Problem: hal.dll missing or corrupt on bootup.
My unique problem: My hard disk started acting flaky. I had to rebuild
from my emachines recovery disk in May. In the last couple months I had a
few hard boot failures due to disk read (can't remember exact message). I
decided to replace the hard drive. I connected my new drive to an unused IDE
connection in the disk drive chain. Using Driveimage.xml private edition and
usoft Disk Management, partitioned and cloned the new drive to a near exact
duplicate of the old (new drive was 50 GB larger). Using the boot options
menu tried to boot from the new drive, and got the "missing hal.dll" error.
After trying unsuccessfully to get up the usoft Recovery Console (I have an
OEM disc from which I was able to install, but on trying to start it the
machine reverts to emachine's Angelsoft recovery, which is inflexible and
dire). I tried changing the drive letter (Disk Management won't allow
relettering of root drive), manually massaging boot.ini?, etc. New drive
remained D:, old C:. In short, I could not exercise the Recovery Console
bootcfg options because of OEM barriers.
The cure: Simply powered off, unplugged the old drive IDE connector and
rebooted. The new drive was magically renamed C:. Powered off and connected
the old drive to the IDE chain, rebooted, and it was magically renamed D:,
and the new drive remained C:.
When the new drive was still D:, tried manually changing the disk(0) entries
in boot.ini to disk(1) (matching the numbers in Disk Management), but got a
different error (can't remember that either). It seems C: is somehow magic
and to me disc(N) is superfluous.
Finally, the internet is full of rumor, supposed technical expertise,
conspiracy theories, advertising, search engines routing one to another
search engine, and much barnyard detritus. Sorting wheat from chaff is
difficult in a world with chaff volume magnitudes greater than wheat. This
post the result of many hours of hacking, failing, etc, ad nauseum, ad