Pls HELP! WININET.dll was not found

December 29, 2005 at 23:41:34
Specs: Windows XP, Intel Pentium 4 Processor
Hi, I am unable to open IE and some other selected programs. I am currently using Windows XP. The previous user screwed up my computer and I have no idea exactly what he did. This is what it appears on the screen now.

"This application has failed to start because WININET.dll was not found. Re-installing the application may fix this problem."

And once I have closed this message, another message pops up....

"ERROR: Cannot find import; DLL may be missing, corrupt, or wrong version. File WININET.dll, error 126"

1) Where and how do I obtain another copy of the WININET.dll file? There are some website that offers free downloads. Are they safe? How do I know which version to use?

2) I can't even locate this file in my hard drive. Where exactly is it? Please very kindly specifiy the directory and how to reach there.

3) Any possible ideas as to what caused this?

4) I can't even open up the Nero to backup my files onto a CD and I don't have a memory stick. There is no way I can fit those files onto a floppy. Any suggestions as to how I can backup my files now?

5) Do I have to re-install my entire operating system?

PLEASE VERY KINDLY HELP!!! I am totally lost when it comes to computers. Any help/suggestions would be much appreciated. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!!!!

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December 30, 2005 at 02:25:49

WININET.dll is located in

Have you enabled so you can see hidden files?

Take the file from another xp machin, do you have sp1 or sp2, try to intall sp2...

it cant get worse.


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January 2, 2006 at 13:03:27
Hi i have alomost the same problem, i get to the log on screen type in my password then this message appears

"This application has failed to start because WININET.dll was not found. Re-installing the application may fix this problem."

then my current backround comes up and all i can do is press Ctrl, Alt, Delete to make taks manager appear then i can do anything i want there i can go to file, run task but yet i cant make real folders open i cant get the internet up what can i do??

please email me back at if you know, thank you

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January 2, 2006 at 21:32:25
I just encountered this several days ago, Just a guess but it may be a precursor to a virus attack (Spy Axe) which I'm killing right now. I have an hp so I went to the hp help website (I don't have the address otherwise I'd copy/paste here). Navigate to their support page. Search on the phrase "Error in XP: Windows could not start because following file is missing or corrupt..." In the process you'll learn that certain system files are resident on your hard drive (in c:\windows\i386). They contain (in this case) a file named "wininet.dl_" This is a compressed version of wininet.dll. As I recall the wininet.dll should be reside in c:\windows\system32. I suggest booting to Safe Mode. Then open a DOS prompt. Use the DOS extract command (at the prompt type "help extract" - don't worry this does not execute the command, it merely shows you what the command does and how to use it. Once you understand how to use it you can use it to extract and place the .dll file where it needs to go. This worked for me no problems. Good Luck!

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