Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: HAL.dll

Article:TECH149296  |  Created: 2009-02-27  |  Updated: 2011-11-21  |  Article URL
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Technical Solution


After encrypting your disk with PGP Whole Disk Encryption, you receive an error similar to the following:

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
\system32\hal.dll. Please re-install a copy of the above file."

"Cannot find \Windows\System32\hal.dll"



To resolve this issue, you must decrypt your disk using the PGP Whole Disk Recovery Image, then replace the missing file using the Windows System Restore or the recovery console.


Download the PGP Whole Disk Recovery image for your version of PGP Desktop.

For PGP Desktop 10.x download the PGP Whole Disk Recovery images at the following download link:

Caution: Note that recovery disks work only with the version of PGP Desktop that created the recovery disk. For example, if you attempt to use a 9.0.x recovery disk to decrypt a disk protected with PGP WDE 9.5 software, it will render the PGP WDE 9.5 disk inoperable.


  1. Burn the downloaded ISO file to a CD-Rom as a image using your CD burning software.

  2. Insert the CD-Rom and use the CD to boot your computer. If your system does not boot with the CD, you may need to adjust your system's BIOS settings boot order so that it will boot from the CD prior to the hard disk.

  3. After the system boots with the CD, the PGP Recovery screen displays and prompt you to press any key to continue.

  4. Type your passphrase and press Enter.

  5. Press D to begin decryption of your disk.

    NOTE:Once you have started to decrypt a disk or partition using a recovery disc or diskette, do not stop the decryption process. Depending on the size of the disk being decrypted, this process can take a long time.

  6. Once the disk is finished decrypting, use the Windows System Restore or Recovery Console to replace the missing file.



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