Hal.dll is singing "Daisy" (I'm scared)


I'm new here, burrowing for juicy morsels of BOOT solutions in the cyberspace underbrush, as us Kiwis are wont to do. From reading some of the posts, I'm certain that I finally arrived in the right place! I've toyed with BootItNG, DualBootPRO and Partition Wizard and I still have an unresolved booting problem after all that.

Basically, my problems started when I decided to install a 2nd copy of XP in another partition. the 1st copy, Vista HP 32-bit and W7U 64-bit already existed and worked wonderfully.

After extensive heartache, frustration and near panic that I would not be able to boot anything from anywhere, I (somehow) recovered until I can now boot Vista and W7 from the Boot Loader menu. There are also 2 entries for the XP partitions and the Recovery Console. The 2nd XP installed OK but failed to establish an Internet connection, so I'm giving up on that one and intend to do a re-install (eventually). I'm trying to recover (boot) the more actively used initial XP version. When I select it from the Menu, I get the 'Hal.dll missing/corrupt' message, which supposedly is a problem with the Legacy Boot Loader boot.ini file.

I downloaded and installed the latest EasyBCD Beta in the W7 partition and started it. All the OSs show up with the correct drive letters but I can't tell what, if anything, is wrong with the entry for the desired XP. When I run Partition Wizard, that XP OS is the 4th partition on my C drive (system) but that's different from where it appears in the list of entries displayed by Boot Loader. Maybe it doesn't matter?

Before having Easy BCD DO anything, I decided to come here first and get advice on what I should have it DO, before creating yet another booting tragedy. Us Kiwis are reticent, shy, flightless birds and we scare easily - especially after having been recently faced with extinction (from mis-booting).

I know there are booting gurus here who can solve my problem and tell me EXACTLY what I should do with EasyBCD Beta, right?

Thanks, heaps! (I'm now in my Vista OS but can I run EasyBCD Beta from W7 as well?. Does it matter?)


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Hi Kiwi.
I expect your XP BCD entry is pointing to the wrong place. (It doesn't point to XP, but the XP boot files)
Using EasyBCD 2.0 (not 1.7) either use tools/auto-configure, or just delete the XP entry (there should only be one - even for multiple XPs) and add it again. Easy will offer to auto-configure when you add XP. Just say yes, and don't change its drive assignment.
So now I've received directions to a juicy-looking grub and a wiggly worm from the high-flying BOOT guru war-bird with real wings! :happy: I like the Auto-configure grub because it leaves the least room for me pecking the wrong key and setting off Bootarmgeddon. I be back! :??


Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Hey Kiwi, welcome to the forums.

Love your enthusiasm and your never-ending searching for grubs, errrr knowledge.

Hope things work out with you - and maybe you'll stay aboard the forums and lending a helping hand when your problems are sorted out!
I'm Back!

Oh great BOOT guru war-bird with wings in the sky:

I followed your juicy grub instructions to a 'T' and clicked on Auto-configure in the Tools drop-down menu of the EasyBCD Beta (76) - to solve all my XP problems, right?


First, the Good News: W7 and Vista still boot! :happy:

When I clicked on my favorite XP menu entry (XP1), I was presented with another (boot.ini) Legacy menu with entries for my 2 XP partitions. Then, holding my breath and closing my squinty eyes and praying to the god of all Kiwis for the solution to my problem, I pecked the preferred XP1 entry.

Drumroll here to scare away the possums.

Instead of seeing the familiar Windoes XP Pro logo, I saw (could hardly bear to look) the following (familiar) message:

HAL (.dll) singing "Daisy". So we can scratch the (dud) grub.

After this, I'm not very confident that the wiggly worm will taste any better!

How can I verify the true nature of my problem before taking another leap into the unknown?


Hi, Computer Guru! I LOVE your avatar! As for staying here and helping other grounded Kiwis (and other desperate creatures) bootstrap themselves and their PCs: I'm game. :lol:

I know that my XP1 partition is still out there, waiting for me to awaken it with some magic wand. I can see all the data with Partition Wizard - looking lonely and unused.


Here's an offer (Computer Guru and war-bird) you can't refuse:

If you (or anyone else here) can give me the solution to my problem (without creating another one), I will ChipIn! $10US. The only condition is that the suggested solution actually WORKS on the 1st try!


Hey, CG - are you posting from the vast underground caverns at Dimona?


Back again!

Here are some weird looking entries from the Windows Legacy Loader for XP1 (HAL). These entries are missing from XP2.

custom: 45000001 1
custom: 47000005 30198982

This is from the Detailed (Debugging) view. Could this be garbage? (corruption).
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Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Typically, missing hal.dll means that the boot.ini entry is incorrect. Now EasyBCD 2.0 is supposed to fix boot.ini automatically, but it looks like something threw it off the scent.

Can you paste
1) the contents of boot.ini
2) a screenshot of Control Panel | Administrative Tools | Computer Management | Disk Management and tell us which partition belongs to which OS

Here are some more clues:

There are 2 XP entries on the (Vista/W7) Boot Loader Menu:

XP1 and XP2

Boot Legacy menu shows up when XP1 is selected.
Another error message shows up when XP2 is selected (corrupt file).

The Legacy Boot menu only has the XP1 and XP2 entries:

XP1 (generates the HAL message). Path is WINDOWS\System32\ (drive F)
XP2 boots successfully into the XP2 partition (drive G)

Here is the boot.ini file:

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Windows XP on G:\" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS="Windows XP on F:\" /fastdetect

Here is the physical order of partitions on the C drive:

1. C (Vista)
2. G (XP2)
3. S (W7)
4. F (XP1)

It seems to me that the 2nd XP entry (XP2) on the Vista/W7 Boot Menu should be deleted (for starters)?!



Why is the HAL error message indicating a WINDOWS\System32 path (where there is no boot.ini file) when it should be looking in the \ntlr directory?


Methinks I'm running out of wiggle (worm) room. BOOT guru war-bird's (with wings) last comment makes sense:

There should be only ONE Legacy OS entry on the Vista/W7 Boot Loader Menu: XP Professional

Suppose I delete both XP entries from the Vista/W7 Boot Loader Menu, add a new XP Professional entry and let Easy Auto-configure whatever Legacy OSs it finds on the C drive? WAIT! - there is actually a 3rd XP entry: Older Windows versions (also Legacy). Should I delete that one as well? Waddaya think, war-bird? Is that a Spitfire you're flying, war-bird? (I only fly a Cessna 152)
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Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Yes, there should only be one XP entry (MS design is that multiple NT systems boot from the NTLDR boot.ini, and the top-level BCD entry just chains to that)
Best approach - delete all the XP entries, then add one and let Easy2 do its thing.

(The Avatar image gets a mention back here if you're interested. Though its an example of the same Mark, it's not the 2-seater discussed there, just an image I picked off the web)
As the wiggly worm turns

Well, fellow BOOT sufferers of the multi-boot-with-XP persuasion, BOOT guru war-plane Spitfire (with wings) has been SHOT DOWN AGAIN (Y'all don't know just how Sorry I am!)

First the Good News, though: Vista and W7 still boot. :brows:


after deleting all XP Boot Menu entries, adding a brand new XP entry and then letting EasyBCD Beta (76) Auto-configure do 'its thing' (reconfigure boot.ini, etc.), there is now only 1 XP entry on the Vista/W7 Boot Menu and the same 2 entries for XP1 (F-drive) and XP2 (G-drive) on the Legacy Boot menu - with identical results when pecking on these entries. HAL is alive and well and singing "Daisy" louder than ever. :lol:

It seems that EasyBCD Beta (76) is still in the dark and somewhat UNeasy - just like us scared (with good reason) Kiwis!

How now, brown cow? (No ChipIn! tonight, Josephine!) :x

CG, I'm not a quitting Kiwi. Even if I have to knock humbly on Microsoft's door to seek help, I'll come back here and tell y'all how my problem was finally solved. If the grub and worm didn't 'do it', a big, fat, juicy BUG surely will! (Got Bugs?)

Like I said before: Why is the Legacy Boot Loader looking in the WINDOWS\System32 directory before making HAL sing "Daisy" - when it should be looking somewhere else (the NTLDR directory) for XP OSs!?
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Mostly Harmless
Staff member
OK, I'm almost certain this is *not* a bootloader issue.

HAL.DLL is most-commonly associated with an incorrect boot configuration, but that need not be the case - because what EasyBCD put in your boot.ini and what you Disk Management screenshot show match perfectly. I'm hesitant to say I'm 100% certain, but it's close to that.

It used to happen to me back in the day when I'd messed up some of the XP system files or installed a bad driver.

The solution:

Boot from your XP CD, and perform an in-place upgrade of the XP2 installation (also known as a repair install).

To do so: How to perform an in-place upgrade of Windows XP

This will get your XP2 working again, and present you with a boot menu with XP1 and XP2, but no Vista/7.

Once inside XP2 after the in-place upgrade has been performed, install EBCD2, go to Bootloader Management, and select "Reinstall Vista/7 Bootloader" to get all 4 OSes booting once more.

Cheers and good luck.
I have now talked to the W7 BOOT gurus in India (paid by MS). So far, sfc scan found some corrupted system files - but some of them are still there. Very interesting approach to solving problems - IGNORE them. They finally gave up and handed me over to the XP BOOT gurus (also in India, no doubt). Now I have to go burrowing in the underbrush for my XP installation CD. :wtf:


Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Yeah, looks like what's ostensibly a BCD/NTLDR mis-configuration is in reality an XP install issue.

The steps I gave you should fix it :smile:
How many BCD Boot Menus are there?

I made an interesting discovery yesterday (NO - I didn't discover the XP Installation CD in the Dark Forest Underbrush).

The latest EasyBCD list of Boot Menu entries showed 4 entries but 2 other, similar programs I'm using (DualBootPRO and VistaBootPro) only showed 3 entries (No XP entry). After adding an XP entry with DBP and using a slightly different name than showed up in the EasyBCD Boot Menu, the new entry showed up when using both of them AND the new XP entry (with the new name) showed up in EasyBCD as well. So, using my (small) Kiwi brain, I concluded that the XP entry in EasyBCD only existed in EasyBCD (not in the actual BCD Store - because the other 2 programs didn't see it) OR the EasyBCD XP entry was in the BCD Store but the other 2 programs have BUGS in them and didn't display all entries! In any case, there is at least 1 juicy BUG (maybe more) around here somewhere - Yum! :tongueout:
A Christmas present found in the Underbrush

So, minutes after leaving the IMAX screening of "Avatar" in the Dark Forest Underbrush, I received a phone call from MS Support in India, asking me if I still had my XP non-booting problem. I said "Yes" and the (very polite) Indian man asked when it would be convenient for me to receive a phone call from their BOOT Research genius who is full of knowledge to solve my little problem. I said "Monday between 8-9AM". Meanwhile, I dug up an XP Pro SP3 install CD, just in case.

Stay tuned for an exciting update from the Dark Forest Underbrush!:brows:


Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Keep us in the loop and good luck.

(btw, Avatar in 3D was excellent :grinning:)
Yeah, CG , Avatar 3D was an amazing experience. I didn't expect much from 3D but the visual effects were superb. The main negative was that the acoustics during the main battle scene almost blew out my sensitive Kiwi eardrums:tongueout:oint:
UPDATE: Bad Optical Drive!

After a brief chat with the Indian (BOOT) Guru and a test of my Optical Drive with the HP Hardware Diagnostic tool (failure of 1st CD read test!), we jointly determined that the OD is kaput! :x NOTHING will boot from the OD and the system hangs when trying to Eject a CD or trying to do anything else with it. I shall return from the Optical Drive underbrush to the land of BOOTs after I dig up (and install) a new OD. :brows:
UPDATE: New Optical Drive

Found a new SONY Optiarc AD-7240S DVD/CD drive in the Dark Forest Underbrush and installed it. Works great!...BUT the (newly discovered) XP Pro CD still could not be read! UGH! Aha - found a few crimps along the edge (looks like a manufacturing defect). While doing more burrowing in the DFU, uncovered my ORIGINAL (Final Release) Windows XP Pro CD - readable and bootable! The Indian (BOOT) Guru will be back on Friday (1 Jan) and we'll give it another 'GO'.

"Happy New Year" (and plenty of grubs, worms and bugs) to everyone! :??


Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Happy New Years and good luck.