What to Know

  • With Windows XP CD: Insert CD and access Recovery Console > enter a command > enter Y > restart.
  • Without Windows XP CD: Boot from USB device with Windows XP ISO image, then use the copy command.
  • Do not download a separate hal.dll file, which could be outdated, incompatible, or contain a virus.

This article explains how to fix a missing or corrupt hal.dll error by restoring the hal.dll hidden file by using Recovery Console, either with or without a Windows XP CD. The process for fixing hal.dll errors in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, and Vista is different.

How to Restore Hal.dll From a Windows XP Disc

If you have a Windows XP disc, use the expand command via Recovery Console to restore the missing hal.dll file.

  1. Insert the Windows XP Recovery CD into your disc drive.

  2. Enter the Windows XP Recovery Console.

  3. When you reach the command line prompt, type the following and press Enter:

    expand d:i386hal.dl_ c:windowssystem32 

    In that expand command, d: represents the drive letter assigned to the optical drive that your CD is currently in, and c: represents the drive that Windows is currently installed on. The drive letters may be different on your computer.

    Spaces are needed between the expand command, the path to the optical drive, and the System32 path.

  4. Type Y if prompted to overwrite the file.

  5. Remove the CD and type exit, and then press Enter to restart your PC.

Assuming that the missing or corrupt hal.dll file was your only issue, Windows should now start normally.

There are many reasons why you should never download hal.dll from a DLL download website. The file might be outdated, infected with a virus, or incompatible with your system, which can cause even more problems.

How to Restore Hal.dll Without a CD

It’s also possible to restore hal.dll without a CD or disc drive. Look for an ISO image of the XP Recovery Disc online and burn the ISO file to a USB drive.

After you change the boot order in the system BIOS and boot from the USB device, use this command to copy hal.dll to the appropriate location on your hard drive:

copy f:hal.dll c:windowssystem32

Replace f: with the drive letter for your USB device.

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