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Laptop problem

Guest mariotech

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Just come back from holiday to find my laptop won't work. When it tries to start it comes up with the message " Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt" \system32\hal.dll.

I do not have the copy of XP that it is loaded with or a restore disc but I have been able to copy the missing file from another computer with the same OP. So my question is how do I get if off the memory stick and and onto the wonky lapt op.

Any help please.

Jonathan :Stinky

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Ah a chicken and egg situation methinks. If the previous suggestion of starting in safe mode and doing a system restore is not possible as it refuses to go even start in safe mode might be to use the last known good configuration. The prompt for doing that is on the same black and white page as the safemode prompts. If it wont even get that far it is possible to get into system restore from dos prompts, possible but not easy

Or perhaps this page might help, there are hundreds like it on the web. Good luck


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There is another (sometimes) possible way to cure "missing or corrupt" files that prevent booting.

If the machine is often shut down with the power switch, rather than the programmatic system shut down, it can eventually leave enough "lost file clusters" to confuse the disk filing system enough to prevent it being able to boot, even in safe or "system prompt" (dos) mode.

I've often had success by booting from an XP install CD, then choosing "system repair", then "repair console".

You can then run "chkdsk" which is the old command from check disk, and it repairs the disk file structure, fixing lost clusters etc.

I've found it has often succeeded with a variety of machines, and avoided the hassle of more invasive restore/repair routines.

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I still remember the scars on the back of my hand from jumper-running as a TTA, from the tags on the next block whenever I found a ringer.

I tried long-nosed 81's, but they were too cumbersome and slow.

I've still got my springset tension gauges, (God knows why, what the hell am I going to use them for now ?)

(I'm doubt anyone else reading this can make any sense of that !) :)

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I'm doubt anyone else reading this can make any sense of that !

Don't you believe it, Strowager!

I still have much of my kit, including those lovely complete sets of feeler gauges with the holes in the ends for adjusting residuals on 3000 type relays, although I didn't keep the spring tension gauges as I couldn't see a use for them either. I did keep and also still have most of the rest of my kit (and that of some others as I used to deal with stores for the exchange as well as my floor of 2000 type) that I thought I could reasonably make use of after being "escorted from the building" during the late 80's for refusing to say I wasn't going to work for Mercury Telecom who BT saw as their big threat at the time (if you remember?). After handing in resignation this question was always asked at Rugby ATE and if you wouldn't give an absolute denial you were escorted out, but still paid for the notice period. All that talk of AN Jumpering brings back particularly bad memories!

Your user name intrigues me somewhat though, in that it isn't quite right, the correct word being Strowger? Perhaps I should mention that the rate book description was Pliers Wiring AT1 if I remember correctly, although most thought it was "81's" as you've mentioned.

So you see there are others out there who know exactly what you're on about!

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I guess as the good old company, (sincerely meant), employed around 400,000 when I joined in the 60's, so I shouldn't be surprised that there a few of us left !

Yes, the little known American Undertaker's name was spelt with the "a", even though history has since been almost rewritten by the companies that adopted the system worldwide using an alternative spelling.

I didn't spend long "inside", I left the dust free atmosphere and clatter for the Civil Engineering side, before the txe, crossbar & electronic purges. (It still depresses me somewhat that my prime learning years were spent mastering a complicated electro-mechanical system that was already defunct.)

Sorry, no oscillators left as mementos, and my meters multirange 12a expired a few years back. I still have my cutters and a few "screwdrivers, inst, number 1,2" etc. ! :)

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Ah I thought that would flush Peter out. Hi Peter you ok? hardly saw you last year.

I guess the strowager/strowger arguament has been going on as long at the AT1/81 discussion. The at1/81 thing is lost in the mists of time with theories ranging from Apparatus terminating No1 to item 81 in the rate book.

It reminds me of an old auto colleage who had an admiration for the old quality stuff and total hate of modern technology lovingly admiring a bit of the old test gear in its mahogany box with brass handles, hinges and locks. Look at that he said , " you can see Strowager was an undertaker.

All of this is a long way from the original laptop problem so are we all agreed that the cure is to measure the head tension and oil the spindle of the hard drive :naughty::naughty:

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Hi Gordon and others!

Yes, I'm OK thanks, looking forward to the weather improving a little so that I might do some boating, but otherwise OK, and I hope you are too. Should see you when you're about as I'm now moored at Richardsons as well, although in the wet shed.

Sorry Jim, I can't help with an oscillator either as I never had one issued, and seem to think they were a "recoverable" item anyway.

I suppose I should apologise for continuing to steer the thread off course, but was enjoying a few old memories there, and can now consider myself educated too, as I had never heard the Strowger / Strowager story despite having worked on the kit for a few years, and puzzling over Strowager's username and avatar for some time.

I take it this oiling of the hard drive will be carried out using those lovely little soft "artists brushes" that we used to use to apply it?

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Talking of setting head tension and oiling the hard drive takes me back a few years to when I was responsible for servicing my employer's DEC computer equipment. Storage was on exchangeable disk cartridges, about 18" diameter, holding about 1MB of data if I remember correctly. The heads were driven by a massive loudspeaker coil and you definitely didn't want to get your fingers in the way when it was shifting! After changing the heads I would have to set the loading tension whilst they were retracted onto the ramps.

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Sorry Jim, I can't help with an oscillator either as I never had one issued, and seem to think they were a "recoverable" item anyway.

They still are ,one for one swap, or as we once knew "ME"

hell of a job to get a new one.

I take it this oiling of the hard drive will be carried out using those lovely little soft "artists brushes" that we used to use to apply it?

Yes and the oil will be in the little glass jars in the leather case.

See you round Richos then Pete. :grin:

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