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April 2nd, 2012

explorer.exe iertutil.dll was not found

This XP PC would start up, get to the point of showing a light blue screen (with a mouse pointer), and then display the message:

Explorer.exe: unable to locate component

This application has failed to start because iertutil.dll was not found

I also cannot get task manager to start, so there is little I can do in this mode.

I try safe mode, but thats the same (except the administrator user is password protected… I’ll remove the password if there is no easier option).

Some searching shows that downloading (or copying from another XP machine) iertutil.dll, and then placing it into c:\windows\system32 will fix the problem.

So I start XP in safe mode with command prompt, plug in my USB drive (with iertutil.dll), and use the DOS copy command to put iertutil.dll in the correct place.

When I restart the PC, I see that IE8 continues an interrupted update process.

So it looks like something went wrong with an IE8 update.

After a bit more looking around, I also notice the hard drive only has 3Gb space left (out of 80Gb).

I get the feeling that the low amount of space might have somehow contributed to this problem.

Anyway, IE8 updates correctly, and I clear up some space by removing some junk from the HDD, and then run a defrag.

After all that, the computer is running very nicely.

Its good to work on something that isn’t infected for a change!


By Luigi Martin
Category: Technical

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