View Full Version : Windows error on partition, parallels fine

04-09-2009, 08:39 PM
Hello all - first time poster, but I expect to be back :) Okay so I have a macbook pro partitioned for osx and windows xp. Today I was activating some adobe software in windows using parallels and ran into some error... said necessary files were missing. So I restated using the windows partition and got this error:

windows could not start <windows root>\system32\hal.dll is corrupt or missing. Please re-install a copy of the above file.

The strange thing is windows is running fine through parallels??? So I'm a bit nervous to go digging around because I don't want to lose access to the windows files through parallels. Also, I would assume I could just reinstall windows (have the cd) through boot camp, but then I would have to reinstall all the software. uhg. Why would something like this happen? It worked great just a few days ago.

Thanks in advance for your help.

04-09-2009, 09:03 PM
An error that sometimes occurs when using your Boot Camp partition as a VM for Fusion or Parallels. Your Windows boot information has become corrupt. The file hal.dll (hardware abstraction layer - dynamic link library file) is still there but the pointer to it is corrupt. The pointer file is located in the root under drive c and is called boot.ini.

What I suggest is not to use your Boot Camp partition as a VM in Parallels. Either run Windows XP in Parallels or from Boot Camp. Vista is OK to run both ways because it uses a different boot method.

To fix the problem: Try doing a repair install to your Windows partition by booting to it with your original Windows XP install disk. Run the repair from the disk. Be very careful not to mess with your OS X partition!

How to do a repair install: Link (http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm)


04-09-2009, 09:21 PM
thanks so much for your quick reply. I'll try the repair.

So you're saying that it doesn't work well to have my boot camp partition accessible through parallels? I need to do one or the other? That stinks. I like to boot into Windows when working with windows software, but also have the option to jump in there on the fly when in mac OS. I guess I thought that was the point of the dual platform option. Is there any other way to get the best of both worlds with XP? Or do you suggest vista at this point?

thanks again.

04-09-2009, 10:53 PM
XP boot information is tied to the boot.ini file which gives the partition number, disk number, and folder for the Windows system files. If those pointers get corrupted, that error pops up.

Move to Vista? I would wait for Windows 7 and dual boot with that instead. For now you might consider only running Windows in Parallels unless you need to run it natively for games or graphic intensive work.


04-10-2009, 08:26 AM
thanks. I'm going to have to fix it because I'm having some problems in parallels too when I try to activate adobe software. It's saying there are missing dll files.... got to be this boot.ini issue. After I get it fixed, I'll only work in one or the other. Thanks again for your help.

04-10-2009, 11:09 AM
As for the the Adobe software, you might be able to get Adobe to provide Mac licenses (if Mac versions are available) for you. Have you tried contacting Adobe to see if you can have your license moved?

04-10-2009, 12:23 PM
You know I hadn't thought of that as an option. I'll give them a ring. Great idea! Thanks!

04-15-2009, 08:32 PM
Okay, so I fixed XP using the link from you, Chscag - thank you! Now I do not plan to user parallels unless I change to vista in the future. Should I remove or uninstall parallels? Do I need to do something with my virtual machine? Now that my windows partition is working again, I'm afraid to go messing around with me virual machine - even is the goal is to delete it.

vansmith - adobe will only transfer a license if I upgrade, not prepared to do that - but it's working on XP now. Good idea though, I might do that in the future.