Flashed motherboard bios, now get missing HAL.DLL error

So, last night I flashed the bios on my Intel motherboard. I don’t have the exact model number on me right now as I’m at work, but it was a 4 year old motherboard. I got the correct flasher .exe off the Intel site for the exact motherboard I have.

So, it installs, reboots my computer. Then when it tries to load my OS, I get a “missing HAL.DLL file in \windows32 - please copy this file into the windows32 directory”. If I press any key, the computer reboots.

My computer is a bit strangely set up. My inital C: drive has a bootable version of XP SP1 on it, but I wanted a clean XP install so I installed another copy on my secondary, larger hard drive which is the E: drive.

When I boot up, I can select between these two installs. After the BIOS upgrade, the first XP in the boot list gives me the missing HAL.DLL file, but my older install of XP, the second option, boots fine. Unfortunately, this version of XP is extremely slow and bogged down from years of use.

So, if I boot my laggy version of XP off the C: drive, I can see everything on my E: drive, and everything is intact. Even hal.dll in my windows32 directory. Very strange.

I then got my XP SP1 disk and did an “OS Recovery” on my E: drive XP install. After this, it still gives me the exact same “missing HAL.DLL file in \windows32 - please copy this file into the windows32 directory” error.

Any ideas?

No luck with Google?

I vaguely seem to remember that the HAL.DLL error is actually some weird side-effect of other boot problems.

  • Alan

I’ve got a bit of google ammo, but none of the problems I’ve seen stem from a BIOS upgrade.

HAL is hardware abstraction layer.

my guess is the new bios reset the setting (i think from ON to OFF) That’s why windows won’t boot.

Check the setting in the bios, turn it on, try to boot. If not work, boot with the windows CD and try a repair.

Is your E: drive on a seperate physical hard disk than your C: drive? If it is your new BIOS might be detecting your 2nd drive’s geometry differently than your old BIOS. Might be worth a shot to check in your BIOS and look at how your hard drive is set up. If it’s set to LBA change it to CHS, or vice-versa.