View Full Version : Move boot instructions from floppy to hard drive?

12-31-2011, 01:00 PM
Does someone know how I can move the boot.ini and other booting information from the floppy to the hard drive? The other day,our Dell with XP would not boot, saying the hal.dll is corrupt or missing. After hours of trying many things, I made a floppy with suggested information for this problem (including the missing boot.ini file) and it now boots. But there are two issues:

1. It only boots with that floppy in, so how can I fix it just to boot from the hard drive like it used to?

2. When it does boot now, it stops at a page that shows it defaults to Windows, and I have to select the other option of Windows XP, then it boots correctly. We did not have to do this before.

Does anyone have any easy fixes for these short of re-installing XP? Thanks a lot. Tom

12-31-2011, 01:46 PM
Not sure if this matters but when we ran mscofig, there is no Boot.ini tab at the top like I see on another Dell with XP that does not have this booting problem. Should there be a Boot.ini tab and how do I get one there? We tried system restore from a date last week and nothing changed. Thanks for any help.

12-31-2011, 02:49 PM
Well...I just copied the boot notepad document to the c: drive, and the BOOT.INI tab now appears. But, still wondering if someone can tell me how to make the computer stop pausing during boot at a black screen where I have to choose between Windows and Windows XP. It shows Windows as the default and I need for it to be XP as default. Thanks for any help.

12-31-2011, 02:56 PM
Make: Dell
Model ???

What led up to this problem? Your hard drive may be starting to fail. You should test it with the manufacturer's diagnostic utilities. Seagate (Seatools), Western Digital (Data Lifeguard) Hitachi, etc.

If you have the disks that came with your computer, you may be able to fix the MBR or perhaps do a repair install.

12-31-2011, 03:14 PM
FTT, thanks for the reply. The issue just started one morning when it was turned on. Dell preloaded everything and we have no disks. We ran diagnosis tests and all of the hardware showed okay. The thing is about six years old, so it could be failing. But if it does this again, at least I will know what to do to fix it. Thanks again

Paul Komski
12-31-2011, 10:53 PM
The system startup options can be changed from System Properties.

StartButton >> RightClick on MyComputer and choose Properties >> Advanced >> Startup and Recovery Settings Button

The Startup Options and Boot.ini itself can then be changed/edited as you like.

For the future boot.ini can be rebuilt using bootcfg /rebuild (http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000648.htm) from the Recovery Console.

01-01-2012, 11:22 AM
Thanks, Paul. I will give this a try. I was never able to get to a recovery console during our problems, and the only Dell CD we had with the system had nothing that helped. And, the boot process stopped before we ever got to the start button,and showed missing or corrupted hal.dll file.

I will keep trying to get it back to normal. Right now the boot.ini tab tells me I am using a modified boot.ini file, so I will try to change it to the original one. Thanks again. Tom

Paul Komski
01-01-2012, 07:50 PM
showed missing or corrupted hal.dll fileThis message can mean that hal.dll is in fact missing or corrupt but much more commonly it results from a corrupt boot.ini file or a boot.ini file that no longer correctly references the correct system partition.

If you have the Dell Windows Installation CD you should be able to install the recovery console to the hard drive. Alternatively running ComboFix in WinXP will offer you the choice of installing it before running itself or you can download an 8MB iso of the RC from http://www.filefactory.com/file/c1ae4f8/n/RC.iso The CD it produces is like a WinXP installation CD but with only the minimum files necessary to run the console.

A Standard boot.ini is below. You just need to edit the partition value (2 in the example) to the correct value for your system in both the default and operating system lines.

[boot loader]
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOW S
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn