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 »  Home  »  Troubleshooting  »  Windows XP FAQ H
Windows XP FAQ H
By  Super Admin  | Published  02/27/2005 | Troubleshooting | Rating:
Windows XP FAQ H Page 1

This information courtesy of Kellys Korner XP

HAL - Hardware Abstraction Layer

HAL is Microsoft's abbreviation for the Hardware Abstraction Layer, the technology and drivers that let the Windows NT, 2000, and XP operating systems communicate with your PC's hardware. HAL is one of several features--along with the NT file system (NTFS) that replaced the much less secure MS-DOS--that make NT-based operating systems more secure and reliable than Windows 95, 98, and Me.

HAL prevents applications from directly accessing your PC's system memory, CPU, or hardware devices (such as video and sound cards)--a method that can prevent many device conflicts and crashes. Unfortunately, HAL sometimes also slows or stops DOS games and programs, which need to load their own memory managers or control hardware directly for better performance.

With HAL in the way, developers must rewrite or even abandon their older software in favor of newer, HAL-compatible versions. Microsoft has pressured hardware makers to provide or support technologies such as MMX, DirectX, and 3D graphics language OpenGL, all of which allow fast but indirect access to the advanced high-performance features of video, sound, and CPU hardware. Such access also makes for a better visual experience when using Windows for Web and productivity applications; improved graphics performance is evident all over Windows XP's new user interface.

XP also offers some new compatibility-mode features that let you run programs meant to run under earlier operating systems, but, frankly, most DOS-based and even some Windows-based games simply won't work with the new OS.

     Tip: 
To see which HAL is currently installed, open Device Manager, and expand the Computer branch. The entry that
              appears in this branch corresponds to the currently installed HAL.

Situations in Which Windows May Not Start in Safe Mode
How to Troubleshoot Hardware Abstraction Layer Issues
How to Move a Windows XP Installation to Different Hardware

Setup Error Msg: Cannot find file: \Windows\System32\hal.dll

HAL.DLL is Missing

Boot from your CD and follow the directions below to start Recovery Console.

Insert the Setup compact disc (CD) and restart the computer. If prompted, select any options required to boot from the CD.
When the text-based part of Setup begins, follow the prompts; choose the repair or recover option by pressing R.

If you have a dual-boot or multiple-boot system, choose the installation that you need to access from the Recovery Console.
When prompted, type the Administrator password. (if you didn't create one try pressing enter).

At the system prompt, type Recovery Console commands; type help for a list of commands, or help commandname for help on a specific command.

Most likely you will need to expand the file from the CD. The command would be expand d:\i386\hal.dl_ c:\windows\system32\hal.dll. Substitute d: for the drive letter of your CD. Once you have expanded the file type "exit" to exit the Recovery Console and restart the computer.
 
Error Message: Cannot Find \Windows\System32\hal.dll

Hard Disk - Activity

Run the Task Manager, go to the Processes tab, and turn on the following columns: "I/O Read Bytes" and "I/O Write Bytes." This will give you details as to which process is accessing the disk. Although many processes will be accessing the disk a lot, look for one with a high total or a fast rate of increase, especially when you hear the drive being accessed.

Hard Disk Performance Is Slower Than You Expect
OFFXP: Hard Disk Runs Continuously After You Install Office XP

Hard Disk - Cleaning

Hard disks keep getting bigger and bigger, but somehow we still run out of space. MP3s and other media files are immensely popular–and simply immense. Programs are bigger, and data files are bigger. Windows Explorer isn't much help. It will tell you the size of all selected files in a folder, but nothing about the files in that folder's subfolders.

Enter DiskPie2 a utility to identify the biggest consumers of disk space. Pie charts let you see at a glance which folders and file types are taking up the most space. The charts are highly customizable, and can be printed.

An Explorer view lets you navigate to the folder you want to chart, and as a bonus displays the number of bytes in and below the selected folder. DiskPie2 also can display and print a report of the largest files in the selected folder. Armed with the information that DiskPie provides, you can decide how best to allocate the space on your disk.

TreeSize:  Every hard disk is too small if you just wait long enough. TreeSize tells you where precious space has gone to. TreeSize can be started from the context menu of a folder or drive and shows you the size of this folder, including its subfolders. You can expand this folder in Explorer-like style and you will see the size of every subfolder. Scanning is done in a thread, so you can already see results while TreeSize is working. The space, which is wasted by the file system can be displayed and the results can be printed in a report. TreeSize is Mailware for Windows 9x/NT/2000/XP.  Download.

Hard Disk - Heavy Load

HeavyLoad simulates heavy activity on a PC, it allows you to test if a workstation or server PC is working stable under heavy load. It stresses processor, memory and hard disks, operating system, etc.  Download.

Harddrive Repair

Title: Harddrive Repair
URL: http://www.my-hard-drive-repair.com
Description: Data recovery, hard drive repair,
recover files, tools, information and guide.

Title: Data Recovery
URL: http://www.my-data-recovery.com
Description: Hard drive recovery tools and tips,
guide for data recovery and repair.

Title: Quick Data Recovery
URL: http://www.quick-data-recovery.com
Description: Info on data recovery and tools for
repairing your hard drive.

Hardware Detection

Troubleshooting Device Manager Issues

Hardware Profiles in Windows XP

To create a hardware profile

You must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group in order to complete this procedure. If your computer is connected to a network, network policy settings may also prevent you from completing this procedure.

  1. Open System in Control Panel.
  2. On the Hardware tab, click Hardware Profiles.
  3. Under Available hardware profiles, click Profile 1 (Current), and then click Copy.
  4. Type a name for the new hardware profile, and then click OK.
  5. You can customize your new profile by enabling or disabling devices for that profile in Device Manager.

 Notes

  • To open System, click Start, click Control Panel, click Performance and Maintenance, and then click System.
  • The profile named Profile 1 (Current) provides a model for you to create new hardware profiles. It will not appear in the list of available hardware profiles shown during startup.

To specify the default hardware profile for startup

You must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group in order to complete this procedure. If your computer is connected to a network, network policy settings may also prevent you from completing this procedure.

  1. Open System in Control Panel.
  2. On the Hardware tab, click Hardware Profiles.
  3. Under Available hardware profiles, use the arrow buttons to move the hardware profile you want to use as the default into the top position in the list. During startup, Windows will load only the device drivers for hardware devices that are enabled in the profile you select.
  4. Under Hardware profiles selection, click one of the options that specifies how long Windows waits before automatically loading the default hardware profile.

 Notes

  • To open System, click Start, click Control Panel, click Performance and Maintenance, and then click System.
  • If you want the default hardware profile to load automatically without showing you the list during startup, enter a 0 in seconds under Hardware profiles selection. If you decide later to select a different hardware profile, press the SPACEBAR during startup and choose a profile from the list.

To copy, rename, or delete a hardware profile

You must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group in order to complete this procedure. If your computer is connected to a network, network policy settings may also prevent you from completing this procedure.

  1. Open System in Control Panel.
  2. On the Hardware tab, click Hardware Profiles.
  3. Under Available hardware profiles, click the existing hardware profile you want, and do one of the following. Click:
    • Copy to open the Copy Profile dialog box, and type a new name for the copy.
    • Rename to open the Rename Profile dialog box, and type a new name for the selected profile.
    • Delete to remove the selected profile.

 Note

  • To open System, click Start, click Control Panel, click Performance and Maintenance, and then click System.

Hardware and Software Detection

The Belarc Advisor builds a detailed profile of your installed software and hardware. Download here. In the Software Versions section you'll see all of your installed software. At the end of each entry is a clickable asterisk that will take you to the folder the software is installed in.

Hardware Malfunction - Call your hardware vendor for support - The system has halted Error Message

Hardware Malfunction Results in System Error Message

Hayes

Windows XP Drivers & INF Files

HCL - Hardware Compatibility List

Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility List
Microsoft Support Policy on Hardware Not On Windows HCL

Help - Annotate

There is a nice feature in most software Help menus that will allow you to add your own notes for reference. Right click on
the open topic and choose Annotate if that option is allowed. A box will open and you can type your notes there, then select Save. Thereafter, when you open the topic a paper clip will display in the upper left corner.  Clicking there will open your notes and you can delete these any time by selecting the Delete option.

Help - Internet Help Versus Local Help

If the help file has a '?' marking the file's icon, it's on your hard drive. If it's a blue 'e,' then get ready, you're Internet bound!

Help and Support

Update: 

This issue can occur if one or more of the PCHealth components in your
computer are damaged.

To resolve this issue:

1. It is important to note if you have recently made alterations to your
computer before this problem occurred, or if the Help and Support Center
ever worked correctly. If you have recently made alterations to your
computer before this problem occurred, try to undo the changes you made or
uninstall the hardware or software that could have caused the issue. After
you do so, test to determine if the issue is resolved, and if it is, skip
the remaining steps. If the issue is not resolved, continue to the next
step.

2. Remove the .cab files from the Packagestore folder, and then rebuild the
original Help and Support Center:

a. Click Start, click Run, type "cmd" (without the quotation marks), and
then click OK to open a command prompt. Type "net stop helpsvc" (without
the quotation marks), and then press ENTER.

b. Type "cd /d windir\pchealth\helpctr" (without the quotation marks),
where windir is the Windows folder, and then press ENTER.

c. Type "rd packagestore /s /q" (without the quotation marks), and then
press ENTER.

d. Type "cd binaries" (without the quotation marks), and then press
ENTER.

e. Type "start /w helpsvc /svchost netsvcs /regserver /install" (without
the quotation marks), and then press ENTER.

f. If any of the following processes are running, stop them:

helpsvc.exe
helphost.exe
helpctr.exe

To stop a process, right-click the taskbar, and then click Task
Manager. Click the Processes tab, click the process you want to stop, and
then click End Process.

g. At the command prompt, type "net start helpsvc" (without the
quotation marks), and then press ENTER.

3. If the Help and Support Center has not been customized by an OEM, skip
to the next step. If the Help and Support Center has been customized by an
OEM, completely refresh the Help and Support Center:

a. Click Start, click Run, type "cmd" (without the quotation marks), and
then click OK to open a command prompt. Type "net stop helpsvc" (without
the quotation marks), and then press ENTER.

b. Type "cd /d windir\pchealth\helpctr" (without the quotation marks),
where windir is the Windows folder, and then press ENTER.

c. Type "rd packagestore /s /q" (without the quotation marks), and then
press ENTER.

d. Type "rd installedskus /s /q" (without the quotation marks), and then
press ENTER.

e. Type "cd binaries" (without the quotation marks), and then press
ENTER.

f. Type "start /w helpsvc /svchost netsvcs /regserver /install" (without
the quotation marks), and then press ENTER.

g. Type "start /w helpsvc /register" (without the quotation marks), and
then press ENTER.

h. If any of the following processes are running, stop them:

helpsvc.exe
helphost.exe
helpctr.exe

To stop a process, right-click the taskbar, and then click Task
Manager. Click the Processes tab, click the process you want to stop, and
then click End Process.

i. At the command prompt, type "net start helpsvc" (without the
quotation marks), and then press ENTER.

NOTE: The preceding procedure should not negatively affect an
OEM-customized Help and Support Center. However, it does remove any other
.cab files from the Packstorage folder, such as the Windows XP support
tools (which adds their table of contents into the Help and Support
Center).

4. If the preceding steps do not resolve the issue, use the Windows XP
CD-ROM to start your computer, and then run a repair (in-place upgrade)
installation.

Steven Liu

Repairs Windows® XP Help and Support after running Easy Cleaner

Note: If you have used Easy Cleaner, there is a workaround that prevents Help and Support from becoming corrupt:  In the options, add Help to the Skip List.
http://personal.inet.fi/business/toniarts

Start Menu/Help and Support doesn't work:  Go to Start/Run and type in: helpctr -regserver

To reinstall Help and Support: Go to C:\Windows\inf\pchealth.inf.  Right click and choose install. Have your CD handy.

Note: The folder is hidden by default. Go to Start/Run and type in: control folders. View: Show hidden files and folders and uncheck Hide extensions for known file types.

"Could not start the Help and Support Service on Local Computer. Error 126: The specified module could not be found"  Restore Help and Support Service.  Restore Help and Support Service Keys.

Also, make sure that the Help and Support Service is running.  Go to Start/Run and type in: services.msc.  From there scroll down to Help and Support and make sure the service is set to Automatic and is Started. 

If the option is greyed out or Help and Support Service is not listed trying running these two edits. 
Restore Help and Support Service.  Restore Help and Support Service Keys.

You may also opt to running the System File Checker.  To do so, go to Start/Run/CMD and type in:  SFC /Scannow.  This option forces Windows to scan all protected system files immediately. 

Restore winhlp32.exe for XP or XPSP1 (Line 57)
http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm

After installing SP1 for some users the correct version of win32hlp.exe is not properly placed in the System32 folder. If this is the case replace the older version with the version found in windows\ServicePackFiles\i386.

Another option to the above:

1. Insert the Windows XP installation CD into your CD-ROM.
2. Browse to your CD-ROM and change the folder to \I386
3. Copy the following files into a temporary folder on your hard disk:

Winhlp32.cn_
Winhlp32.ex_
Winhlp32.hl_

4. Click Start->Run, type CMD and then press Enter.
5. Change to the temporary folder where you stored the Winhlp32 files.
6. Type the following commands:

EXPAND WINHLP32.CN_ WINHLP32.CNT
EXPAND WINHLP32.EX_ WINHLP32.EXE
EXPAND WINHLP32.HL_ WINHLP32.HLP

 7.  Copy Winhlp32.exe to your \%SYSTEMROOT%\ folder.
 8.  Copy the Winhlp32.cnt, and Winhlp32.hlp to the \%SYSTEMROOT%\Help\folder.
 9.  Typically this folder is C:\Windows.
10. Delete the contents of your temporary folder.

 

Comments
  • Comment #1 (Posted by james)
    Rating
    Can you advise...what is packagestore.Referenced under Help and Support Centre Thanks James
     
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