Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Can't boot - Infamous hal.dll error

  1. #1


    Kansas City, MO
    Posts : 7
    Windows 8.1

    Can't boot - Infamous hal.dll error


    Same error I've seen in hundreds of posts on here - corrupt or missing hal.dll - but I think I have everyone else beat. I can't even boot, so I can't try any of the suggestions on here. And BTW, I've not gotten any BSODs.

    I built the system in Feb and all was well, then bought a new HD and wanted to reinstall Windows on the new drive. That was a few days ago. All was fine at first, I was installing the apps I wanted, then it happened. I did a restart after a program install, and the error appeared right after the post screen.

    I restarted PC again, and tried to get into the BIOS. BIOS would not open. So I tried to use Windows 8.1 DVD to boot. No go. It still got through the POST screen then gave the error. Again I tried to restart and open BIOS and it would not open.

    I have a Gparted bootable DVD so I tried to boot with that. Again, no go.
    The Win 8.1 and Gparted DVDs were both created with FreeISO, and I've used both DVDs w/o any problems several times.

    Just for grins, I got my old Win XP Pro CD (retail purchased - I thought maybe it doesn't like the DVDs I created) and tried to boot with that. Same response.

    I unplugged the old drive that had the original Win 8.1 install. I thought, since I can't get into BIOS and tell it where to boot from - maybe it's trying to boot from that old install (I had deleted several files from that drive so it couldn't boot from the original drive.) No change.

    By now I'm almost certain I have a really bad virus. So I unplugged the new HD with the new Win 8.1 install and tried to boot with Windows 8.1 DVD. At this point I just have 1 HD used for data storage plugged in and my DVD-RW drive. Same thing.

    I've read a zillion posts/articles about this problem but haven't found any that have the problem of not being able to boot - or not even able to get into BIOS.

    People, I'm really concerned here. I put a lot of money and time in this system build and I'm starting to wonder if I have lost a mobo or some other major component. I know there are ways to make a rescue boot CD, but if my PC won't boot with the Windows or Gparted DVDs, I don't feel optimistic about a rescue CD helping me boot.

    Thank God I bought a new laptop in August or I'd really be hurting. But my desktop has 2 drives in addition to the HD that has Windows install, and I need access to some of the files on those other drives. (plus I'd like to be able to use my PC that is a Super Machine to me)

    Any suggestions would be appreciated. I know one of you super-geeks have seen a similar problem and know exactly what I need to do.

    Thanks,
    Ck

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10


    seems to me your issue is with corrupt BIOS Firmware, as it has to boot to BIOS before anything will boot...

    there are several repair methods to reflash the bios via disk - depends on the MB and bois
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Kansas City, MO
    Posts : 7
    Windows 8.1


    Thanks KYHI,
    But if I can't get my system to go into BIOS how am I going to flash the BIOS? Unless you think I can boot from a flash drive...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Kansas City, MO
    Posts : 7
    Windows 8.1


    What about clearing CMOS? I've never done it, but have heard it mentioned before.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5



    BSOD Kernel Dump Analyst
    Posts : 2,274
    Windows 10 Pro


    Clearing the CMOS will only reset the settings of the BIOS back to default, it doesn't do anything with the firmware.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Kansas City, MO
    Posts : 7
    Windows 8.1


    Axe0, if I can get into BIOS somehow, will flashing BIOS update/reinstall firmware?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7



    BSOD Kernel Dump Analyst
    Posts : 2,274
    Windows 10 Pro


    You'll only get into the BIOS by updating the firmware or reverting the firmware back to stock when the firmware is updated.
    How you can do that, I wouldn't know.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Kansas City, MO
    Posts : 7
    Windows 8.1


    I just went through my mobo manual and it has a feature called 'Direct key'. When u press it then power back on, it takes you directly to the BIOS screen. I just tried it, and sure enough - I got into BIOS. I didn't go any further cuz I really need some help on this.
    Thanks for your input.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9



    BSOD Kernel Dump Analyst
    Posts : 2,274
    Windows 10 Pro


    Insert the windows 8.1 dvd and say in the BIOS to boot from it.
    You should be able to try repairs with it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Kansas City, MO
    Posts : 7
    Windows 8.1


    ok,
    thanks Axe0
    Wish me luck!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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