What the HECK is "Rundll32" and...

Scott Weinberg

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2000
Messages
7,477
...why does it start up whenever I boot up my computer?
I'm guessing it's OK to simply delete this program, but I wanted to make sure it's not going to screw anything up if I do.
What IS this stupid-ass program, what's it do and HOW did it get onto my computer?
Thanks!
------------------
Scott
TheAngryJew's Movie Reviews at HBS.com
AOL IM: TheAngryJew29
 

RicP

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 29, 2000
Messages
1,126
uh...Rundll32 is part of the Operating System. Go ahead and delete it, but then don't be surprised if your computer stops working.
Rundll is used by applications under Windows to invoke functions contained in a DLL without having to statically or dynamically link to the DLL. They can just use RunDLL to call the function and run it, without having to build support for the library into their program.
DO NOT DELETE THE FILE, unless you don't care to run Windows anymore.
------------------
http://www.ricperrott.com
Ric Perrott
 

NickSo

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2000
Messages
4,260
Real Name
Nick So
Rule of thumb... if theres any mention of 'DLL' in the filename or the extension, do not touch it... They're an important part of Windows...
------------------
 

Rob Gillespie

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 17, 1998
Messages
3,632
Windows probably wouldn't even let you delete it, but if you managed to there's a good chance your system wouldn't come back up again.
I'm curious though - what has caused you to want to get rid of it? The Dynamic Link Library files are part of the Windows substructure. They're not like an application that you can choose to start at bootup or not.
 

Scott Weinberg

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2000
Messages
7,477
The reason I ask is this:
Whenever I hit Ctrl-Alt-Del, 'rundll32' is always there. Yet when I choose to end that particular 'task', I always get the "program not responding" message.
As you can plainly see, I'm not real educated in these things. Be kind. Thanks for the info!
------------------
Scott
TheAngryJew's Movie Reviews at HBS.com
AOL IM: TheAngryJew29
 

Glenn Overholt

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 24, 1999
Messages
4,201
Yes, it should be there, but it should not be showing up on the screen. Something is wrong somewhere.
If this has shown up recently, I'd try to remember what program it was that you loaded up. A few of them are not 100% windows compatable.
You might be better off reinstalling windows and hoping that it will go away.
Just some suggestions.
Glenn
 

Rob Gillespie

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 17, 1998
Messages
3,632
Scott, what else is showing as running when to do Ctrl_Alt_Del?
If you want to see what applications Windows is loading on startup, click on the Start button, select 'Run' and type msconfig. A window should appear. The 'Startup' tab shows everything that is loaded at boot.
 

Steven K

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 10, 2000
Messages
830
NickSo,
Not true about all DLLs being "very important to Windows." A DLL is basically just a file with function calls built in. The purpose of DLLs- you can link to them at run time, so that you don't have to compile your programs with the functions included in the compilation program. Basically, it's a space thing. If there were no DLLs, every program that used a DLL or any number of DLLs would have to have those functions compiled with the program. So, your AOL instant messenger would be about 100 MB. And, any other program that used the same DLLs as AOL instant messenger would have the same functions compiled with it, and be very large in size (and slow).
It's like every citizen going to a library and having access to any book, as opposed to every citizen having their own copy in their own home of every book.
I write DLL files all the time; files that Windows in no way depends on... just applications that I write. It just so happens that Windows relies on ALOT of DLL files.
If you have Microsoft Visual Studio, you can actually find out DLLs a file is reliant upon. There is a utility called "Depends" in which you simply open up an EXE or a DLL (actually, any binary file) and it displays a list of all libraries that the file is dependent on.
 

Rob Gillespie

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 17, 1998
Messages
3,632
If you start deleting .dll files then your system wont be usable for very long. I think that's the point Nick was trying convey.
[Edited last by Rob Gillespie on August 12, 2001 at 12:06 PM]
 

Steven K

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 10, 2000
Messages
830
Well, I definitely would not recommend deleting any DLL files that you aren't 100% sure about. Same thing with the Windows Registry entries. I always see people who are attempting to completely remove a program from their system, and they have a very vague knowledge of the Registry... so they go into the Registry Editor and start deleting things. idiots...
 

Joseph DeMartino

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 30, 1997
Messages
8,311
Location
Florida
Real Name
Joseph DeMartino
Yes, it should be there, but it should not be showing up on the screen. Something is wrong somewhere.
It isn't spontaneously "showing up on the screen", it is just included in the running programs list when he brings up "Task Manager" - as it should be if it is running. (Just like "Systray" and "Explorer" - two other programs that most users wouldn't recognize by name, and which they would not "run" manually, but which are part of the operating system, and therefore had bloody well better show up when you open "Task Manager.") I had the hardest time explaining this to two of my uncles.

Regards,
Joe
------------------
 

Graeme Clark

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2000
Messages
2,180
Windows 9x will always show rundll32 in the task list when you do a ctrl+alt+del, as does explorer. It's fine as it is.
------------------
 

Iain Lambert

Screenwriter
Joined
Jun 7, 1999
Messages
1,345
Be _really_ careful about this. Its probably just rundll32 which is a fundamental part of Windows. But its just possible that its actually rundIl32 with a capital I rather than a lower case l - the default fonts won't let you tell the difference, and RUNDIL32 is a worm process caused by a particularly evil denial of service program. Do a search through your disk for the rundil file and feel free to get rid of that one. If in doubt consult a local mate who knows and do a good backup.
------------------
"I'm a reasonable man, get off my case" - Thom Yorke
 

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
345,112
Messages
4,731,129
Members
141,388
Latest member
Billman