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Computer related questions => PC computer questions, tips and how to's => Topic started by: Alfonso_Frisk on January 25, 2011, 11:39:18 AM

Title: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: Alfonso_Frisk on January 25, 2011, 11:39:18 AM
Hoping someone may be of help.
Yesterday whilst browsing youtube the laptop froze. Had to hit the off button to shut it down.
However, it now wont even boot up and gives the error
file missing ,windows root\system32\hal.dll
and also asks for the windows start up cd.
The lappy never came with a start up cd or a windows xp cd. All was pre instaled and activated on first boot IIRC.
Have got to recovery console via another version of xp but nothing happened from there.
Also managed to install xp on a partition from same cd but now I cant get at that or the D drive with my pics and cam progs on.
Some is backed up but not all.

any ideas?
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: Oldboy on January 25, 2011, 12:23:54 PM
Create a recovery disk from your desktop PC. When you first had the laptop and switched it on, it should have ask you to create a recovery disk. Go into Help and support in your desktop PC and type in Recovery disk and checkout how to create a recovery disk. When you have done that find the version of the file hal.dll and copy that to the recovery disk. Put the CD/floppy disk into your laptop, then switch it on. It should boot from the recovery disk but only into a Dos screen where you need to use the command line. On the command line type in C\windows\system32 and hit enter/return. Now copy the file from you cd/floppy using the fellowing and type as shown: Copy A:\ hal.dll C:\windows\system32 hal.dll and it should replace the damaged hal.dll file on the laptop. Close down the laptop and remove the cd/floppy then restart the laptop and everything should now be OK. When doing the copy it may ask if you want to replace the original file and just click yes/OK to do so.  ;D
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: Alfonso_Frisk on January 25, 2011, 01:26:44 PM
Cheers for getting back to me
I have found a restore file and the hal.dl on a usb drive. copied to a cd and tried to boot from that but no joy.
Also tried again using another xp disc. I now have 3 versions of the os showing at start up menu and the original one wont load.
I can see all my files on  d so I guess the best option would be to copy these to another external drive and then wipe/format the pc?
trouble will be how do I then reinstall the xp if I dont have a disc. the serial is no longer on the base of the lappy either
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: Skhilled on January 25, 2011, 01:50:02 PM
Ok, I'll take a stab at this. It's been awhile since I've done this. LOL

The usb drive probably won't work. You need a restore cd or an original xp disk. Since you now have 3 versions show up in the menu it appears that you have installed it 3 times or 2 extra times. One of those should be the original version that you wish to boot into. You'll have to try each one until you get the one that is asking for the recovery cd and start from there again. But as I've said, you'll need the recovery cd as the other xp cd does not seem to do the job.

Some laptops require the recovery cd ONLY because that is how they are configured. The recovery cd will also contain additional files such as specific drivers, etc. that will only be for your particular lappy. It may even look for something encoded on the recovery cd or it will not work. Laptops are funny that way. LOL

Try this...go to the manufacturer's website and see if you can download a a copy of the recovery cd. It should be in the support section. If not, you can possibly have one mailed to you but it may cost you a few dollars.

Like I said, it's been awhile since I've done this and may have left something out but I'm pretty sure that you will probably need the recovery cd. There are others ways to do this but they are complicated. btw, what is the make and model of your lappy?
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: Alfonso_Frisk on January 25, 2011, 02:06:39 PM
Thanks
the lappy is an Asus x50rl and ive just looked at the web site and found nothing.
The manual says if a recovery cd is needed then contact the retailer from where you bought it (strange)
I think I bought it from BT web site so Ive got more chance getting a kiss off the pope than any help from them.
Also found some advice on the web but as yet none has worked
How do I get rid of the 2 other os Ive installed leaving me the bad one ?
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: Skhilled on January 25, 2011, 02:12:41 PM
Then contact them. They probably do have it. The lappy was probably configured by BT so they should have one. No harm in trying.

To get rid of the other 2 OS, you'd have to delete them. I assume that they are installed in separate partitions so you would just need to delete the other 2 partitions. I'm trying to rack my brain on how to do it via DOS/command line. Funny, I can see myself doing it but can't remember how to get there. I'll have to google it. Give me a few to check...unless Oldboy comes back first. LOL
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: Skhilled on January 25, 2011, 02:42:09 PM
Sorry, mate was getting chatty. LOL

Follow the instructions to get to the command line as Oldboy instructed you before. The follow the instructions that follows. You should see all of your partitions. However, your lappy may have already come with more than one partition. They sometimes come with an extra partition to store info on it or even the recovery cd. So, you'd best be careful. Your primary partition would be C: and the extended one, if there was one would be D:. Delete them starting with the last letter, ie G:, and then reboot to see if they are gone. Do them one at a time (rebooting without the cd in the drive) to be sure that you are not deleting a partition you need. You should only have to do this twice. But I do recommend doing it AFTER you get the lappy running again or you may run the risk of losing everything.

http://web.uflib.ufl.edu/libsys/mmm/multi.htm

However, the best advice is to try and get a recovery cd. This will set you up proper.
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: Oldboy on January 25, 2011, 03:08:25 PM
Cheers for getting back to me
I have found a restore file and the hal.dl on a usb drive. copied to a cd and tried to boot from that but no joy.
Also tried again using another xp disc. I now have 3 versions of the os showing at start up menu and the original one wont load.
I can see all my files on  d so I guess the best option would be to copy these to another external drive and then wipe/format the pc?
trouble will be how do I then reinstall the xp if I dont have a disc. the serial is no longer on the base of the lappy either

OK. You need to get into your C:\ drive by using the command  cd C:\ on the command line prompt. Then use the copy command as outlined above.  ;D
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: Skhilled on January 25, 2011, 03:13:05 PM
You think he didn't actually copy it?
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: Alfonso_Frisk on January 25, 2011, 03:36:46 PM
I have emailed bt support requesting a recovery cd but I wont hold me breath as Ive had issues with them before.
At the moment Im copying my d drive to an external drive so at least my pics will be secure,
Also see a G drive now wich contains hidden files including windows etc, I guess this is from one of my recent installations?
Now I appear to have stopped getting the hal.dl error. Im getting another now
,windows\system32\config\system
(bangs head multiple times on desk)
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: Skhilled on January 25, 2011, 03:42:37 PM
LOL, been there before. Yeah, that's prolly one of the newer installs. Do what Oldboy suggested and see if that helps...if you have not done that already.
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: spinner on January 25, 2011, 04:17:14 PM
You might want to read through this while waiting for another disk.


http://pcsupport.about.com/od/findbyerrormessage/a/missinghaldll.htm

Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: Alfonso_Frisk on January 25, 2011, 09:35:13 PM
Update
In my computer I now have drives C,d and a new one G which I am using now.
I have copied over all info from D to an external drive and also copied the contents of c drive programme files
G is warning me of lack of space (how do I increase it? )
C drive is accessible but lappy wont boot to that drive.
I have carried out chkdisk on c via properties and that ran ok as did a virus scan

Now wondering should I format the c drive ?
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: Oldboy on January 25, 2011, 09:44:12 PM
Update
In my computer I now have drives C,d and a new one G which I am using now.
I have copied over all info from D to an external drive and also copied the contents of c drive programme files
G is warning me of lack of space (how do I increase it? )
C drive is accessible but lappy wont boot to that drive.
I have carried out chkdisk on c via properties and that ran ok as did a virus scan

Now wondering should I format the c drive ?

Have you replaced the hal.dll file on C drive?
If you have then close down the laptop and restart and press either F2 or F4 or F8, whichever takes you into your Bios and from there change the boot drive to C, save and see if that works.  ;D
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: Alfonso_Frisk on January 25, 2011, 09:55:57 PM
Tried all that OB without success. Also tried  setting boot up to default settings which puts first option as removeable drive but nothing happens
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: Oldboy on January 25, 2011, 10:13:29 PM
Tried all that OB without success. Also tried  setting boot up to default settings which puts first option as removeable drive but nothing happens

Very strange! It's not easy trying to workout what's happening without seeing it happen. When you ran Chkdsk did you use any options? I suspect it's either a bad sector or you have more than one system file that's corrupt.  :dance:
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: Alfonso_Frisk on January 25, 2011, 10:21:27 PM
As I said earlier, the hal.dll error no longer appears
i get this error now
<windows\system32\config\system missing file

I tried copying the config folder from g drive installation but it wont let me paste it within the c drive folders.
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: Trickee on January 25, 2011, 10:27:08 PM
It might be less brain draining to buy a new operating system.  :tup:
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: Alfonso_Frisk on January 25, 2011, 10:29:50 PM
It might be less brain draining to buy a new operating system.  :tup:
Might be more therapeutic to smash the Shiite out of the lappy with a bloody great hammer, and its getting more tempting by the hour
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: Oldboy on January 25, 2011, 10:33:26 PM
As I said earlier, the hal.dll error no longer appears
i get this error now
<windows\system32\config\system missing file

I tried copying the config folder from g drive installation but it wont let me paste it within the c drive folders.

If you are using NT file system then the Config.bat file contains nothing. In the earlier post you didn't say it was missing file! It could still be the hal.dll file but now it can't find it! When you pressed F8 did it list Safe Mode, Safe Mode with Networking Etc. If so, did you try selecting Last Known Good Configuration option? If not try it.  ;D
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: Alfonso_Frisk on January 25, 2011, 10:37:10 PM
As I said earlier, the hal.dll error no longer appears
i get this error now
<windows\system32\config\system missing file

I tried copying the config folder from g drive installation but it wont let me paste it within the c drive folders.

If you are using NT file system then the Config.bat file contains nothing. In the earlier post you didn't say it was missing file! It could still be the hal.dll file but now it can't find it! When you pressed F8 did it list Safe Mode, Safe Mode with Networking Etc. If so, did you try selecting Last Known Good Configuration option? If not try it.  ;D
tried all options from F8
get the start page listing 2 installations of xp pro
but I can only load the newest (g drive)
selecting the first always asks for the installation cd
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: Oldboy on January 25, 2011, 10:52:55 PM
As I said earlier, the hal.dll error no longer appears
i get this error now
<windows\system32\config\system missing file

I tried copying the config folder from g drive installation but it wont let me paste it within the c drive folders.

If you are using NT file system then the Config.bat file contains nothing. In the earlier post you didn't say it was missing file! It could still be the hal.dll file but now it can't find it! When you pressed F8 did it list Safe Mode, Safe Mode with Networking Etc. If so, did you try selecting Last Known Good Configuration option? If not try it.  ;D
tried all options from F8
get the start page listing 2 installations of xp pro
but I can only load the newest (g drive)
selecting the first always asks for the installation cd

As you can get into the C:\ drive try to copy the hal.dll from c:\Windows\ServicePackFiles\i386 to C:\Windows\system32. It's a backup on the C drive.  ;D

Not sure how your original harddisk was set up, but if it had harddrives C, D and E then you might be able to recover to factory default by typing retten in to  the command prompt line, as drive E is a backup of all system files.  ;D
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: spinner on January 26, 2011, 01:55:56 PM
Been a while since I used XP, but doesn't the "Computer Management" service in the Admin section of control panel allow you to delete and expand drives? If you've got everything you need from your C drive and are thinking of formatting anyway, why not try to delete C using the cComputer management service, then expand G to take up the left over space. It might not allow the expansion since it is the running operating system (which is why it would not let you copy and paste some files).
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: Alfonso_Frisk on January 26, 2011, 02:39:41 PM
Actually doing that now spin as I type funnily enough.
2nd attempt though. The first attempt gave me some error messages about video card problem at installation.
Going to get this up and running then invest in another faster machine.
Recomendations welcome
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: Skhilled on January 26, 2011, 03:23:56 PM
As I said earlier, the hal.dll error no longer appears
i get this error now
<windows\system32\config\system missing file

I tried copying the config folder from g drive installation but it wont let me paste it within the c drive folders.


I suspect that you will need more than one file to be copied than just hal.dll. Sometimes when you uninstall/delete things you delete Windows files or files that Windows needs to be shared with other programs in the process and I believe that is what started this. There may be more than just the one file, hal.dll, that is needed.

The video card problem means that you'll need to upgrade your drivers for it, most likely.
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: Alfonso_Frisk on January 26, 2011, 08:05:21 PM
Well that's my first ever format and reinstall done and up to now all is OK even after over a hundred windows updates.
Ive missed a prompt somewhere when applying labels to the 2 drives
I have a E drive (67gb) with everything installed there
and a New volume C drive (41 gb) which is empty for now
zone alarm, avast and adaware all installed plus network magic. Now to start on the cam progs.
fingers crossed :tup:
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: spinner on January 26, 2011, 10:28:19 PM
I'm not positive, but I think, if you delete the empty C drive using the Computer Management service you can then rename the G drive to C.
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: Skhilled on January 27, 2011, 01:17:35 AM
I think you're right.
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: Alfonso_Frisk on January 27, 2011, 10:21:44 AM
I think you're right.
I tried that and the emty C drive (41gb) has gone
It wont let me rename the E drive. So I am 41gb down now in theory as the space from C has not been added to the E drive.
Something is still amiss though with the system. Programmes sometimes hang and it only part boots if I select to start in safe modes.
Im suspecting a hardware issue now
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: spinner on January 27, 2011, 12:13:37 PM
If I was you, before I did anything else, I'd grab a copy of the Hard Drive manufacturer's diagnostic software and check the disk to make sure it isn't the problem. Save a lot of frustration if you find out the disk is bad, on the otherhand if it gets a pass you can work with it.
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: Skhilled on January 27, 2011, 12:35:29 PM
It's probably not bad. I've been looking at it backwards. You need to copy the system files to c: thus making it the primary drive. Then copy all of your files to c:

To do this, copy all files to c: and create it, if it is deleted. Then insert the recovery/install cd and get to the command prompt. Once there type, "sys d: c:"

d: is whatever drive letter your cd/dvd player is. That command will copy all of the system files required for c: to become the primary drive. You can then go back into Windows and change the primary drive to c:.

Once that is done, test it to make sure it is working properly. If so, then just delete the g: or whatever other ones you do not need.
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: Alfonso_Frisk on January 27, 2011, 12:54:25 PM
Here is a scren dump of what I see. Does this look right ?
(http://cameracraniums.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10003/DUMP1.jpg)
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: Skhilled on January 27, 2011, 01:16:20 PM
c: needs to be your boot partition.

EDIT: Sorry, if I don't answer right away. I'm cooking dinner. :P

I can't remember off-hand, but you might be able to right-click it and make it the boot drive.
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: Oldboy on January 27, 2011, 06:41:06 PM
You can delete a partition/drive or rename it with the exception of the boot partition/drive. The only way is to delete everything and start again.  :o
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: Alfonso_Frisk on January 27, 2011, 06:57:27 PM
You can delete a partition/drive or rename it with the exception of the boot partition/drive. The only way is to delete everything and start again.  :o
Which is what I have done thanks. Just doing a reinstall of everything.
Now have a C (system) drive 61gb, a D drive 41 gb and E of 4gb
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: Oldboy on January 27, 2011, 07:11:15 PM
You can delete a partition/drive or rename it with the exception of the boot partition/drive. The only way is to delete everything and start again.  :o
Which is what I have done thanks. Just doing a reinstall of everything.
Now have a C (system) drive 61gb, a D drive 41 gb and E of 4gb

 :tup:
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: spinner on January 28, 2011, 12:48:48 PM
http://tech.icrontic.com/articles/repair_windows_xp/

tool iittle too late I know but found it this morning entirely by accident :'(
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: spinner on January 28, 2011, 01:09:08 PM
I'm going to start printing these things and keep a file.
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: Alfonso_Frisk on January 28, 2011, 01:54:36 PM
Cheers Spin
Good stuff. Now bookmarked
RR
Alf
Title: Re: Serious Laptop problem
Post by: Oldboy on January 28, 2011, 05:54:29 PM
http://tech.icrontic.com/articles/repair_windows_xp/

tool iittle too late I know but found it this morning entirely by accident :'(

Well found Spin.  :tup: