Microsoft KB Archive/106226

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U.S. Service Pack 1 Overwrites OEM HAL

Article ID: 106226

Article Last Modified on 11/1/2006


  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1

This article was previously published under Q106226


Your original equipment manufacturer (OEM) provided hardware abstraction layer (HAL) can be overwritten by the U.S. Service Pack 1 for Windows NT and Windows NT Advanced Server version 3.1. If this happens, your system may become unstable or may not start. Contact your OEM or hardware vendor for more information on your particular computer.


The HAL is the key to the hardware independence of the Windows NT. For some non-standard hardware platforms or symmetric multi-processing (SMP) computers, the OEM has provided a special HAL. Some of these OEMs included such a HAL in the Windows NT package:

   HAL.DL_        Most uniprocessor Intel x86-based systems
   HAL486c.DL_    Intel x86-based PCs with the 486DX step C chip
   HALAST.DL_     AST SMP systems in HCL
   HALCBUS.DL_    Corollary Extended C-bus 486DX2/66 SMP system
   HALMCA.DL_     MicroChannel Architecture systems
   HALNCR.DL_     NCR SMP systems in HCL
   HALOLI.DL_     Olivetti LSX5040
   HALSP.DL_      Compaq SystemPro SMP systems in HCL
   HALWYSE7.DL_   Wyse series 7000I SMP systems

During text-mode setup, by the type of computer you choose, Setup determines which HAL to use. At this time you would choose the Other option so that Setup prompts you for the OEM-provided HAL. Regardless of the HAL used, Setup renames it to HALL.DLL. If you have an SMP computer, NTKRNLMP.EXE is used and renamed to be NTOSKRNL.EXE. If you do not have an SMP computer, the normal NTOSKRNL.EXE is used.

The Update program checks the SETUP.LOG file to see which files need to be updated. If it detects that a the HAL was updated by an OEM, it overwrites the HAL. This can result in additional processors not being used or your system not booting.

If you experience this problem, please contact your hardware vendor. A possible workaround would be to make a backup copy of the HAL.DLL file. After the Update program finishes, copy the old HAL back over. In any case, contact your OEM for more information on specific considerations for your computer.

Additional query words: prodnt update

Keywords: kbsetup KB106226