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Resolving Missing File or File Corrupt Errors (Windows XP, ME, 98)

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This document pertains to HP and Compaq PCs using Windows 98, Me, or XP.
If a critical file is deleted or changed, a variety of error messages might display and software can fail to start (including Windows). Some of the possible error messages include the following:
  • The following file is missing or corrupt: MFC42.DLL
  • SYS is missing or corrupt
  • DLL is linked to missing export MFC42.DLL
  • DLL missing or corrupt
Write down the full name (and path, if given) of the missing or corrupt file from the error message. Perform the steps from one of the following sections to replace the missing or damaged file, depending on the version of Windows and how the computer is affected.

In Windows XP

Windows XP protects system files very well and it might be impossible to replace a system file version without performing an entire system restore. If a system file is missing, perform the following steps first:
  1. Start the computer in Safe Mode. For more information, refer to the HP support document Starting Windows XP in Safe Mode .
  2. Click Start, My Computer, and then double-click the C: Drive.
  3. Use the following steps to view hidden or system files:
    1. Click Tools, and then click Folder Options.
    2. Click the View tab.
    3. Remove the checkmarks from Hide extensions for known file types, and Hide protected operating system files. Click Yes to confirm displaying the files.
    4. Select Show hidden files and folders under Hidden files and folders.
    5. Click Apply, and then click OK. The Folder Options window closes.
  4. From the C:\ window, double-click the Windows folder, double-click the System32 folder, and then double-click the dllcache folder.
  5. Find the missing system file, right-click the file icon, and then select Copy.
    NOTE:If the file cannot be found in the dllcache folder, use the search tool to find the file:
    1. Click Start, click Search, and then click All files and Folders.
    2. Click More advanced options and select Search system files, Search hidden files and folders, and Search subfolders if they are not already selected.
    3. Select Local Hard drives in the Look in box.
    4. Type the filename in the All or part of the file name field and click the Search button.
    5. Right-click the file found in the right window and select copy.
  6. Browse to the file's working directory. This will probably be one of the following paths:
    • C:\Windows
    • C:\Windows\System
    • C:\Windows\System32
  7. Right-click an empty area inside the directory window and select Paste. If a Confirm File Replace window opens, click Yes.
  8. The file should display inside the window.
    • If the file copies into the directory, restart Windows and test for the error message.
    • If a message displays stating that the file is in use and cannot be removed or replaced, try using Microsoft System Restore to set all system files back to a previous time. For more information, refer to the HP support document Using Microsoft's System Restore .
  9. If the error message goes away, or you want to set the viewing options back to default, use the following steps:
    1. Click Tools, and then click Folder Options.
    2. Click the View tab.
    3. Click the Restore Defaults button and click OK.

In Windows 98 or Windows Me

Start Windows and use the following steps to replace missing or corrupt system files:
  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In Windows 98, type sfc in the Open field and click OK.
    In Windows Me, type msconfig in the Open field and click OK.
  3. In Windows 98, select Extract one file from installation disk.
    In Windows Me, click the Extract File button.
  4. Type the full name of the file to restore. For example, mfc42.dll or himem.sys.
  5. Click the Start button in the Extract one file from installation disk window.
  6. Click the Browse button next to the Restore From field.
  7. Browse to the following path: C:\Windows\Options\CABS.
  8. Click the CABS folder, and then click OK.
  9. Click the Browse button next to the Save in field.
  10. Browse to the file's working fold6er. Use the path from the error message (if one was specified). This is probably one of the following paths:
    • C:\Windows
    • C:\Windows\System
    • C:\Windows\System32
  11. Click the name of the folder, click OK, and then click OK again.
  12. If a Backup Files window displays, click OK.
    If a window displays "The backup folder does not exist. Do you want to create it?", click Yes.
  13. When successful, a window displays stating that the file has been successfully extracted. Click OK.

If Windows XP cannot start

Use the following steps to replace system files from a command prompt in Windows XP:
  1. Turn on the computer and press the F8 key repeatedly when the first screen displays.
  2. In the Windows Advanced Options Menu screen, select Safe Mode with Command Prompt, press Enter and press Enter again to select Windows XP Home Edition.
  3. Select Administrator, type a password (if applicable) and wait until the command prompt window displays.
  4. Type CD C:\ at the command prompt.
  5. At the C:\ prompt, type expand, then the path of the compressed system file, and then the destination path (including the file name). Use the asterisk (*) to represent any character when typing. For example, to restore a system DLL file that starts with mmsystem to the system32 folder, type the following:
    expand c:\i386\mmsystem.dl_ c:\windows\system32\mmsystem.dll
    NOTE: In Windows XP, compressed system files are stored at C:\i386. These compressed files have the same file names as the system files, but the last letter in their three character extensions are replaced by an underscore (_).
  6. Type shutdown -i to restart the computer.

If Windows 98 or Me cannot start

Use the following steps to replace the missing files when Windows cannot start.
  1. Turn the computer on and place the first recovery disc into the top drive.
  2. After inserting the disc, turn the computer off, wait about ten seconds, and turn the computer on again.
  3. If an HP Recovery screen displays "Press any key to continue," press the spacebar.
  4. To continue, read the warning screen and click OK.
  5. Click Advanced Options at the top of the screen.
  6. Click Selective Recovery.
  7. Read the Select Files to Restore window that displays.
  8. Type the name of the file. For example, if the error message is MNYUTIL.DLL is linked to missing export MFC42.DLL, type MFC*.DLL.
  9. Click OK. If there is more than one recovery disc, it might be necessary to insert another disc when prompted.
  10. When the recovery process has finished copying files, remove the disc and restart the computer. If problems persist, it might be necessary to perform a system restore or a nondestructive recovery.

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