Can't run .exe files or restore rundll32.exe

December 27, 2011 at 13:42:50
Specs: Windows XP
I accidentally deleted my rundll32.exe file and now cannot run any .exe files at all. I have tried to do a system restore, have downloaded numerous restore programs, have tried to run msconfig to extract the file and none of these things will work because I constantly get the "Open With" window asking me what program I would like to use to open the program. I have tried all of the programs just in case any worked, but to no avail. I tried to restart my laptop in Safe Mode to see if I could System Restore that way but I don't think I did it right. The issue began when I downloaded Spyware Doctor to remove XP Internet Security 2012. I sincerely hope someone can help me because I've read every blog surrounding this issue, tried all of the strategies and nothing works because of the "Open With" window.

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December 27, 2011 at 13:52:58
There is a website where you can get these files.. go to and download the appropriate driver. Extract it from the zipped folder and place that particular file in C:\Windows\System and C:\Windows\System32 and then reboot.

From there (theoretically) you should be okay.

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December 27, 2011 at 14:16:16
Thank you for your help, but it didn't work. I did exactly as you said and just rebooted, but when I went to System Restore and msconfig, I received the same "Open With" box with rstrui.exe and MSConfig.exe respectively in the "File:" part of the "Open With" box. Any ideas what I can do next?

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December 27, 2011 at 14:37:35
Oh okay, yeah, no worries..

There is a clip Microsoft released on how to solve this.. just follow the instructions per your operating system and you'll be all set.


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Related Solutions

December 27, 2011 at 15:28:15
Followed all steps - same issues still remain.

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December 27, 2011 at 15:30:33
Now I can't open any applications at all, including all of Microsoft Office. Is there a way in safe mode or dos to System Restore? I'm a teacher - I can't lose access to everything on this laptop.

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December 29, 2011 at 08:40:30
Go to "C:\Windows\System32" and make sure rundll32.exe is really missing.
If so go to "C:\Windows\ServicePackFiles\i386" and copy the one over from there.

Another approach is to type sfc /scannow in the run box. If it runs it should restore missing system files.

If you are unsure about whether rundll32.exe is really missing then try the EXE fix on here (which is the usual fix for program file associations):

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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