Jump to content

Please help me - My laptop is dead


Recommended Posts

Hello malware experts, I think I may have a virus on my laptop. When I turn it on it just has a black screen saying hal.dll is missing or corrupt. I am really worried because it has all my schoolwork on it. My brother has been trying to help me fix it and he found a fix on the internet that said how to do a disk check from the console on the xp disk. But we tried that and it did not work. We found some other fixes as well but my brother is scared to try them because he says if we do not get it right it might make my laptop worse and I might lose all my work. Can someone tell us what to do please?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Becca,

I need you to answer a few of questions before I can help you.

Why do you think it could be a virus that caused this problem? Was your laptop behaving strangely before this happened? Were you getting popups or 'strange pages' on Google searches or anything similar?

What EXACTLY did you type into the 'console' (Recovery Console)? Was it chkdsk or chkdsk /r or something different to this?

If the disk check completed successfully, did it tell you whether or not it found, or fixed, any errors?

What EXACTLY does it say on your XP disk? I need to know whether you have the Pro, Home or Media Edition and also what service pack version it has.

I need you to confirm that you have Windows XP and not Vista or Windows 7 installed on your laptop.

Also, can you remember when you last defragmented your hard drive?

Let me know and I will tell you what to do next.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello marktreg, thankyou for helping us. I hope you can tell us how fix it. My laptop was fine before it happened. I did not notice anything funny happening before. I just turned it on when I got home and it would not start up. My brother said it might be a virus that caused it. He told me he typed chkdsk /r into the console. It took about half an hour to do and it said no errors were found at the end. My xp disk says microsoft windows XP home edition with service pack 3 on it and my laptop has windows xp on it. I dont think I have ever defragmented my hard drive. Is that ok?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi becca,

Yes, that's OK. In fact, it makes it a bit easier for me to help you. From what you've told me it looks like you successully performed a full sector disk scan which found no errors or 'bad sectors' on your hard drive. That is good news because it means the problem is probably not caused by some kind of hardware failure. I would actually have asked you to perform a disk check as a first step. However, as you have already done it, we can now try a specific fix for the problem.

So let's try this next:

Start your laptop with the XP Setup CD in the drive. When you see the "Press any key to boot from CD..." prompt, do so and let the CD-based boot process begin.

When the Recovery Console option is offered ("Press R to start the Recovery Console"), do so. You may be asked which Windows installation to enter, in which case type the number of the Windows installation you wish to work on (usually "1").

When prompted, enter the Administrator's password for that Windows installation. Or leave it blank if you don't have one.

At the command prompt, type "Bootcfg /Rebuild" (without the quotes) and hit enter.

After a few moments you should see a prompt that says something like:

Total Identified Windows Installs: 1

[1] C:\Windows

Add Installation To Boot List?

Assuming the information you see is correct, enter "Y" for yes.

After a moment, you'll be asked to "Enter Load Identifier."

Type in "Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" (without the quotes) and hit enter.

Next you'll be asked to "Enter OS Load Options.

Type in "/Fastdetect" (without the quotes) and hit enter.

You can then type "Exit" to leave the Recovery Console and reboot the PC.

Let me know what happens. And if you receive any error messages, please tell me what they said.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Becca,

Excellent news. ;)

I did not actually know for certain that the bootcfg /rebuild would work. After performing a full sector chkdsk, which you already did, it is just the first thing to try with hal.dll errors. If it didn't work we would have tried other things until we eventually found a fix for it. Sometimes this hal.dll error is easy to fix, and sometimes it's not. That's just the way it is with computers sometimes.

Anyway, we are not quite finished yet. From what you have told me, I don't think it was a virus or any other kind of malware that caused your hal.dll error. But we had better make sure, so please do this next:

Update any antivirus protection you have on your laptop and run a full computer scan.

After that, if you already have Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware installed on your laptop, please update it and run a 'Quick Scan'. Or, if you don't have it installed, please download the free version from here:


Install it, update it and run a 'Quick Scan'.

If it finds anything it can't remove, please follow the instructions here:


and post your Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware and HijackThis logs here:


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did what you said and my avira antivirus said 0 Viruses and/or unwanted programs were found and the antimalware said the scan completed successfully no malicious items were detected. Are we finished now? Thankyou again for your help, you have been great.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Becca,

Your laptop seems to be clean of viruses/malware, and we are almost finished now. If your laptop does start acting strangely in the future, please post the logs in the way I said earlier. But, for now, everything seems to be OK.

It is just possible that a highly fragmented file system might have contributed to your hal.dll error. So there is only one more thing to do. This is it:

Right-click My Computer, and then click Open.

Right-click on the (C:) drive, and then click Properties.

Click the Tools tab, and then click Defragment Now.

Click Defragment.

When the degragmentation process finishes the fix is complete. As well as slightly speeding up your computer, the defrag may also help to stop the hal.dll error happening again.

Happy computing. ;)

All the best,


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
Back to top
  • Create New...

Important Information

This site uses cookies - We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.