini file.
To restore boot.ini file, use Bootcfg.exe tool. Open Windows XP Recovery Console by inserting Windows XP CD & type the following command in command prompt:
Bootcfg /rebuild
Inbuilt Bootcfg.exe tool scan the entire hard drive & asks you the following details:

Restore hal.dll file:

Rebuilding hal.dll from Windows CD can repair corrupted, damaged or missing hal.dll file. Follow the below steps:

Repair bad sector of hard drive

You may encounter missing hal.dll in Windows XP due to damaged hard drive sector. Sector is the smallest unit for storing the data in a hard disk. To resolve this error you can use chkdsk utility. This tool scans the hard drive & repair bad sectors, lost clusters, & directory errors. To run this inbuilt tool, do the following steps:

The above manual methods are helpful to restore missing or corrupt hal.dll. In case you find these methods long or the problem still exits. Hence, you are not able to boot your system then it is possible that you will lose all your PC's data in a wink. So I will recommend you to go for windows data recovery software that recovers lost & damaged data.