Error Message: Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt

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Article ID: 320252 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q320252
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SYMPTOMS

You may receive the following error message:
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.
You may receive this error message in either of the following scenarios:
  • Your computer restarts after you upgrade to Windows XP from Microsoft Windows 98 or Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition.
  • You install Windows XP on a hard disk that does not have an operating system installed on it.

RESOLUTION

Upgrading on a Windows 98-based or Windows Millennium Edition-based computer

To resolve this problem if you are upgrading Windows 98 or Windows Millennium Edition, follow these steps:
  1. Run Windows XP Setup again. To do this:
    1. Restart your computer.
    2. Press and hold the F8 key on your keyboard.

      On a computer that is configured to use multiple operating systems, press and hold the F8 key when you see the Operating System Choices menu.
    3. When the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, select the Return to OS Choices Menu option, and then press ENTER.
    4. Select the Cancel Windows XP Setup option.
    5. Use the Add or Remove Programs tool in Control Panel to remove Windows XP from your computer.
    6. When Windows XP has been removed from your computer, start Windows XP Setup again.
    If the problem is resolved, skip the remaining steps. If the problem still occurs the second time that you try to upgrade to Windows XP, continue to the next step.
  2. Cancel Windows XP Setup. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Restart your computer.
    2. Press and hold the F8 key on your keyboard.

      On a computer that is configured to use multiple operating systems, press and hold the F8 key when you see the Operating System Choices menu.
    3. When the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, select the Return to OS Choices Menu option, and then press ENTER.
    4. Select the Cancel Windows XP Setup option.
    5. Use the Add or Remove Programs tool in Control Panel to remove Windows XP from your computer.
  3. Start your computer by using a Windows 98 or Windows Millennium Edition startup disk, type sys c: at the command prompt, and then press ENTER. For more information about how to make a Windows 98 startup disk, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    296532 How to create a Windows 98 startup disk
    For more information about how to make a Windows Millennium Edition startup disk, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    267287 How to create a startup disk in Windows Me
  4. Start Windows XP Setup again

Installing on a clean hard disk

To resolve this problem if you are installing Windows XP on a hard disk that does not have an operating system installed, follow these steps:
  1. Start your computer by using a Windows 98 or Windows Millennium Edition startup disk, type sys c: at the command prompt, and then press ENTER. For more information about how to make a Windows 98 startup disk, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    296532 How to create a Windows 98 startup disk
    For more information about how to make a Windows Millennium Edition startup disk, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    267287 How to create a startup disk in Windows Me
  2. Start Windows XP Setup again.
  3. In the Windows XP Setup program, select to format the hard disk before you install Windows XP.

STATUS

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

REFERENCES

For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
314477 Error message: Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem
945380 Error message in Windows XP SP2: "Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt. Windows\System32\Hal.dll"

Properties

Article ID: 320252 - Last Review: January 18, 2008 - Revision: 3.1
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Keywords: 
kbacwsurvey kbenv kberrmsg kbprb kbsetup KB320252

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