How to repair the Windows XP boot loader

What you need.

  • Windows XP CD (doesn’t matter whether Home or Professional)


  1.  Boot the computer from the Windows XP disk at start-up
  2. Once greeted with the Welcome to Windows XP setup screen select Recovery Console.
  3. Select your Windows installation (if prompted).
  4. Type:  fixboot
  5. Press Enter
  6. Press Y
  7. Type: fdisk /mbr
  8. Press Enter
  9. Restart the computer and remove the Windows XP CD.

hal.dll Corrupted/Missing Fix

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
<Windows root>system32hal.dll.
Please re-install a copy of the above file.

  1. Boot using Windows Setup CD
  2. Go into the Recovery Console by pressing “R”.
  3. Select the appropriate Windows install
  4. Enter the administrator password
  5. Type the following in the console and then press enter (Each line is one different command)
  6. Attrib -H -R -S C:Boot.ini
  7. Del C:Boot.ini
  8. BootCfg /Rebuild
  9. Fixboot
  10. Restart PC

c000021a Fatal System Error

“The Session Manager Initialization system process terminated unexpectedly with a status of 0xc000026c”

Caused by a recently Windows Update

First you need to access the recovery console. Following the instructions below

  1. Boot with your original Windows XP CD. You need one which will allow you to get into the Recovery Console.
  2. Once booted, choose to use the Recovery Console
  3. Choose which Windows installation you need to log into. if there’s only one on that machine, it will be “1?.
  4. Type in the Administrator password.
  5. Change to the update folder by typing cd WINDOWS$NtUninstallKB925902$spuninst
  6. Run this command in the folder: batch spuninst.txt (If the command ran correctly, you should see a spuninst.tag file, using the “dir” command)
  7. Restart the Computer

At this point the computer should boot properly and you should install SP3 and other patches to prevent this problem from happening again.

If the spuninst.tag file doesn’t exist, you may have received a bunch of errors instead. There are a few reasons why this could happen, one of which is if your windows isn’t really installed on the c: drive, even if the Recovery Console always names it that way. To remove the patch manually type in these command in the Command Prompt (By going back using the Windows CD instructions above)

DEL “c:windows$hf_mig$kb925902mf3216.dll”
DEL “c:windows$hf_mig$kb925902gdi32.dll”
DEL “c:windows$hf_mig$kb925902user32.dll”
DEL “c:windows$hf_mig$kb925902win32k.sys”
DEL “c:windowssystem32dllcachegdi32.dll”
DEL “c:windowssystem32dllcachemf3216.dll”
DEL “c:windowssystem32dllcacheuser32.dll”
DEL “c:windowssystem32dllcachewin32k.sys”
COPY “c:windows$NtUninstallKB925902$gdi32.dll” “c:windowssystem32gdi32.dll”
COPY “c:windows$NtUninstallKB925902$mf3216.dll” “c:windowssystem32mf3216.dll”
COPY “c:windows$NtUninstallKB925902$user32.dll” “c:windowssystem32user32.dll”
COPY “c:windows$NtUninstallKB925902$win32k.sys” “c:windowssystem32win32k.sys”
COPY “c:windows$NtUninstallKB925902$spuninstspuninst.txt” “c:windows$NtUninstallKB925902$spuninstspuninst.tag”

Sources taken from TechForLunch