I'm hoping this is a problem that has an easy fix...but I don't think it is. Any help would be very, very much appreciated.
The problem: on start-up my Windows XP machine keeps getting a “rundll32.exe – Applications Error” with “The application failed to initialize properly (0x0000142)” with a bunch of smaller boxes for a “khggff.dll”. The smaller boxes go away (about a hundred or so clicks later) but the 'Applications Error' is a permanent fixture. “Click on OK to terminate the application” does nothing except beep at me and bring up the same message. A virtual rude gesture if ever there was one....
The 'failed to initialize properly' error message seems to be a relatively common problem, but I wonder if it is also normal to have several hundred “rundll32.exe” programs, each with 1,708 K (it was 23,740 K last time) operating all at once. Normally I'd get on-line and research the hound out of the problem but my Mozilla Firefox (both the 3.5.11 version & a 4.0 Beta version) seems to enjoy crashing spectacularly on me. I don't use them at once, obviously, but I wonder if having both of them at the same time is causing instability? I initially had just the 3.5 but it was already staring to crash on me when I went to CNN, a script-heavy site if ever there was one, so I'm kind of suspicious that the problem started before I installed the beta version. The last session prior to this one, Mozilla would not last ten seconds without crashing. For now, I'm giving up on the Beta and going back to the 3.5: things seem to be working well. *crosses fingers*
EDIT: Deleted the Firefox 4.0 beta version and upgraded my 3.5 to 3.6. My Adobe Flash Player isn't/can't finished installing but I have a feeling that that's not what is causing Firefox to crash (it's still crashing).
If that's not enough, Webroot w/ Spy Sweeper just prior to this mess caught a Troj/Virtu-Gen -- aka Vundo -- and I'm pretty sure I had the antivirus program delete it...and the dll files (listed as viruses) that accompany it. I'm pretty certain the 'khggff.dll' was one of them. I wonder if the deletion caused problems, since the rundll32 is related to dll files and registry errors? I'm thinking there's something else going on. But what?
My earliest computer was completely decimated with Vundos and Metajuans...so I have a paranoid fear of this bug. I don't want to use system restore and with Mozilla acting erratically, I think I'd prefer to use non-download options. I'll probably end up taking this laptop to Best Buy, but I thought I'd try this forum again since I had a good result with it last time.
Thank-you for the reply Grumpy9117, but the only way I can access the internet is through my Verizon USB Modem. My laptop doesn't recognize the modem in safe mode, so I can't test how the internet works, let alone download more antivirus software.
I did end up taking the laptop to The Geek Squad, however, so I'm hoping they'll have the issue fixed before the end of the week. Judging from the lack of replies, the hundreds of rundll.exe programs initializing on start-up seems to be an unfortunately novel problem so I'll keep this thread open for now.
It looks like there's a way to see where the ersatz rundll's are running from via the use of msconfig.exe/System Configuration, but from there things get dicey. In short, I'm getting the impression that rundll.exe is a legit program necessary for Windows to operate but if it runs on start-up (and shows up multiple times in Task Manager) there is a better-than-average chance that there is an active virus or the remnants of one or several looking to make your life miserable.
I have firewalls and antivirus programs and that didn't stop this bug. My advice: see about scanning every potential download before you even think about putting whatever-it-is on your system!
If I wanted to format the hard drive I could just as easily do it myself. Still, it is the third day and I haven't heard back from them yet; which perhaps isn't very promising (especially since the guy said they were having a 'slow' time). Ah well. At least I backed everything up to my external hard drive and multiple jump drives while I was in safe mode. It's just a frustrating problem all around.
If Firefox hadn't been crashing every minute, I'm 80% sure I could have found a decent solution to try...providing the laptop didn't overheat and fry the motherboard in the meantime. Now that I've read other people's accounts with their rundll issues I realize that while my CPU usage wasn't sky high, my laptop really was running hotter than normal. A characteristic symptom of the issue, apparently.
EDIT (9/11/10): Received computer back from the repair techies and all seems to be working well! For anyone else who runs into this problem, you should definitely look-in to trying out Grumpy9117's solution (providing your internet is cooperating with you). ^_^