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Discussion Windows 10 Pro automatically selects HAL?

igor_kavinski

Member
Jul 27, 2020
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I saw something today that I haven't seen since the days of Windows 98 (and maybe Windows ME). A guy in my office connected an HDD with an existing Windows 10 installation to a really old Thinkpad Core 2 Duo laptop (1.5GHz, 1GB RAM) and it booted right up, instead of the usual blue screen that I was accustomed to up until Windows XP. Never tried this with Windows 8/8.1. Is this auto detection of HAL by the Windows 10 installation some recent change or has it existed since Windows 8?
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
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The reason I might have expected it to BSOD would have been AHCI/IDE related, BSOD INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE, not the HAL. Has there been a new HAL since the inception of ACPI? My Win7 VM says 'ACPI x64 PC'.
 

igor_kavinski

Member
Jul 27, 2020
40
4
11
The reason I might have expected it to BSOD would have been AHCI/IDE related, BSOD INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE, not the HAL. Has there been a new HAL since the inception of ACPI? My Win7 VM says 'ACPI x64 PC'.
You might be right. That laptop's SATA port was set to Compatibility mode in the BIOS. Anyway, what is the HAL comprised of? I was under the impression that you get a BSOD anytime there is a mobo chipset change.
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
13,924
3,850
136
You might be right. That laptop's SATA port was set to Compatibility mode in the BIOS. Anyway, what is the HAL comprised of? I was under the impression that you get a BSOD anytime there is a mobo chipset change.
HAL:
Not a field I'm terribly knowledgeable about, but here's a link:

And another one:

As I understand it - in order to handle peripheral hardware talking to the board, there's the whole system of IRQs in PCs. Once upon a time there were 15, then I think 23 briefly, then not really any any more (or they became irrelevant to the likes of us). Another factor was power management and its advancement requiring more flexibility. The Windows HAL handles interrupt handling amongst other things.

I'm filing this question under "stuff I haven't thought about for freaking ages"! :)

Mobo chipset change: Not necessarily, depends on the drivers and the hardware they have to support.
 

igor_kavinski

Member
Jul 27, 2020
40
4
11
I'm filing this question under "stuff I haven't thought about for freaking ages"! :)

Mobo chipset change: Not necessarily, depends on the drivers and the hardware they have to support.
I've heard (and I think experienced long ago) that Linux is pretty forgiving when booted on hardware it wasn't originally installed on. So I guess Linux has a Universal HAL? From my limited understanding, HAL is to Windows what BIOS/UEFI is to the PC, correct? BIOS/UEFI provides the translation layer that operating systems need to talk to the underlying hardware. HAL sits between the BIOS/UEFI and Windows communication channel and ensures that both understand each other?
 

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