Tips for migrating a physical computer to a virtual machine (part 4)

Well we are at the final post in my series on migrating a physical computer to a virtual machine.  If all other steps have failed the last thing to check is the HAL that is being used by the operating system.  The HAL is the ‘Hardware Abstraction Layer’ and is responsible for some of the lowest level access in the system.  You can find out about all the various HALs here: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;309283.

Having the wrong HAL loaded can result in:

  • Blue screens during boot
  • Unrecoverable processor errors
  • Boot simply ‘stalling’ and never finishing

In order to update the HAL you should boot into the recovery console (as described here: http://blogs.msdn.com/virtual_pc_guy/archive/2004/12/10.aspx).  You should then change directory to the WINDOWSSYSTEM32 directory and run “expand D:I386HALACPI.DL_” followed by “copy HALACPI.DLL HAL.DLL”.

Note – this method is not officially supported by Microsoft – but I have found it to be very handy :-)

Cheers,
Ben