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I installed Windows 7 and then tried to install Windows XP. However whenever I'm trying to boot from a USB disk to install XP it says hal.dll is missing from my computer.

I have to restart the PC and am unable to install XP after having installed 7. My laptop's DVD writer is not working so I always boot from USB to install an OS.

I tried to delete all partitions and then reboot from the XP USB disk to install, but it says-

Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem.
Could not read from the selected boot disk. Check Boot path and disk hardware.
Please check the windows documentation about hardware disk configuration and your hardware reference manuals for additional information.

How can I fix this problem?

share|improve this question
General rule is to install the older versions of Windows first, does win 7 have the missing hal.dll – mic84 Jul 21 '11 at 8:26
I have figured out that now I'm unable to install XP after 7 thats the main Problem....:( – avirk Jul 21 '11 at 15:15
Make it an answer, for others that may have this problem. – mic84 Jul 21 '11 at 22:23
Take a look on this thread… thts why I think I can get solution. – avirk Jul 22 '11 at 2:44
Even now I'm unable to install fresh copy of XP that's very embarrassing me....:( – avirk Jul 22 '11 at 2:52
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I placed this here due to size. Missing or cannot find hal.dll when the XP boot.ini becomes corrupted or when a user is attempting to dual boot a computer. Your error message can occur.

This behavior can occur if any or some of the following conditions are true:

  • The "Default" value in the "Boot Loader" section of the Boot.ini file is missing or invalid.
  • Windows XP is not installed in the location specified in the Boot.ini file.
    • The Ntoskrnl.exe file is missing or damaged.
    • The partition path in the Boot.ini file is not set correctly.
    • General hardware failure.

From Microsoft:

To install XP after Win7, with 'how to perform a startup repair for Win7'. This is a link to 'EasyerCD 2.1'. Missing hal, dll.

Vista and Win 7 boot information:

Vista and Win7 do not have hal.dll files and the system is trying to boot of the xp overwrite. An installation disk/USB or a Win 7 'system repair disk' is required to reboot back to Win 7 where you can then overwrite the MBR (I have not found any 'system disk repair opps' for UBSs, but if you have the install or able to get one, you can use that) and then you can use the dual boot links.

As long as your USB sticks have all the files, you should be able to do this.

share|improve this answer
The links are pretty much good but I have installed Windows 7 first so Boot.ini file can't edit in this latest OS. All procedures are for Windows XP. Help me for fix it for Windows 7. – avirk Jul 22 '11 at 11:23
@avirk-hope this get you to dual boot. – mic84 Jul 22 '11 at 14:06
thanks I marked it as accepted and figured out the problem and that was Windows XP is not installed in the location specified in the Boot.ini file. and The partition path in the Boot.ini file is not set correctly. I was unable to know about the path but after some search I got the solution for that. Thank you very much. – avirk Aug 22 '11 at 3:46 dual boot Win 7 & Win XP instructions. As outlined in the link:

  1. from Win 7 create a partition to install XP
  2. boot to XP and install to the new partition
  3. from XP, fix boot loader
  4. enjoy dual booting
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