New computers – Windows 7 – compatibility – XP Mode – crash

In the first account I composed for you, Computophilus, I talked of the vital need to get a version of Win7 that has XP Mode, and how I got it, and have it.

Or, rather, I had XP Mode.  I still have it, but Gloria doesn’t any more.

Given the time the update process takes, and the space it occupies on the disk, one would think that one set of system files is all that is necessary, and updates would be applied to the other Windows 7 accounts.  Not so!  When I went to make some adjustments to XP Mode on Gloria’s account, it was still trying to sell me all those lovely updates.  So I installed them.  After which, of course, it wanted to restart.  So I did.

It didn’t.

The error messages I am getting (not all consistent) started out with a note that “Integration” wasn’t working.  So I “retried,” and, when that didn’t work (surprise, surprise) I tried “continue.”  I got something like a DOS box, noting (among other things) that “hal.dll” is missing or corrupt.

The Hardware Abstraction Layer file is necessary to Windows, of course.  Normally you try to restore a backup or something to the disk.  Unfortunately, in a virtual machine (or, a Windows Virtual PC, at least) the “disk” is a file on the real disk.  Not a folder, a file.  And therefore inaccessible.

Now, there is a utility that gives you information about the various components of your Windows Virtual PC.  The virtual hard disk (or disks) is one item.  There is an option to modify it.  However, you can only modify the disk if the virtual machine it is assigned to is shut down.

And, since the Windows Virtual PC XP Mode machine isn’t working properly, the shutdown isn’t working, either.  Therefore, the machine can’t be fixed.

(Yes, I’ve tried the “restore previous version” option under Windows Virtual PC: apparently Microsoft doesn’t think that a restore point is necessary when installing Windows updates.)

(Any suggestions on the XP Mode problem gratefully accepted, although I’m now off to search and see if I can’t find a fix.)

Ceterum censeo Microsoft esse delendam.