Why do I get illegal operations errors?

Question

Lately I get this message on the screen, I can't seem to pinpoint why -- when I get it I cannot close the message as it indicates, my computer is frozen and I have to turn it off and restart it. This is the message: "Explorer -- This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down. Quit all programs and then restart your computer. If the problem persists contact the program vendor."

I have gone to the Microsoft website, assuming this means Microsoft Explorer but have had no luck. Hopefully you'll be able to help me.

Thanks

Shirley Thomas

Answer

This question was answered on February 25, 2002. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

A: This behavior can occur if any of the following conditions are true:

The Shdocvw.dll file is missing or damaged.

The Windows 98 Registry Checker (Scanreg.exe) restores a previous copy of the registry To determine if this has occurred, check for a Rbbad.cab file on your computer with the same date stamp as the day that you installed Internet Explorer 5 or later If the file is on your computer, follow only steps 8 through 10 in the "Workaround" section of this article

The computer is infected by a virus

If you feel comfortable enough trying to erradicate the problems you're having with the illegal operation errors, here are the steps you can take Good luck.

The Windows 98 Registry Checker (Scanreg.exe) restores a previous copy of the registry To determine if this has occurred, check for a Rbbad.cab file on your computer with the same date stamp as the day that you installed Internet Explorer 5 or later If the file is on your computer, follow only steps 8 through 10 in the "Workaround" section of this article

WORKAROUND

NOTE : If you believe that your computer is infected by the Pretty Park virus or any other virus, do not use the following steps Instead, obtain an up-to-date version of an antivirus utility and scan your computer with the program

For additional information about the Pretty Park virus, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

Q250931 You Are Unable to Start a Program with an .exe File Extension

If you are certain that your computer does not have a virus, use the following steps to work around the problem:

At a command prompt, edit the System.ini file by changing Shell=Explorer.exe to Shell=Winfile.exe, and then restart your computer

You can perform the preceding step by following these detailed instructions:

In Windows 98, click Start , and then click Run

In the Open box, type msconfig and click OK

When the System Configuration utility opens, click the Advanced button in the lower right corner of the window

In the Advanced options, click to select the Enable Startup Menu check box and click OK

On the System Configuration utility, click OK , and when prompted, click YES to restart the computer

When the computer restarts, the Windows 98 Startup menu is displayed From the list of options, click Command Prompt Only , and then press ENTER

If you are using Windows 95, restart your computer When the message "Starting Windows 95" is displayed, press F8 The Windows 95 Startup menu is displayed Click Command Prompt Only , and then press ENTER

Your computer restarts to a command prompt or C: prompt To edit your System.ini file you may first need to change directories to the Windows directory by typing cd\windows (without the quotes) and press Enter

To edit your System.ini file, type edit system.ini (without quotes) and press ENTER

At this point you should see text from the System.ini file Look for a line of text that says: Shell=Explorer.exe

Delete the Explorer.exe text and replace it with "Winfile.exe"

To save your changes, press ALT F

A menu is displayed in the upper left corner of the screen Press the X key to exit

Press ENTER to save changes and to return to the command prompt

Restart your computer

Click Run on the File menu in File Manager, type command.com , and then click OK

Re-extract the Shdocvw.dll, Mshtml.dll, Comctl32.dll, and Shlwapi.dll files from the Internet Explorer 5 cabinet (.cab) files

For information about how to extract Internet Explorer 5.0 files, view the "Extracting Individual Internet Explorer 4 or 5 Files" section of the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

Q129605 How to Extract Original Compressed Windows Files

Edit the System.ini file by changing Shell=Winfile.exe to Shell=Explorer.exe, and then restart your computer

If the issue is not resolved, continue with the next step

Edit the System.ini file by changing Shell=Explorer.exe to Shell=Winfile.exe, and then restart your computer

Click Run on the File menu in File Manager, and then type the following command:

rundll32 setupwbv.dll,IE5Maintenance "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\Setup\SETUP.EXE" /g "C:\WINDOWS\IE Uninstall Log.Txt"

This command runs Internet Explorer Repair (if available) and is case sensitive If you are prompted to restart Windows to complete the repair process, click No , and then continue with the next step If you are prompted to run Setup again to reinstall all components, click Details to note the problem, click OK twice, and then continue with step 9

NOTE : Step 6 does not apply to Windows Millennium Edition (Me) because there is no option to Repair Internet Explorer in the operating system

Edit the System.ini file by changing Shell=Winfile.exe to Shell=Explorer.exe, and then restart your computer

If the issue is still not resolved, continue with the next step

Edit the System.ini file by changing Shell=Explorer.exe to Shell=Winfile.exe, and then restart your computer

Click Run on the File menu in File Manager, and then double-click the Setup.exe file in the Program Files\ Internet Explorer \Setup folder (where Internet Explorer is the name of your Internet Explorer installation folder)

Click OK , and then click Yes to remove Internet Explorer

Click Restart Windows , restart to a command prompt, edit the System.ini file by changing Shell=Winfile.exe to Shell=Explorer.exe, and then restart your computer

If the issue is resolved, run an antivirus program with updated signature files, perform a clean start (disable any antivirus or "crash"-protection software), and then start Internet Explorer

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Author

Posted by Teri of Data Doctors on February 25, 2002