Windows XP SP2 to 3 and Norton 360 Compatibility issue? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I recently acted upon my renewal for Norton Confidential for my Laptop Computer ( a Dell Inspiron 600m running XP - SP 2, I think).  The Norton site informed me that Confidential was no longer available and that I needed to Download Norton 360.

    I did so, surfed the net a little(no questionable sites - at worst, MySpace and Facebook), and shut the computer down for the night after rebooting.  In the morning, I went to turn the computer on, and received the following message:
    "Windows could noy start because the following file is missing or corrupt:  <Windows root>\system32\hal.dll.  Please re-install a copy of the above file."

    The computer was not dropped, exposed to big magnets or otherwise moved.  It had sat on a table in my hotel room overnight.  Plugged in, but off.

    I purchased the Dell Online, and have no XP disc, so I have no way to get the drivers, so I have contacted Dell, and they are sending the discs.

    I chatted with Symantec, and spoke to someone who was, quite obviously, a non-native English speaker, and who not only could not help me with my problem, but pointed their fickle finger at Microsoft as the culprit, despite my explanation that the system was working perfectly with Norton Confidential and Norton Antivirus immediately prior to the install, so the problem was with Symantec.

    Naturally, they refused to accept any liability.

    All I want to do is get my laptop working again.

    I have run the diagnostics, and EVERYTHING is in perfect working order, and passed, so it is NOT a hardware issue.

    It will not boot from any of the alternate modes, and even when I checked the BIOS settings to see if something needed to be enabled, there were no issues.

    I am worried about the following:

    1.  How can I remedy this problem without massive data loss from a re-formatted install?
    2.  How can I guarantee that once I fix this, the issue will not repeat, since there may be a compatibility issue?

    Please help.
    • Moved by Max Wang_1983 Wednesday, April 27, 2011 8:51 PM forum consolidation (From:General Discussion)
    Monday, April 27, 2009 8:14 PM

All replies

  • I hope everything is working by now.
    I know its been a while but couldnt help noticing your post, it is well written and fun to read (not the problem but the style I mean).

    Anyway in case someone else has this problem (bcs it is pretty common)...
    You can type a few commands and save a lot of time trying to reinstall XP from scratch.

    About hal (Hardware Abstract Layer) file missing, it may be still in the computer? I would try to first boot with a bootable CD and then use the Command Line to search for it.
    you can do this
    cd \

    dir hal* /s /a

    this will first put your command line at the very root of the hard drive then searches for any file that starts with hal, looks for it in the sub directories and also looks for the hidden files in case it is hidden.
    It may take a while but you may find a copy (or several copies) of it under 1 of those SP folders or i386.  *

    If the file is not there at all, then may be you can get a copy from another smilar machine (PC) and copy it over. (can use floppy CD or USB sticks its a small file)
    It has to be copied to the same location as the one before like c:\windows\system32\

    OK to tell you the truth the (2)second question is almost impossible bcs things happen to the computers all the times. Best thing to do is to have a bootable CD with files you need on it. If it is the XP installation CD that would be the best bcs ALL the files are on it already.
    But really as a technician I cannot stand most anti virus programs, they are sometimes worse than the darn virus itself!
    source of constant annoyance really. But you do get trojans and spyware all the times without knowing it so it is good to have something , I usually use the Internet fre services to clean my friends hard drives.
    and have Norton but only the anti virus not the fire wall and all other memory eating annoying unnecessary ____.

    * If you want to know how to do command line stuff read on;(sorry if I explain too much, ignore them if you already know it)

    IF you found the hal.dll file look and see which folder it is under, if it is under C:\Windows\System32 already then you have a problem with this hidden file which is called boot.ini and it is under the root of the C:\ drive (usually).
    If it is under different folder then you have to cd\ to that folder (like cd\ i386 and hit enter) and copy it over to  (by)

    copy hal.dll  c:\windows\system32\
    (always hit enter after a command)
    If you found a file called HAL.DL_ it means it is the condensed version of the file you are looking for,
    you can look and see where it is for instance if it is under some long folder name (like it starts with 50ce.....\i386) you can ;
    cd \ 50c then hit the tab key on the keyboard to put the rest of it for you.
    then cd \ i386
    hit enter to get into that folder then do this;

    expand hal.dl_  c:\windows\system32\hal.dll

    hit enter and it should put that hal.dll file in its place for you.
    If it returned an error saying it does not know what expand is do this and try again;
    hit enter .
    the semicolons ; separate the different path commands but the colon : is a part of the directory structure so be sure you do dont mix them up.

    After you are sure you have the missing file in its place, reboot the computer. If sill gives errors try to reboot but hit F8 at the boot up to enter the menu and choose Safe Mode.
    Sometimes if you just boot into safe mode and then reboot after the XP comes up it puts back some of the Hardware info back in its place and then rebooting will put you back in business.
    Good Luck!

    • Edited by mehdi_1 Thursday, May 14, 2009 9:51 AM
    Thursday, May 14, 2009 9:40 AM