I'm new to this community which i stumbled across while Googling my isse:

Does anyone know a fix to resolve the "rudll32.exe" not found on a Windows 2003SP2_Std server? The file exists and all the registry entries seem to be in tack, but i'm unable to run anything but the command prompt which i have to open regedit with. MMC works, Explorer works, but no CPL ("C:\WINDOWS\system32\rundll32.exe – Application not found"). I open Notepad up and it brings up some unusual code....very odd. Symantec doesn't detect a virus, etc. I've read forums and threads that mention XP or Vista fixes, but haven't found one for 2K3. The server is a production box and i'm "hoping" i can resolve this easily. Was wondering if replacing the file or reinstalling SP2 will fix it as my first attempt.

8 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by squire06

I'm not the expert on 2003, but in my experience with XP Pro, re-installing a service pack is a solid bet for putting stuff right.

I've also put stuff right without losing my applications by just Updating Windows from its own system disk.


Repairing the OS would surely put things back on track, working without rundll32 is not possible, disinfecting may not help since the file seems to have been virtually deleted or 'screwed up'...Still i'd suggest you google the issue for some more answers


Thanks for the response(s)! I attempted the "sfc /scannnow" command but it requires the "original install" disk. Now it's just a matter of finding that and going from there. The CD I was using had SP1 integrated into it...no go. Any of you had success using the "SFC" command? Thanks again!


Incidentally, have you done the simplest thing with the install CD (that you've lost) or a downloaded version of RunDLL32.exe?

Start Windows command prompt (CMD).

If you've got the Windows CD, insert and execute (substituting for E:):

expand E:\i386\rundll32.ex_ %Systemroot%\rundll32.exe

If you've downloaded RunDLL32.EXE just copy it into Windows\System32

If there is a RunDLL32.EXE already in there, rename it. Also have a look at its properties and let us know if it is different from the expanded/downloaded version.

Restart your computer.

Let us know - or you may have tried this already.


no, i haven't done that yet. Comparing the file version properties with other peer SP2 servers in our environment, it matches up. Does it make a difference if a different version replaces the supposedly "corrupted" version?


If it compares with the others in your server environment than it's OK. You could make sure by copying one across from another server and under CMD doing a FC (File Compare) on the two.

If I recall correctly you can register EXE files (although I note you say the registry is OK).

It won't hurt to execute under run REGSVR32 x:\rundll32.exe

where x: is the path where Rundll32.exe sits


that doesn't work. I attempted the "sfc /scannow" to no resolve as well...looks like i've lost my ".exe" file assocition - unable to run any .exe's at all. So i guess that was the problem from the beginning, not the "rundll32.exe".


The symptoms described in that particular KB article aren't the same as my issue. I receive an "Application Not Found" pop-up. I'm able to open Windows Explorer and the MMC's.


In your previous post you actually said: "...looks like i've lost my ".exe" file assocition - unable to run any .exe's at all...."

Remember we're at a distance trying to diagnose everything you see in front of you which we don't.

But we can't rule out malware along similar lines as the KB article. Have you looked into SYSTEM32 to see if there are any suspicious files - particularly files created since you noticed the problem or just before. Let us know.


RESOLVED! OK - found out the problem existed in a corrupt Administrator profile. I was able to run ".exe's" in Safe mode and in normal mode logging in as the "local Administrator"...everything functioned normally. After renaming the "domain adminstrator" profile/folder and logging back in as Domain Administrator, the profile was recreated and we're back in business. Can't believe i wasted all that time thinking that the problem existed within the OS!! Thanks for the response's!

This question has already been answered. Start a new discussion instead.
Have something to contribute to this discussion? Please be thoughtful, detailed and courteous, and be sure to adhere to our posting rules.