How to replacing missing windows files.

target audience: power users, technicians (If you don’t understand the following, don’t try it. You could do further damage to your installation.)

Replacing critical .dll files in windows can be a bit tricky. Chances are you can’t boot windows properly without the file intact. To fix this you’ll need the correct installation CD for your version of windows. ( I can’t recommend a TechNet subscription strongly enough if you are a technician). Recently I replaced the file “SHLWAPI.DLL.” The following instruction are from Microsoft’s support site. Substitute whichever file(s) you need to replace for the ones listed here .

To resolve this problem, you must restart your computer in the Windows XP Recovery Console, and then replace the damaged DLL files. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Use the Windows XP Setup start-up disks or the Windows XP CD-ROM to start your computer.
  2. At the “Welcome to Setup” screen, press R, and then press C to start the Recovery Console.
  3. Type the number for the appropriate Windows XP installation, and then type the Administrator account password.
  4. Type the following commands, and then press ENTER after each command:

    cd \
    cd windows\system32
    ren winlogon.exe winlogon.old
    ren msgina.dll msgina.old
    ren shell32.dll shell32.old
    ren shlwapi.dll shlwapi.old
    cd servicepackfiles\i386
    copy MSGINA.DLL c:\windows\system32
    copy SHELL32.DLL c:\windows\system32
    copy WINLOGON.EXE c:\windows\system32
    copy SHLWAPI.DLL c:\windows\system32

    Note: If the DLL files are NOT in the Servicepackfiles folder, you must expand these files from the Windows XP installation CD-ROM and copy them to the System32 folder. To expand these files from the Windows XP installation CD, follow these steps:

    1. Put the Windows XP installation CD in your CD-ROM or DVD drive.
    2. Type the following commands, and then press ENTER after each command:

      expand CD_Drive_Letter:\i386\MSGINA.DL_ C:\windows\system32
      expand CD_Drive_Letter:\i386\SHELL32.DL_ C:\windows\system32
      expand CD_Drive_Letter:\i386\WINLOGON.EX_ C:\windows\system32
      expand CD_Drive_Letter:\i386\SHLWAPI.DL_ C:\windows\system32

  5. Type exit, and then press ENTER.



  • Follow these instructions to get to the Recovery Console
  • There may very well not be a “servicepackfiles” folder so the second half of the above directions apply.
  • You should REALLY do a DIR to look for the file on the CD before starting the replacement procedure. Just remember, the extension is appended with an underscore (e.g. .ex_ or .dl_) because the files are packed.

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