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I'm currently preparing a computer in order to deploy Windows 7 Professional partition image over a network.

First, I would like to test the deployment from this computer A to another one B. So, in audit mode (Ctrl+Maj+F3), I select Audit Mode (OOBE produce same result) and I check Generalize.

Computer A reboots on my Ghost live CD. I launch the copy over network to the computer B.

When finished, I reboot computer B and I see the following error:

File: \Windows\System32\halmacpi.dll
Info: Windows failed to load because the HAL is missing, or corrupt

If I don't check Generalize, computer B boots up normally. This could be great, but all devices are recognized as being from computer A.

All computers are identical, however one or two have different hard drives or mainboard models.

Do somebody have any solution to fix that issue?


After having spent my time for 4 hours, I think I've finally found how to fix that. Just boot with the Windows 7 DVD and chose "Repair computer".

I guess I will have to do that on each computer. Great.

share|improve this question
Odd, what software packages have you deployed with the image? Something tell me the original image is wrong. – surfasb Jul 11 '11 at 18:55
No software are installed. This was a first-run installation of Windows 7. – Velcro Jul 12 '11 at 4:50

As long as the machines are modern and have single CPU sockets, the only feasible HALs that are needed are either ACPI Multiprocessor PC and Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) PC (unless Windows 7 has additional different types), so I would check the BIOS options and check whether all the cores are enabled and appear in Task Manager.

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I checked BIOS, and setup was the same between computers. This is why I don't understand anything. – Velcro Jul 12 '11 at 4:55
Good answer. I forgot about ACPI interface because I assume instinctively that any sufficiently modern machine supports it, but it's a possibility and would certainly break HAL. – Shinrai Jul 12 '11 at 14:27

This sounds like a specific problem with a specific missing device. Are all drivers installed for ALL these motherboards or just the one you prepped it on? Are you running in AHCI mode with a different AHCI controller across the boards? This is pretty weird and it pretty much HAS to be a specific piece of hardware causing it.

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Does "Generalize" allow you to deploy on computers with different devices? If so, I don't understand why there is a problem with AHCI. Also, all default drivers Windows 7 automatically installed was present, and computers was identical. – Velcro Jul 12 '11 at 4:53
Generalize does allow that - it's sort of the point! AHCI drivers can be a bit touchy, which is why I call that out specifically, but this is pretty much JUST DAMNED WEIRD. As an experiment, why don't you try this - remove any optional hardware you can and do another clean installation of Windows from disk and IMMEDIATELY (as soon as you hit the desktop the first time in audit mode) sysprep with generalize and OOBE flags that and see what happens. Try this even if you've done little to nothing with this installation; it could be a fluke. – Shinrai Jul 12 '11 at 14:24
Just tried exactly what you suggested. I have got the same halmacpi.dll-related message. – Velcro Jul 13 '11 at 7:55
@Velcro - There's got to be something odd about a particular piece of hardware on one of these machines, I just can't think of any other explanation. – Shinrai Jul 13 '11 at 14:13
up vote 1 down vote accepted

This problem was caused by partition ordering. Actually, on computer A, Windows 7 was installed on partition 1 and a copy of Windows XP was on partition 2 (which was hidden).

On computer B, I tried to drop Windows 7 image on partition 2 (while another copy of Windows XP was on a hidden partition 1).

I finally cleaned up computer B and created the same partitions. The problem disappeared.

Thanks for your replies.

share|improve this answer
That's WEIRD that this would cause HAL errors, but I can see why this would be a problem. Sysprep out of the box isn't really designed with multiple partitions in mind. – Shinrai Aug 21 '11 at 17:31

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