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When I try to boot up my Compaq Presario model no SR 1420UK, I get the message: “Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \system32\hall.dll. Please re-install a copy of the above file.” I’ve tried running the Recovery utility from the startup, but it just goes back to the page that start “We apologize for the inconvenience, but Windows did not start correctly” and has start options (eg Safe mode; Safe mode with networking; Safe mode with command prompt, etc), but none of these work – they just keep looping back to the “We apologize…” page. I’ve also tried using the Recovery CD that I created as recommended when I bought the PC, but this wouldn’t work either. It just keeps bringing up a dialogue box that says “The section IDA_CREATE_USER_DRIVE_U does not contain a valid dialog template” and locks up there, not enabling me to do anything, other than open DOS by holding down ALT and D. But now, I can’t even get the Compaq Recovery utility to open up at all, let alone access DOS. I’m also getting a message sometimes that disappears quickly from the screen, but says something about “Invalid Boot.ini file”. This appears when I try holding down F10 during startup. If I keep holding F10, it just keeps looping back to start again and doesn’t bring up the Recovery utility. I’ve searched the internet for answers, but I can’t get any of the suggestions to work. I don’t have a Windows XP disk to insert, for example. And I can’t get into DOS. I even tried copying the boot.ini and hal.dll files from another computer onto a USB stick, but I can’t find a way to copy it from the stick to my Presario. I’ve now spent hours trying to sort this out and am getting nowhere! Can you help please?

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  • Bish53 Jul 20, 2008

    Thanks for the quick reply, but I have tried this without any joy as I do not have a Windows XP disk - the PC was pre-loaded with XP Home Edition. As I said originally, I've tried the Recovery CD that I made when I bought the PC, but that doesn't work either!

  • Bish53 Jul 20, 2008

    Thanks Hothawk. As I said originally, I have managed to put copies of the missing boot.ini and hal.dll files from another computer onto a USB stick, but I can't find a way to copy it from the stick to my Presario as I can't (or don't know how to!) access DOS coomands.

  • Bish53 Jul 20, 2008

    Does anyone have any other suggestions for me please?

  • Thomas Van Tress
    Thomas Van Tress May 11, 2010

    I will post this as clarification so your question stays up for others to offer advice, but I will offer you an option of fixing. If it works and you tell me from your comment I will then change it to a solution, OK. Here is a link to the Microsoft Support page for you to repair your boot.ini file. In case you haven't tried this yet.



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You can download the hal.dll file from this site most of the windows missing dll files you can find here.

Also download windows nt or xp boot image from the net and create floppies or cd rom from that to boot up.



problem solved

Posted on Jul 20, 2008

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Hello there:
your problem is due to a missing or corrupt file this file is a key file that windows needs to operate.
please try this
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You might come across this error message and this behavior of Windows operating system due to missing or damaged Vgaoem.fon file. This is a key file for Windows operating system, which is required for Windows to boot up.
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"<Winnt_root>\System32\Hal.dll missing or corrupt:

  1. Verify the boot.ini file is found on the computer by using a boot diskette or use your Windows CD to get to the MS-DOS "C:\>" prompt.
  2. From this prompt edit the boot.ini, verify that it is pointing to the correct operating system, and that no anomalies are found within the file. Below is a listing of what to verify
  • If only one operating system is on the computer verify that the boot.ini only has one operating system listed. In some situations an alternate configuration line may be added for the same operating system, leaving the improper line.
  • Verify that the "default=" line as well as the operating system line are the same and that they are pointing to the correct operating system.
Verify that the computer has the hal.dll file

From the MS-DOS "C:\>" prompt quickly determine if your computer has the "hal.dll" file by typing "dir hal.dll /s" at the prompt. If the computer returns a "File not found" message, the hal.dll has been deleted.

To recover this file boot the Windows operating system CD and choose the option to "Restore", "Repair", or "Recover." This option will prompt you for the Windows installation to use, the administrators password and will allow you to restore the proper file. At the MS-DOS prompt type the below command.

expand C:\i386\hal.dl_ D:\windows\system32\

In the above example "D" would be the letter of your CD-ROM drive and "C" the letter of the drive your operating system is installed on. For example, your disc drive may be D: and your hard drive is likely C:.

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