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Filed Under: General Errors   

What are Rundll Errors?

Almost all Windows users face system failure due to rundll errors at one time or another. There are a number of reasons why these errors occur. To understand them, you first need to know what a rundll actually is.

Rundll.exe (16-bit) and Rundll32.exe (32-bit) are command-line utilities included with Windows operating systems to invoke functions exported from DLLs. While Windows operating systems including Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows ME support both utilities, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and other latest Windows versions support only rundll32.exe. Rundll errors are generated when Windows is unable to locate the file the utility tries to load.

Causes of Rundll Errors

The following are the most common causes of Rundll errors:

  • Malware Infections: The main cause of most rundll errors are malware such as spyware, virus, and Trojans, that attack your PC when you visit harmful websites, open spam emails, or download certain freeware applications. For example, files such as image.dll and Mshp.dll are installed on the system due to a Trojan attack. These files can download unwanted software on your system and change certain settings causing errors.
  • Improper software install or uninstall procedures.
  • Windows operating systems that support both rundll utilities (rundll.exe and rundll32.exe) can encounter rundll errors if the wrong type of DLL is passed to them.

Error Message

When a rundll errors occur, error messages similar to ones listed below may display on your computer:

"rundll error: loading C:\windows\<DLLfile.dll>, the specified module could not be found"

"RunDLL Error"

"RunDLL32 Error"

"rundll32 has caused an error in <DLLfile.dll>"

"rundll32 has caused an error"

"rundll error – component not found"

Troubleshooting and Fixing Rundll Errors

The method you choose to fix the rundll errors depends on whatever is causing them. Listed below are troubleshooting steps to fix rundll errors:

Identify the DLL file that is generating the error and troubleshoot accordingly

Most rundll error messages display name of the DLL file that is generating the error message. So, your first step should be to identify this DLL file. The best way is to visit a reliable online DLL library on the Internet and then type the name of DLL file that is generating the error and search.

The results should enable you to identify the program this DLL file belongs to. What you do next depends on this information. Listed below are some of the probable causes and what you can do to fix the error:

Cause 1: The DLL file is associated with a virus or some other malware

Perform the following steps, to deal with this issue:

  1. At Start > Run, type regedit, and press Enter.
  2. On the File menu, click Export.
  3. Browse to a location where you would like to save registry backup, give the backup a name and click Save.
  4. In the Registry Editor window that is displayed, navigate to the following registry key:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE> SOFTWARE> Microsoft> Windows> CurrentVersion> RUN
  5. Check for entry for the DLL file that is generating the error and delete it.
  6. Update your antimalware software and then perform a thorough full system scan.
  7. If your antimalware software allows command-line or Safe mode scanning, restart your PC and run the scan in one of these modes.
  8. Once done, restart your PC normally.
  9. If you have a registry cleaner tool, use it to deep scan the registry and clean or fix any issues.
  10. Restart the system.

Your system should be free of errors now.

Cause 2: The file belongs to a recently uninstalled program

In case rundll errors coincide with the uninstallation of a particular software program and you identify that the file in the error message belongs to this software, you must try to reinstall the software and uninstall it again. This will help you perform a clean uninstall and resolve the problem. If there were any problems during the first uninstallation process, this step should fix the issue.

If the uninstallation is incorrect, you may not be able to reinstall the software. In this condition, it is best to use a reliable program uninstaller tool to force uninstall the problem software from the computer.

What to do if Rundll errors occur at System Startup or if I don’t know the DLL file that is generating the error?

To troubleshoot rundll errors at system startup or when you don’t know the problem DLL file, you first need to isolate and rectify the software program or hardware device generating the rundll error. For this, you need to perform a clean boot. To perform a clean boot, perform the following steps:

  1. Open the Start menu
  2. Click in the Start Search field (XP users click Run).
  3. Type msconfig and press Enter.
    (This opens the System Configuration Utility dialog box.)
  4. In this dialog box, select Selective Startup, clear all but one checkbox given below it and restart your PC.
  5. Repeat the process until you identify the check box option that is generating the error.
  6. Next, in the System Configuration Utility dialog box, select the tab for the check box option causing the error.
  7. Clear all but one command on this tab and restart your PC.
  8. Continue the process until you isolate the command that is causing the problem.
  9. Next, rectify the problem by resolving the issue related to the identified software or hardware that is causing the errors.

Fix your registry

You can also try to scan and fix the Windows registry to resolve these errors because all information regarding software installed or uninstalled on your Windows system is stored in the registry. Any incorrect entry in the registry due to improper installation or malware can lead to rundll errors.

To scan and fix the registry, you can download a registry cleaner utility. Registry cleaner utilities help you safely and efficiently scan and fix registry errors such as invalid entries, DLL errors, and incorrect path settings, thereby enabling you to resolve rundll errors.

You can solve most of the rundll errors with the help of clever diagnosis and proper rectification steps. You can avoid these errors from occurring by regularly running registry and anti-virus scans on your PC and keeping your PC current by installing the latest security, software, and device driver updates.

Additional Recommendations...

Driver Update: Many errors are related to driver problems such as obsolete, outdated or incompatible drivers. A driver update tool is recommended to scan your system for corrupted and outdated drivers and to ensure that all your drivers stay up-to-date.