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*.exe is not a valid Win32 application


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#1 PhilT

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 05:03 AM

WinXP Pro laptop boots and runs OK in Safe mode, but in normal boot there are no desktop icons or Start menu present. Using Task Manager to start explorer.exe results in error message "explorer.exe is not a valid Win32 application" however trying to start any other application results in same message.

Machine scans clean with (installed) Avast, PrevX CSI and Trend Micro online scanner. Have run combofix.

Repair install with SP2 and with SP3 CDs did not improve.

sfc /scannow won't run in safe mode ( "RPC not available" ) and in normal mode generates above error.

Bit stuck what to do next ?

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#2 boopme

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 10:59 AM

Hi Phil ,let's do this first
Since you have a desktop without icons, first of all, do below

Open Task Manager (Ctrl + Alt + Del) and go to File >> New Task (Run...) >> type explorer.exe >> Enter


Then, do a search for your explorer.exe via your search function..

You may find the copy of explorer.exe via either of below locations..

C:\WINDOWS\ServicePackFiles\i386\explorer.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\dllcache\explorer.exe


Just choose either one of them and copy/paste it to C:\WINDOWS folder
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