Can't boot from CD or Mac partition after failed XP installation

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Craig3Q, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. Craig3Q macrumors newbie

    Apr 16, 2008
    OK, I'm seeing the infamous "hal.dll" error after trying to start an XP installation on my white iMac, and now I'm stuck, unable to boot from a good partition or CD/DVD. I can't get the system to respond to any keyboard input at boot time. For example, when I press the Option key after power on, I don't get any option to select a boot partition. All that happens is that the Windows boot loader runs, and then I get the message about a missing or corrupt "system32\hal.dll" file. Even when the boot loader says to hit any key to boot from a CD, that doesn't work either.

    So I'm wondering how to even get to the Windows recovery console or to get the system to boot into one of my Mac OS X partitions. Any ideas? Thanks.
  2. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2006
    Are you holding 'c' as the computer starts, rather than just "pressing" ?
  3. Craig3Q thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 16, 2008
    Yes. Doesn't work. None of the startup key combinations seem to work. (For what it's worth, I have one of the flat aluminum USB keyboards.)
  4. Craig3Q thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 16, 2008
    Couldn't do it. As I said, the system didn't respond to any keyboard input.

    I'm using an older keyboard instead of my aluminum keyboard, and now everything seems fine. I rebooted into my Mac partition and am going to start all over.
  5. dodgyken macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2008
    For others who have the same problem - IE me - does that mean you connected another USB keyboard (mine is wireless) and then the keys worked and you were able to use the C key??

    Can you just run through the steps you went through

  6. Craig3Q thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 16, 2008
    Yes, I just connected the original USB keyboard that came with my iMac, and then I could use the Option key or the C key at boot time. Once I could select a bootable partition, I rebooted from my Mac partition again, ran Bootcamp Assistant to restore the disk to a single partition (deleted the Windows partition), and then ran Bootcamp again to start all over with my XP installation. This time when I got into the XP installer, I didn't delete the Bootcamp FAT32 partition but simply selected it for the installation, and then reformatted it as NTFS before installing XP on it. Now that XP is installed and booting successfully and using the Apple drivers for XP, I can use my aluminum keyboard again, although I still can't use any startup key commands at boot time with the aluminum. I guess I need to keep an older USB keyboard around for emergencies.

    Good luck.
  7. maxshanly macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2007
    Have you got an Apple Remote? Restart your Mac and upon the sound of the boot chime hold down the "Menu" button on your Apple Remote, it will do the same function as the ALT key and then use your mouse or remote to direct itself to the CD.
  8. Craig3Q thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 16, 2008
    Ah, I didn't realize I could use the remote at boot time. Thanks!

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