How to Restore Hal.dll From the Windows XP CD

Fix hal.dll error in Windows XP using the Recovery Console

Screenshot showing how to expand copy hal.dll from a Windows XP disc to the system32 folder
Recovery Console hal.dll Restore Command.

The hal.dll file is a hidden file that Windows XP uses to communicate with your computer's hardware. If the DLL file gets damaged, corrupted, or deleted, you will receive a “missing or corrupt hal.dll” error message. Follow these steps to restore the hal.dll file from the Windows XP CD using the Recovery Console.

Hall.dll errors can occur on Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista; however, the process for fixing hal.dll errors in Windows 7, 8, 10, and Vista is different.

How to Restore Hal.dll From a Windows XP Disc

To restore a missing hal.dll from the Windows XP Recovery Disc:

  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:\i386\hal.dl_ c:\windows\system32 

    In the expand command above, d: represents the drive letter assigned to the optical drive that your Windows XP CD is currently in, and c: represents the drive that Windows XP 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 c:\windows\system32\ path.

  4. Type Y if prompted to overwrite the file.

  5. Remove the Windows XP 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 XP should now start normally.

Never download a hal.dll file 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 The file might be outdated, infected with a virus, or incompatible with your system, which can cause even more problems.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 the hal.dll file to the appropriate location on your hard drive:

copy f:\hal.dll c:\windows\system32

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