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‘Mismatched kernel and HAL image’ Windows Error and Recovery

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Windows Kernel sits between Executive and HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) and allows performing tasks like multiprocessor synchronization, trapping exception dispatching, initializing device drivers at bootup, interrupting, threading scheduling and dispatching etc. As a fact, all HAL implementations are dependent upon kernel in some manner. It implies that HAL and kernel are engineered in a way that they work together and thus, come in matching sets. But at times, you receive errors that these two components don’t match. In such situations, as a solution you might need to reformat the hard drive and use your recent data backup to restore lost information. However, if data backup is not up-to-date, damaged or absent, data recovery tools can revamp and restore lost data and file recovery software can help you to repair damaged data files after corruption

As a practical instance, when you turn on your Windows Vista system, you receive the below error message:

“STOP: 0x00000079 (parameter1, parameter2, parameter3, parameter4)

Mismatched kernel and hal image”

The same error message gets encountered with Windows XP and 2000. You can’t boot the system after this error message.


The above error message gets displayed when the kernel and HAL do not match with each other. It can happen because of any of the below causes:

  • Single-processor and multi-processor configuration files are mixed on the same computer system
  • You have manually updated the Ntoskrnl.exe or Hal.dll file
  • Either Ntoskrnl.exe or Hal.dll is out-of-date


To solve the above issue, you need to perform these steps:

  • You should first check if Hal.dll and Ntoskrnl.exe are of same versions and match with Windows version installed. These two files are located in System32 folder of Windows.
  • If you find them of different versions, you need to copy either of the file using Windows Recovery Console (Windows XP and 2000) or Recovery Environment (Windows Vista) and replace it with the existing one.
  • If the issue still remains unresolved, you need to format the hard drive and reinstall Windows. To restore lost data, you need to use recent data backup. But if you encounter an error message during restoration or the backup is not up-to-date/non-existent, data recovery software can be used. These are special data recovery tools that incorporate advanced and safe scanning algorithms to extract lost data.

Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery is a premier data recovery software. It provides modern graphical user-interface, advanced recovery features, risk-free recovery and to-the-point documentation. It supports FAT16, FAT32, VFAT, NTFS and NTFS5 file systems. The software is compatible with Windows 7 (Currently in RC1), Vista, XP, 2003 and 2000.

Jacob Luis is a student of Mass Communication doing research on partition recovery. He is also a hard disk recovery Specialist.

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