A Windows registry would be like a cabinet in which you keep all the information and keys to anything you own. Consequently, losing a registry file or changing it will result in the related program or device not opening properly (or not opening at all), sometimes even hampering your PC's performance. This will certainly happen as your PC gets older. The amount of programs you've installed and uninstalled, whether you've done the process properly or not or whether you've accessed and modified the registry yourself, will cause problems.
The RunDll File
The registry is where the RunDll files are. The RunDll files are directly linked to the OS processes they are made for. The files are designed to help access any process and increase their efficiency. So what do you think will happen when these files are lost or get corrupted? The PC loses the whereabouts of the linked processes and will therefore fail to perform a related function properly. These RunDll errors are often mentioned at startup.
Whenever a RunDll file goes wrong, you'll get a message every time you startup, like - Error loading rundll32.exe nvmctray.dll. The specified module not found, or missing bridge.dll or that some Dll file somewhere is not how it should be. Depending on what the Dll file is used for, problems will occur. Sometimes if you haven't uninstalled a program properly, its registry files might still remain, get corrupted and you'll get the startup messages.
In this case, you may not face any real problems regarding PC performance. But sometimes a registry file of a program you use (probably even relied on) becomes corrupted and will affect your work and the PC's performance. Older files that stay in the registry cause the registry to get bloated. There is always the chance of your PC getting infected by viruses that often modify registry files. Any old file may get linked to the virus and will cause problems whenever you access the Dll file. What also happens is, there will be malware that mask themselves as a .dll file, or use the .dll files on your computer for their own malicious purposes. You can find out if this is happening by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del to open the task manager. If you find a .dll file that's using up loads of RAM, it's probably infected. Once that's figured out, here's how to fix RunDll error at windows XP startup.
There are certain ways you can fix this problem. Before I tell you about them, there are two rules you have to follow at all times whenever you think about fiddling with the Windows registry:
- By now you should realize how important the registry files are to Windows. So it goes without saying that the Dll files are your responsibility and messing around with them without proper knowledge will cause severe problems.
- If you're not a software expert, the less you access the registry, the better. There can be times when you may inadvertently change some files and have to worry about them later.
Fixing a RunDll Error
With the number of people out there facing the same problems you're facing, there are many solutions to the problem. The solutions apply to a Dll error except DirectX errors.
- If the problem is recent, like after booting your PC after uninstalling something, you can perform System Restore. Click "Start" → type "System Restore" in the search box. If the Dll error is recent, use the recommended restore point (which is generally 24 hours ago), or choose your own restore point. You can try uninstalling the program again. Do not just delete the files off the system, use the "uninstall" option given. This removes all records of the program, including the registry files.
- You can use msconfig to shut down the process. Remember the .exe file name that the message contained. Click "Start" → type "Run" in the search box → type "msconfig" in the run window. Press "ok" → go to the "startup" tab → search for the .exe file that was reported missing or with errors. Remove the tick off the box for the .exe file, apply changes and reboot your PC.
- Start an antivirus and an anti-malware scan on your PC. The scans are better done in Safe Mode, with Networking switched off (press F8 during startup, go to "Windows advanced options", select "Safe Mode No Networking"). This will clean up any 'malware' attached to a Dll file, and might even solve your problem if the spyware hasn't corrupted the Dll file.
- Getting a legitimate registry cleanup software might be your best option. Get a Registry Cleaner like the RegistryBooster (made by Uniblue) that works for Windows XP, or a Registry Mechanic (made by PC Tools). Make sure that the product is version compatible. The Cleaner gets rid of all useless registry files and repairs whatever corrupted files it can. You can read consumer reports before you get the Cleaner.
- You can repair Windows registry files using the installation CD. Boot the CD and select the "Repair" option after the authenticity check. This will reinstall the registry files related to OS operation. After the process, reboot the PC and run a Windows Update, as the CD may contain an older version.
You may use HijackThis. It scans the registry files for any 'malware' or 'spyware' attached to the files. Caution! Using HijackThis should be kept as a last resort, after even running the anti-malware and anti-spyware yields no results. You need a good amount of knowledge on how the software works. It would be wise, if you don't have enough knowledge on the processes, to consult someone who does. Again, this is a last resort option. I am only giving you an idea about the software, and should be used only if all the above methods fail.
The Windows registry is not to be trifled with if you don't know what it holds. I hope you've solved your problem using these solutions. One thing I know about PC troubleshooting is that it needs some patience to follow the steps right, so don't go ramming your monitor in with a hammer or buying a new PC without learning what the problem is.