Feel like wasting several hours? Try installing Windows XP with Boot Camp 2.0 (the version released as part of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard) using NTFS, the file system required for partitions larger than 32 GB. Then watch as it fails miserably, again and again.
Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
Please re-install a copy of the above file.
Sound familiar? You didn’t do anything wrong—this is actually Apple’s fault. Hal.dll, the “hardware abstraction layer”, doesn’t have any particular significance; it just happens to be the first file that Windows looks for as it’s loading. Attempting to replace this file with the copy on disk won’t work, and your boot.ini is probably fine.
So how do you fix it, then? The solution is a bit involved, but not too bad all things considered. Here are the steps:
- If you haven’t already removed the bad installation, you’ll need to do so. In OS X, open Boot Camp, click Continue, select “Create or remove a Windows partition”, click Continue, and then click Restore.
- Create a new partition as you did before, and start the installation.
- After the computer has rebooted and it’s booted from the CD, type “R” to go to the console. You should be dumped to the C: prompt.
- We’re going to reformat the drive as NTFS ourselves instead of letting the Windows installer do it. Type the following and hit Return:
format c: /q /fs:ntfs
Then type this to reboot the computer:
- Hold Option after it restarts, then boot to the Windows installation CD again (I believe it boots to the CD by default at this point, but this is just to be sure).
- Install to C: (be careful not to select your OS X volume!), but—and this is important—choose NOT to reformat. Leave the file system as is.
- Continue the installation process as you would normally.
That’s it! If things went well, the lovely 256-color Windows logo should load and you’ll be looking at Napa Valley in no time.