i just bought a new hard drive and install it in my pc. i then install windows xp in it. but in another hard drive i already have windows 7 installed. now i can boot into this hard drive but cant boot into the one with windows 7. there is this error:
windows could not start because the following file is corrupt or missing:
<windows root>\system32\hal.dll.
please re-install a copy ofthe above file.

my windows 7 is ultimate 64-bit
my windows xp is professional 32b-it

note: these 2 windows are installed on 2 different hard drives and before i installed windows xp in the new drive i could boot into windows 7 with the new drive installed. so thew problem occurs after i installed windows xp in the new drive. the boot.ini file of windows 7 shows this:

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(2)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

dont know if its relevant but want to give as much of information as i can. i access this file through windows xp so the old hard drive is not bad either.

thank you and hope to hear from you guys soon.

6 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by mjdodd

The basic issue is Microsoft redesigned the boot loader for Windows Vista. Windows 7 also uses this newer boot loader. When you installed Windows XP, the boot loader was over written with the Windows XP boot loader, which does not understand the new boot loader version for Win 7 (& Vista). The tool, EasyBCD, which Rik has provided a link for is free tool. You should be able to use this tool to repair the Windows 7 boot loader and update the Windows boot entry list to include the new XP partition/disk.

Good analysis & advice.

can i ask??? my window 7 home corup...then my frez help me use window 7 utimate to format...but it cant work... so how can i find window 7 home???


the error says that you didn't install the dual boot correctly install first the win xp then the win 7....


your problem as above lies with the MBR (master boot record) basically that type of boot record (on the primary hard disk which may be either of your HDs but not both!) can only handle one drive to be the boot drive. You need to use a different type of boot record that can handle more than one booting drive. That is why you were recommended to use the software above. there are other
bootmanagers that will do the job. Any formatting of the disks will also have to take this into account.

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