Unable to boot laptop

By omegafire ·
System Specs:

Windows XP SP3
Dell Latitude D800

My Hard drive on my laptop says it is missing a hal.dll on boot up.

Also, when I went to do a full windows repair, the C: drive showed up as C: (Unknown).

And to top it off, it will not let me log on as administrator in the recovery console. I used the command LOGON but it thinks for a while then does nothing. The reason I need this is when I went to replace the hal.dll it gave me an "Access Denied" message.

Any Ideas?

Thanks in advance,

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Well I'm not sure what you have done here or what you have available

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Unable to boot laptop

But you should start off by testing the HDD with the Drive Makers Testing Utility. As Dell isn't telling the make of the HDD in this NB you can use the Seagate Drive Tester Seatools available to download free from here


If the drive passes the test and you have a M$ branded Install Media you can perform a Repair Install by following the directions here but you need M$ Branded Media not Dell Recovery Disc's as these Will Not allow you to perform this option.



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Try these repair options.. :)

Repair Install

If XP is corrupted to the point where none of the previous solutions get it to boot,
you can do a Repair Install that might work as well as keep the current settings.
Make sure you have your valid WindowsXP key.
The whole process takes about half an hour depending on your computer
If you are being prompted for the administrator's password, you need to choose the 2nd repair option, not the first.

1.Insert and boot from your WindowsXP CD

2.At the second R=Repair option, press the R key

3.This will start the repair

4.Press F8 for I Agree at the Licensing Agreement

5.Press R when the directory where WindowsXP is installed is shown. Typically this is C:\WINDOWS

6.It will then check the C: drive and start copying files

7.It will automatically reboot when needed. Keep the CD in the drive.

8.You will then see the graphic part of the repair that is like during a normal install of XP (Collecting Information, Dynamic Update, Preparing Installation, Installing Windows, Finalizing Installation)

9.When prompted, click on the Next button

10.When prompted, enter your XP key

11.Normally you will want to keep the same Workgroup or Domain name

12.The computer will reboot

13.Then you will have the same screens as a normal XP Install

14.Activate if you want (usually a good idea)

15.Register if you want (but not necessary)


17.At this point you should be able to log in with any existing accounts.
HAL.DLL Missing or Corrupt

If you get an error regarding a missing or corrupt hal.dll file, it might simply be the BOOT.INI file on the root of the C: drive that is misconfigured

1.Insert and boot from your WindowsXP CD.

2.At the first R=Repair option, press the R key

3.Press the number that corresponds to the correct location for the installation of Windows you want to repair.
Typically this will be #1

4.Type bootcfg /list to show the current entries in the BOOT.INI file

5.Type bootcfg /rebuild to repair it

6.Take out the CD ROM and type exit
Happy Computing. :)

Please post back if you have any more problems or questions.

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