How to change windows hal vmware

Written by jason artman
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How to change windows hal vmware
Having the incorrect HAL installed may cause a virtual machine to cause high CPU usage on the host machine. (Keyboard image by S.Q T from

When an operating system such as Windows is designed to run on various types of hardware, a Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) is provided to make different hardware components appear the same to the operating system. If you are running Windows 2000, XP or Server 2003 on a VMware virtual machine with a multiprocessor host system, you may find that the CPU usage on the host computer is high even when the virtual machine is not actively being used. Resolve this issue by updating the HAL in the operating system running on the virtual machine.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Virtual machine running Windows 2000, XP or Server 2003

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  1. 1

    Load the virtual machine and allow Windows to boot. Log in using an account that has Administrative privileges.

  2. 2

    Press the Windows logo and "R" keys simultaneously to display the Windows "Run" dialogue box on the virtual machine. Type "devmgmt.msc" without quotation marks in the dialogue box and press "Enter."

  3. 3

    Double click the "Computer" heading in the Device Manager to expand the category. This reveals the HAL currently installed, e.g. "ACPI Uniprocessor PC."

  4. 4

    Right click the HAL displayed and click "Properties."

  5. 5

    Click the "Driver" tab, then click the "Update Driver" button.

  6. 6

    Click "Install from a list or specific location," then click "Next."

  7. 7

    Click "Don't search, I will choose the driver to install," then click "Next."

  8. 8

    Select the HAL that you want to use (e.g. "ACPI Multiprocessor PC") and click "Next." The drivers are installed.

  9. 9

    Close every window, then click "Yes" when prompted to restart the operating system on the virtual machine. Windows restarts with the correct HAL for a multiprocessor computer.

Tips and warnings

  • It is not possible to configure a VMware virtual machine to utilise more processors or processor cores than the number available in the host computer. Do not attempt to install a multiprocessor HAL in a virtual machine running on a single-processor host computer.

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