Missing DLL file, unbootable, need assistance

Hey guys, im new to this website and i have a very annoying problem i need solved.

4 Days Ago, i was casually gaming on my computer, i went to work that night. When i returned home, i found my computer off so i turned it back on only to find that after "loading" the operating system (Win XP Service Pack 2) i get this message (4 of them) saying that 4 particular programs cant start because SHLWAPI.DLL is missing.

Of course the simple thing would be to rip out the hard disk, replace the missing files and yay fixed but i dont have the necessary cables to pull off such an action. This is where YOU come in ;)

I have been told by a friend that i could boot the computer using a flash drive under a different operating system and simply add the files that way, but i cannot seem to find a tool that doesnt involve starting a computer with an OS already installed, They all are for computers without an OS. I have important stuff and a mass amount of data on this computer i need to recover so formatting and reinstalling is NOT an option.

I recently tried a usb with LiLi and puppylinux installed onto it but i get the following message and am unsure how to proceed
SYSLINUX 3.86 (who developed it blah blah blah)

and it waits for input. i have no idea what this means. Also having no experience with linux i decided to look for a way to make a windows boot USB since my father threw out our backup boot disk.

I would appreciate if someone could guide me through booting with linux OR if someone could supply me with software to boot my dinosaur using another bootable USB method. I need to get this computer up and running as soon as possible if preferred

PS. Yes i know i should have my stuff backed up but i want my computer back. My laptop is trash
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More about missing file unbootable assistance
  1. Z3ro,

    I may not be able to help, but there are plenty of experts on this forum who might be able to solve your problem. First of all, I (and maybe others) are a little confused with your situation. You explained it well enough, but let me explain my confusion. You stated that you computer "loaded" the OS, and you had messages. Exactly where did this message appear - after the OS loaded, did it revert to a "Blue Screen", and the messages were there? Were the messages on the "desktop"? Was you computer then "Frozen"? If so, did you try to boot into "Safe mode"? I've had a few problems with missing DLLs over the years, but my computer was still able to operate.

    It looks as though you are not presently "on line", but at least 20 viewers have read your post, but none answered. Please try to paint us a little better picture, and one of us will surely be able to help.

    Good luck,

  2. Go from Start to Run and into the Open box, type sfc /scannow and hit the Enter key. That starts the System File Checker which should identify and replace any missing files and, with luck, won't ask for your XP CD. If it does, a borrowed one will do so long as it's the same level of XP.

    It sounds like Puppy wasn't set up with a bootable ISO on the flash drive or it would have loaded if your BIOS offers USB Legacy support.
  3. It appears i wasnt clear.

    When i load my computer it goes to the windows xp loading screen

    Like this one.

    Then instead of moving to the next blue screen where it says Welcome, it stays black and pops up with messages stating that certain processes like winlogin.exe (or something like that) cannot be loaded cos the dll is missing. Then the computer restarts.

    Sorry for any confusion.

    tl:dr; Computer tries to load OS, finds missing files, crashes and self restarts. I CANNOT DO ANYTHING ON THE COMPUTER BECAUSE THE OS DOESNT COMPLETELY LOAD UP CORRECTLY
  4. Z3ro,

    Now we're getting somewhere. For those of us who are not windows geniuses (or software experts), the easiest way would be to purchase (or borrow) an empty HDD, install a basic set of Windows, collect the necessary files (DLLs), and insert them into your present Windows. You would then be up and running. That certainly would be more time consuming, and maybe more expensive, than one of the resident experts here taking part and leading you to a simple tried and true solution.

    I am not that expert, but will begin some research on how to get your PC able to load into windows, thus making it easy to replace the missing or corrupted files. Meanwhile, you should be creating a list of the needed files that appear on the black screen after windows fails to respond, and loading those files onto a flash drive or some other media. For now, you only need the missing files that is keeping windows from loading. The ones for your games and other programs can come later.

    Simply getting your PC to load into "safe mode" will probably be of no help, since it loads only the necessary things to get into windows. Usually no support for CD Drives, floppy drives, and probably will not support USB drives.

    Since you have a lot of stuff on your HDD that you want to keep, do not be tempted to reload windows - thus losing everything. This is the first weekend after the New Years celebration, and many of the experts may not be back at their computer desks. As I said, I will be doing some research, but am thinking that one of the experts will have you up and running before I complete the needed rersearch.

    Hang in there,

  5. My suggestion of using the System File Checker is still a valid fix and can be accessed from an XP CD at the second Repair option. I wouldn't bother with a complete reinstallation for the lack of a few missing or corrupted files. The SFC doesn't lose any personal files - it merely adds replacement Windows system files.
  6. Second thought - well, more of a question - what Operating System are you using to post form, Z3RO_69?
  7. Second thought - well, more of a question - what Operating System are you using to post form, Z3RO_69?

    Windows Vista, also how do i access the SFC if i cant boot the computer completely?
  8. I didn't realise the system couldn't even be booted from a CD or the Vista DVD. It seems to have more of a problem than I thought. Going back to Puppy Linux, try that again and when it waits for input try root then if it asks for more, type root again. That should be a default admin name and password. I haven't used Puppy for a while but would have expected a GUI at that stage and that's why I thought it didn't boot properly.
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