System 32 Help? (Computer Guy/Gal Question)

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Doug Miller, Apr 16, 2006.

  1. Doug Miller

    Doug Miller Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 1999
    Messages:
    712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Doug Miller
    About 2 years ago, somehow my System 32 file got deleted or corrupted. I had the computer restored, then about 6 months to a year later, I was having problems with my scanner bridging again. The computer itself had been running OK, but now that my wife left her job to have our second kid, I figured I'd clean the computer of all of her work programs.

    Well, I spent time trying to repair using the system disk, but sure enough it said that there was "An error ocurred loading: C:/WINDOWS/System32/inetcomm.dll" I just decided to just restore the whole thing -- which why Dell has to make loading the drivers such a pain in the ass is besides me.

    So, my question. How has my System32 file been getting corrupted? I've got anti-virus, firewall, and antispy running at all times. Is it something I'm loading? The other thing I wondered, is when I go and uninstall programs that were factory installed with the computer -- like AOL, etc., is it possible that's corrupting the System32 file?

    Thanks,
    Doug
     
  2. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    8,311
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Florida
    Real Name:
    Joseph DeMartino
    System32 isn't a file, it is a folder where files are stored. (The distinction between files and folders is fundamental. If you're going to tinker with computers at all you should pick up a basic Windows book to learn a little about what the pieces are and how they work together.)

    DLLs are dynamic link library files, and the same DLL will often be used by multiple application programs, which is why they tend to get stored in System32 instead of the individual program folders. Basically they're modular bits of code. Instead of every program having to have its own instructions for doing common tasks they can all just call the same external program to do it for them.

    Chances are that in uninstalling AOL you got a message saying that "inetcomm.dll" (presumably something to do with internet communications) is a shared DLL and that deleting it could cause other programs to have problems or stop working. Wanting to remove every trace of AOL (can't say I blame you) and not really understanding the message, you said "OK".

    Now when you start your PC some other program that uses inetcomm.dll is trying to load it and the file is no longer there because you erased it.

    The other possibility is that in using the Dell recovery disc you totally overwrote your System32 folder with the contents it had when the machine came out of the box - meaning that all the DLLs placed there by all the programs you've installed since are gone.

    That's one reason why such recovery discs should be used only as a last resort. You're much better off using Microsoft's System Restore. Always create a new restore point before addind any new hardware or software and you'll have a much better chance of rolling the system back to just before the installation if anything goes wrong.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  3. Doug Miller

    Doug Miller Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 1999
    Messages:
    712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Doug Miller
    Joe --

    Great explanation. Thank you.

    Doug
     
  4. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2000
    Messages:
    1,528
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    FYI, inetcomm.dll is part of Windows and its more verbose name would be "Microsoft Internet Messaging Library". Presumably quite a few Internet related programs need this.

    Another way to get a critical dll back that one has accidentally deleted (and assuming it is as this one, a part of the Windows operating system) is to get the file from the Windows CD. That would involve a bit of command line work though, but not much.

    Briefly, you copy the file (named inetcomm.dl_ because it's compressed) to your harddrive, run the command "expand inetcomm.dl_" on it via the command line and then copy the resulting inetcomm.dll file to the c:windowssystem32 folder. Not perhaps for the total neophyte, but not rocket science either.
     
  5. Doug Miller

    Doug Miller Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 1999
    Messages:
    712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Doug Miller
    I'm thinking that I should just copy the whole file folder to a CD for later, you know, just in case I screw something up again. [​IMG]

    Doug
     
  6. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2000
    Messages:
    1,528
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Just keep in mind the System32 folder gets added to and altered as your system is used so you'd have to update that backup periodically then.

    You might want to look into system restore as well to give you an easy fallback position in case your machine breaks too, this assuming you're running Win XP. Just Google for it, there's tons of info available.
     
  7. Doug Miller

    Doug Miller Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 1999
    Messages:
    712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Doug Miller
    Thanks, Kimmo. I've used the "time machine" restore in the past -- I think you were both right above, I'm sure that I deleted something trying to make room (I would never need) and must have said "yes" to deleting something that worked with multiple functions.

    Doug
     
  8. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2000
    Messages:
    1,313
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Why would my firewall ask if it's OK to let system32 access the internet?
     
  9. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    8,311
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Florida
    Real Name:
    Joseph DeMartino
    It isn't asking if system 32 can access the internet. System32 isn't a program. It is asking if some file that resides in system32 can access the internet. There are many reasons why a legit program installed in the system32 folder might access the internet - but there are also plenty of trojans and other pieces of malware that could be placed in that folder as well. So that's why your firewall is asking about the program. You need to read the whole firewall prompt, in detail, to find out what program in C:Windowssystem32 it is talking about.

    (It is also possible that some Trojan or piece of malware has actually stuck a file called "system32.*" with some bogus extension on your machine. If that's the case, say "no" [​IMG])

    Regards,

    Joe
     

Share This Page