In the Windows NT (Server 2003, XP, and 2000) systems, the HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) file is the collection of certain technology and drivers that communicate with the system hardware. It prevents the applications to directly access the system's resources, which prevents many device conflicts and system crashes. However, still sometimes the HAL file may get corrupt thereby making the system inaccessible. Such problems may occur due to various reasons such as virus infections, power outages, damaged file systems, etc. In such situations, you should take appropriate corrective measures to address the situation. However, if you are unable to do so then you should use a third-party Windows partition recovery software to rectify the issue and recover your inaccessible data.
Consider a scenario wherein your Windows XP system is unable to start when you switch it on. An error message is displayed, that is:
“Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt.
Please re-install a copy of the above file.”
The partition of the system drive is corrupt and, thus, inaccessible.
There could be following causes for the aforementioned error message:
The partition or boot record in the system drive is corrupt.
The Hal.dll and the Ntoskrnl.exe files are mismatched.
The Hal.dll or the Ntoskrnl.exe file has damaged because of corruption to the file system.
To address this error message and access the data, you should perform the following methods for every cause, respectively:
Resolution for Cause 1:
Repair the master boot record by using fixmbr in the Windows XP Recovery Console.
If the system drive has FAT partition, then use fixboot in the Windows XP Recovery Console to write a new boot sector on the system drive. Then, use fixmbr to repair the master boot record.
Resolution for Cause 2:
Start the system from the Windows XP installation media, start the Recovery Console, and then use Bootcfg.exe to rebuild the Boot.ini file.
Resolution for Cause 3:
Start the system by using the Windows XP Recovery Console, and run chkdsk /r.
However, if you are not able to recover partition by using the aforementioned methods, then you should use a third-party partition recovery software to recover Windows partition. Such tools are read-only in nature that do not overwrite the storage media while scanning it.
Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery is a Windows partition recovery software that is able to recover partition from both FAT and NTFS file systems. It is able to recover more than 185 different file types from various storage media such as hard drives, pen drives, iPods, memory cards, etc. In addition, this partition recovery tool is capable of recovering deleted emails from MS Outlook and Outlook Express. It is compatible with Windows 7, Vista, Server 2003, XP, and 2000.
Restoring Windows XP when HAL.dll file is missing