Windows boot issue after viruses removed

By spkenny ยท 17 replies
Feb 12, 2009
  1. I have a machine that is my friends, needed a simple cleaning up. I scanned the hard drive with avast and removed the viruses from an external hard drive setup. I then restored the hard drive to the computer and started it up receiving this message:

    Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:;
    <Windows root>\system32\hal.dll
    Please re-install a copy of the above file

    I have looked this up and found this link for a solution

    I have not had much experience with repairing windows, and the last time I tried doing such a thing, the hard drive got overwritten and all the information was wiped somehow. The information on the hard drive is critical, so I need to know if backing up the data is recommended. Do things go wrong with a repair normally? I cant have anything go wrong on this, so I need the best recommendation on what to do.
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    The methods described will not normally hurt any User Data
    But if the the Windows system is encrypted or if a Partition fault exists, Or if Virus infection is still imminent it is possible to have data loss
    Also if the HardDrive itself is faulty, running such commands as CheckDisk can destroy the data (unlikely, but possible)

    Therefore, always back up User data before making any major change or alterations to System files

    On top of the solutions provided, here are some Repair steps (I quoted all the normal ones)

    Microsoft's Windows XP Professional Repair Install step by step
    Microsoft's Windows XP Home Repair Install step by step

    Vista Repair: (index page) (guide)
  3. spkenny

    spkenny TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 57

    I have just one more question reguarding a winxp repair. The instructions in the links provided seem as if it is simply doing a fresh reload of winxp. When you do a repair, does everything get wiped? Also, what is happening in the instructions is not happening in my case. As soon as I hit the 'R' for repair option, it does not follow up with a screen to select the windows in which to repair. It immediately goes to Microsoft windows recovery console, and gives a C:\> prompt. As this is not in the instructions on the links, I don't know what to do from here. I type help and it gives a list of commands, but I'm not sure which to choose.
  4. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    In recovery console as you state above

    That should be c:\Windows>

    If that is correct then
    bootcfg /rebuild

    And hit the Enter Key

    When back at prompt
    type Exit

    Should put you back in windows!

  5. spkenny

    spkenny TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 57

    Update: My friend has decided to simply reload xp onto the machine. However, we are running into an issue where the SATA hard drive for some reason has 38 mb of disc space in fat32 format, and the remaining 130 some odd space that we were able to format in NTFS. He wants to make the entire hard drive avaliable for space, but we are unable to remove or do anything with the FAT32 portion of the drive. This possibly is the reason for our second problem. Upon putting in the xp cd for a reload of xp, it goes through the process until it comes to the list of availiable hard drives being recognized. None are being found, and I am wondering if the FAT32 part of the hard drive is conflicting somehow. If so how to we get the hard drive completely formatted? As I said, we tried formatting this SATA from another computer using the Disc Management. Immediately after no hard drives are found, a stop error occurs which I am unable to determine what it is about. The message is:

    ***STOP: 0x0000008E (0xC0000005, 0X8081A799, 0XF6FDD778, 0X00000000)

    I have done a memory scan on the ram, and it has found no errors.
  6. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    You jumped to fast you should have run it by me.

    Post 4 would have put you back in Windows, from there perhaps a repair install.

    Now you have a mess!

    You need the floppy disk text mode SATA drivers and you will need to hit F6 to install them.

    OR an XP setup disk that has the SATA drivers slipstreamed.

    And I would let XP setup reformat HD as part of the install and if it does not get the FAT32 partition it can be handled when windows is up via disk management.

    Good luck,
  7. spkenny

    spkenny TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 57

    Thank you for responding to my issue. The original setup had a raid setup going, so apparently the second hard drive has a duplicate image of the first, and a stable copy of the xp to boot. I formatted the first hard drive, but I'm leaving the second alone in case things dont work out. I am a novice computer tech, but am not completely up to speed on how sata setups, etc which has me scratching my head on situations like this. I use techspot every time I have an issue, so if you dont mind me contacting you instead of posting in the forums all the time. I basically need people who know what they're talking about, as there are some tech gurus in here giving advice who quite obviously do NOT know what they are talking about. Now back to the computer, yes I have ran with it before I could walk. I have some things to obviously fix, but I should take this slow to make sure I do everything properly. First, the bios. I need info on what the settings should be. In the bios under Drives is SATA Operations. The choices are 1.Raid Autodetect / AHCI, 2. Raid Autodetect / ATA, 3. RAID On, and 4. Combination. I messed with this already, and need to make sure I have the right configuration.
  8. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    No it has to be thu the board!

    And the best quickest an fastest way to do this is to see if you can boot up the second drive and get it to the recovery console and do my post #4.

    When it gets back into windows you can start a repair install from the cd within windows.

    This computer likely is alright once booted and scanned.

  9. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Just to go over this part

    The links I provided to Repair Windows, required that you press the 2nd R prompt not the 1st one for the Recovery Console
    Also, going through the Repair steps would have not required the harddrive controller driver (as it was already installed)
    And no, nothing is "wiped" from doing a Repair (following the guide steps) The only thing it removes is Windows security updates, back to the Windows CD you are using
  10. spkenny

    spkenny TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 57

    Thank you for that info kim, it will be helpful for future repairs to windows. Mike, 'through the board' doesnt tell me what setting to use in the options. I have 4 settings in the bios to choose from for SATA Operations, and I need to make sure which setting to go with for a setup of 2 sata hard drives. Are you saying I just mess with the 4 settings until it works right? As for the SATA drivers needed, where would I find the download to install them, and what is the term used for them? Just look up sata drivers for the model of the tower?

    If it would make things any clearer, and possibly help me to find the correct sata drivers needed, the tower I am working on is a Dell XPS 400. I found 3 different downloads for sata, but again, not sure which I need.
  11. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

  12. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    I meant by thu the board that all has to be here posted in the thead not by email or otherwise.
    Did you decide to put the other drive (2nd of the Raid back in and fix windows) or are you working on the formatted drive.

    If working on the 2nd drive with windows you may can just plug it up and the raid may recognize a drive has failed or missing and try to recover.

  13. spkenny

    spkenny TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 57

    kim, I did as you said. There is nothing that comes up reguarding a sata driver. So how do I determine what driver I actually need if dell doesnt have anything? And still I don't know what I'm looking for. If I type in the model XPS 400, there are 3 sata drivers that come up in the downloads section. I extracted the files from each into 3 seperate folders, then copied the files from 1 folder onto a floppy, and tried it. When it gets to the point to press F6, I press F6 (the floppy is in the drive), it then concludes it cant determine what sata driver I need or have. I really dont know if I'm explaining this situation correctly or well enough. Just know I am relatively new to sata and its setup. I dont even know if I'm creating the proper sata disc
  14. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    I'm not sure what you mean by this
    Are you saying that it gives you a choice? (ie you have 3 drivers on the floppy)
    And you just want to know which one to choose?

    Or it doesn't say any driver to choose from? In which case you will need to contact Dell and ask which one to choose or download.

    By the way you are unzipping them to floppy first of course?
  15. spkenny

    spkenny TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 57

    It is getting to a list in the xp setup of potential sata drivers to install. I'm going through each one hopefully until one works. It's listing 4 Unknown discs in the list of existing partitions. Just saw your response. I am unzipping them to a folder, then copying the contents of the folder onto the floppy. Not unzipping them directly to the floppy. Is that what I should be doing?
  16. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    That's what I do, when I don't know which one to choose :grinthumb

    Hmm, you may have a Restore partition (probably do)
    You can use the Gparted live BootCd to confirm that
  17. spkenny

    spkenny TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 57

    what I was saying about the 3 available files for sata is they are the only 3 drivers for this specific model that have sata in the description at all. These are on the dell site under the downloads and drivers section for this machine. It is seeing 4 unkown discs because this machine has sata 0, 2, 3, and 4 on the motherboard
  18. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Yes I know :) Continue above ;)
    And slow down a bit

    This has no relevance. Unless you have all those connections used by Harddrives
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