The Windows operating system uses HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) for the Windows NT series of operating systems. This hal.dll file is actually a layer of software products that directly interacts with the system hardware. Because of this, different applications and device drives do not need to deal directly with the hardware and must make calls to HAL routines to determine hardware specific information, thereby making your job much easier. However, at times this file gets corrupt due to which you cannot start your computer as the system is unable to detect the active partition. There are several methods that should be tried out to bring the system in order. If these methods do not work, then you should use a third-party Windows partition recovery software to recover the inaccessible data.
Such a problem can occur when you try to start your Windows XP system. You may face the following error message in this case:
“Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt.
Please re-install a copy of the above file.”
There could be the following reasons for this system startup issue:
The active partition or boot record is corrupt.
The file system or disk corruption damages the primary boot record, the Hal.dll file, and/or the Ntoskrnl.exe file.
The Hal.dll and the Ntoskrnl.exe files are mismatched.
These situations can be recovered using the following methods for the aforementioned causes:
If the partition or boot record is bad, then you should repair the master boot record by using the 'fixmbr' command from the Windows XP Recovery Console.
If the file system or disk is corrupt, then you should run 'chkdsk /r' to scan and repair the hard disk by logging in the Recovery Console using Windows XP CD.
If the hal.dll and Ntoskrnl.exe files are mismatching, then you should use the Windows XP CD to access Recovery Console. This method involves checking the boot.ini file and rebuilding it and using fixboot to write new Windows boot sector code on the system partition.
However, if you are still not getting access to your system then you should recover partition using a good third-party data recovery software. These partition recovery tools are competent enough to recover all the data without any damage to the memory device.
Out of several partition recovery software available these days, Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery is the best one as it recovers lost, deleted, or formatted data from NTFS, exFAT, and FAT file systems. Able to recover more than 185 different file types from various storage devices, this Windows partition recovery utility is compatible with Windows 7, Vista, Server 2003, XP, and 2000.