Missing Windows hal.dll file

Updated: 04/26/2017 by Computer Hope

Windows hal.dll fileIf your Windows computer reports an error that the DLL file hal.dll is missing, follow these steps to help resolve the issue.

Verify the boot.ini is present and not corrupted

  1. Verify the boot.ini file is found on the computer by using a boot diskette or use your Windows CD to get to the MS-DOS "C:\>" prompt.
  2. From this prompt edit the boot.ini, verify that it is pointing to the correct operating system, and that no anomalies are found within the file.
  • If only one operating system is on the computer verify that the boot.ini only has one operating system listed. In some situations, an alternate configuration line may be added for the same operating system, leaving the improper line.
  • Verify that the "default=" line as well as the operating system line are the same and that they are pointing to the correct operating system.

Verify that the computer has the hal.dll file

From the MS-DOS "C:\>" prompt determine if your computer has the hal.dll file by typing dir hal.dll /s at the prompt. If the computer returns a "File not found" message, the hal.dll has been deleted.

To recover this file boot the Windows operating system CD and choose the option to "Restore", "Repair", or "Recover." This option will prompt you for the Windows installation to use, the administrators password and allow you to restore the proper file. At the MS-DOS prompt type the below command.

expand x:\i386\hal.dl_ y:\windows\system32\

In the above example, "x" would be the letter of your CD-ROM drive and "y" the letter of the drive your operating system is installed on. For example, your disc drive may be D: and your hard drive is likely C:.

Additional information about the expand command can be found on our expand help page.

Reinstall the operating system

If the boot.ini is found on the computer and does not appear to be corrupted or if the hal.dll file is missing it is recommended that you reinstall your Windows operating system.

Additional information

  • See the HAL definition for further information about this term and related links.