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Why am I getting a rundll error at startup?

Question

i keep getting a message saying:

RUNDLL

Error loading

one of the library files neede to run this application cannot be found.

this message occurs when i turn the computer on.

Answer

This question was answered on January 17, 2003. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

First, backup all the data on your hard drive. You could be in for a long night.

This error usually points to a bad or incorrectly configured .dll file. Even after locating the file in question, fixing it may still be a problem. Some .dll's may be downloaded, but the downloaded file may not always match your system configuration. If the file corresponds to a particular program, uninstalling, reinstalling, or doing both may be the solution.

The rest of this reply is in the form of general advice. I'll frame it in the form of questions:

Was any piece of software installed or uninstalled just prior to this problem occurring? If so, suspect the procedure involved. Contact the software vendor.

Is this the entire message? Is there any additional information concerning a program or specific .dll file? Write down the exact phrasing, and then enter it into Google.com. Enclose the error message in quotation marks. More specific information is probably available.

Note that in repairing this problem, you may have to remove any references to the errant file in the registry. Backup the registry before doing this.

Have you run a virus check? If not, do so. Also, download and run AdAware. It can be found at Tucows.com.

Can you boot to Safe Mode? If so, and you do not see the error, you may have a bad driver of some sort. Go to Control Panel > System, then click on "Device Manager". Look for yellow and black event icons or red "X's". This may lead to further information regarding bad device drivers.

Hold down the control key at startup, right after the memory test. Start Windows using the step by step confirmation mode. This may help inform you of the process that is in error. This mode gives yes and no confirmations during each step. The process of elimination may indicate your problem.

Try going into your startup group and removing, at least temporarily, any programs loading at startup. The group is under Start > Programs.

In researching this, I have even read of people who have added memory to their machines and solved similar problems. 128 Meg or more is pretty much the way to go these days. Memory's pretty cheap.

How do you feel about reinstalling? If it's been more than a couple of years since you formatted your hard drive and reinstalled everything, it might be beneficial to do so. Maybe a reinstall is even advisable, for a number of reasons.

I've had many a lost weekend trying to track down problem like this one. Sometimes a reinstall is the shortest distance between two points. This is especially true if much of the above information doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense.

RG

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Author

Posted by Robert of Mesa Community College on January 17, 2003

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