munamune
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DLL C:\WINDOWS\system32\MSACM32.dll not valid image

I have a Dell Inspriron. Everytime I try to turn it on a get the message, "The application or DLL C:\WINDOWS\system32\MSACM32.dll is not a valid windows image. Please check this against your installation disk appears several times and I keep hitting the ok button. It goes to the page where all the icons are suppose to appear but they never do. I am not able to do anything on the computer. I have Windows XP Home on the computer. I do not have a installation disk. Please help.
Imran Chand
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Imran Chand replied on
Microsoft

Hi,

1. Since when are you facing this issue?
2. Were there any changes made prior to this issue?

Try the steps below:

Step 1:

Check if you come across the issue in ‘Safe Mode with Networking’.

‘Safe Mode with Networking’ starts Windows in safe mode and includes the network drivers and services needed to access the Internet or other computers on your network.

A description of the Safe Mode Boot options in Windows XP:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315222

Let us know if you are able to get into Safe mode, we shall proceed with further troubleshooting.

Step 2:

I would also strongly recommend you to run the Virus Scan from Safe Mode.

a. If you don’t have anti-virus software installed on your computer, I suggest that you run a Malware scan on your computer.

http://www.microsoft.com/Security_Essentials/ 

b. I would recommend you to run online Virus Scan to remove any infections, if present.

Follow the link below to run the free online scan:

http://onecare.live.com/site/en-us/default.htm   

Regards,
Manasa P – Microsoft Support.

 

munamune
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munamune replied on

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I have tried the 'Safe Mode' and 'Safe Mode with Networking.' It will go as far as listing the administrator account and my other user account. Once I chose one of the accounts it goes to a black page with "Safe Mode' on each corner of the screen and at the top center of the screen is Microsoft (R) Windows XP (R) (Build 2600.xpsp_sp3_gdr.091208-2036: Service Pack 3). It will go no further than that.

The problem started around Christmas time. It would give me the DLL error but would still go to the screen that had the icons and start menu on it. I was able to still use the computer. Then after Christmas I tried it and it would only to the the screensaver page and would not show the icons or start menu. I do have anit-virus software on the computer but I am not able to run it because the icon will not come up.

A. User
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A. User replied on

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What kind if Dell Inspiron do you have?

Describe your current antivirus and anti malware situation:  McAfee, Symantec, Norton, Spybot, AVG, Avira!, MSE, Panda, Trend Micro, CA, Defender, ZoneAlarm, PC Tools, Comodo, etc.

Does your system have a working CD/DVD drive?

It sounds like your c:\windows\system32\msacm32.dll file is somehow corrupted.

If MSCAM32.dll is corrupt, you will see messages like this:

lsass.exe - Bad Image
The application or DLL c:\windows\system32\MSACM32.dll is not a valid Windows image.  Please check this against your installation diskette.

userinit.exe - Bad Image
The application or DLL c:\windows\system32\MSACM32.dll is not a valid Windows image.  Please check this against your installation diskette.

explorer.exe - Bad Image
The application or DLL c:\windows\system32\MSACM32.dll is not a valid Windows image.  Please check this against your installation diskette.

RUNDLL32.EXE.exe - Bad Image
The application or DLL c:\windows\system32\MSACM32.dll is not a valid Windows image.  Please check this against your installation diskette.

If MSACM32.dll was missing, you would see different, but similar messages.

You can see that several important XP processes depend on the mscam32.dll file:  lsass.exe, userinit.exe, explorer.exe, rundll32.exe...

Perhaps someone should purposely corrupt their msacm32.dll file, recreate the error, then reply with instructions on how to fix it that do not involve a genuine bootable XP installation CD or XP CD-ROM.  Such seems to be the environment of the majority of forum users.

Now that would be a useful reply.

So that is what I did - recreated the problem so I can actually see it, then I learned how to fix it.  What a concept!

First, I purposely deleted mscam32.dll, and tried to reboot, then I purposely corrupted mscam32.dll and tried to reboot, then I fixed both conditions without trying things or needing a genuine bootable XP installation CD or XP CD-ROM (as it is sometimes called).

Recreating the problem eliminates the frustration of trying suggestions that might work or are just not going to work at all.

Since XP keeps backup copies of critical system files, the easiest thing to do first is simply replace the suspicious file with the backup copy, but to do that you are going to have to boot on something.

If that file is your only problem, you can get your system running again and then do some other things to be sure your system is not afflicted with some malicious software.

The easiest thing to do first is to replace the suspicious file from the backup copy that is already on your system in another folder.

To do that, you are going to have to boot on something like a bootable XP Recovery Console CD you can make (no XP media required).

There are other bootable CDs you can make that will allow you to replace files too - but let's start with the creation of an XP Recovery Console CD first.


Do, or do not. There is no try.

I decided to save up points for a new puppy instead of a pony!

A. User
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A. User replied on

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Now make a bootable XP Recovery Console CD as follows:

You can make a bootable Recovery Console CD by downloading an ISO file and burning it to a CD.

The bootable ISO image file you need to download is called:

xp_rec_con.iso 

Download the ISO file from here:

http://www.mediafire.com/?ueyyzfymmig

Use a new CD and this free and easy program to burn your ISO file and create your bootable CD:

http://www.imgburn.com/

Here are some instructions for ImgBurn:

http://forum.imgburn.com/index.php?showtopic=61

It would be a good idea to test your bootable CD on a computer that is working.

You may need to adjust the computer BIOS settings to use the CD ROM drive as the first boot device instead of the hard disk.  These adjustments are made before Windows tries to load.  If you miss it, you will have to reboot the system again.

When you boot on the CD, follow the prompts:

Press any key to boot from CD...

The Windows Setup... will proceed.

Press 'R' to enter the Recovery Console.

Select the installation you want to access (usually  1: C:\WINDOWS)

You may be asked to enter the Administrator password (usually empty).

You should be in the C:\WINDOWS folder.  This is the same as the 

C:\WINDOWS folder you see in explorer.

The Recovery Console allows basic file commands like: copy, rename, replace, delete, cd, chkdsk, fixboot, fixmbr, etc.

For a list of Recovery Console commands, enter help at the prompt.

First verify the integrity of your file system using the chkdsk command.

From the command prompt window run the chkdsk command on the drive where Windows is installed to try to repair any problems on the afflicted drive.

Running chkdsk is fine even if it doesn't find any problems.  It will not hurt anything to run it.

Assuming your boot drive is C, run the following command:

chkdsk C: /r

Let chkdsk finish and correct any problems it might find.  It may take a long time for chkdsk to complete or it may appear to be 'stuck'.  Be patient.  If the HDD light is still flashing, chkdsk is doing something.  Keep an eye on the percentage amount to be sure it is still making progress.  It may even appear to go backwards sometimes.

You should run chkdsk /r again until it finds no errors to correct.


Do, or do not. There is no try.

I decided to save up points for a new puppy instead of a pony!

munamune
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munamune replied on

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I have a Dell Inspiron 6000. I also have the AVG anitvirus and spyware. When I first turn on the computer before it goes to the Welcome screen, I get the error below. I do have a working CD drive.

lsass.exe - Bad Image
The application or DLL c:\windows\system32\MSACM32.dll is not a valid Windows image.  Please check this against your installation diskette.

I click OK and it gets to the Welcome screen I get the error below and the name of my user accounts do not show.

userinit.exe - Bad Image
The application or DLL c:\windows\system32\MSACM32.dll is not a valid Windows image.  Please check this against your installation diskette.

I click OK and it then goes to the page that is suppose to show the start menu and icons and I get the error

explorer.exe - Bad Image
The application or DLL c:\windows\system32\MSACM32.dll is not a valid Windows image.  Please check this against your installation diskette.

Once I click ok it just stays on the screensaver page and nothing else happens. I an able to bring up the task manager by pressing CNTR, ALT, & Delete. I also get the error message below. this is the only way to shut down the computer.

taskmgr.exe - Bad Image
The application or DLL c:\windows\system32\MSACM32.dll is not a valid Windows image.  Please check this against your installation diskette.

Cannot download anything because I cannot get any icons to show up.

A. User
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A. User replied on

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That sounds about right when the file is somehow corrupted and needs replacing.

Are you able to use a system that can download and has a CD burner to create the bootable XP Recovery Console CD (no XM media required), then boot the afflicted system on the Recovery COnsole CD?

Then you can replace the suspicious file...


Do, or do not. There is no try.

I decided to save up points for a new puppy instead of a pony!

munamune
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munamune replied on

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I can get access to a computer so that I can download the file and burn it to a CD. I just want to make sure of of the instructions that you have given me.

I am suppose to download the

xp_rec_con.iso 

Download the ISO file from here:

http://www.mediafire.com/?ueyyzfymmig

to a computer. Then it is suppose to be burned to  CD. If the computer has a CD burner will I still need to go to the imgburn website?

How will I know if the BIOS system will need to be adjusted?

Do I boot the computer with the CD in the drive?

A. User
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A. User replied on

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Good.

Yes.

I don't know what CD burning software you have or how to guide you how to use it to make a bootable CD from a .ISO file.  I know how ImgBurn works and it is easy and free.  I would download ImgBurn since there are instructions for that which I know work.

Getting into the BIOS varies by computer and BOIS manufacurer.  Sometimes you will see a message on the screen to press some key to enter the BIOS.  It might be the 'Del" key (this is not the same as the 'Delete' key), or it might be F10.  You will have to figure it out.

Then you find the section that lists boot order, boot devices, boot priority, or something like that and change things to the CD drive is boot priority one or the fist boot device and your hard disk is number 2.  You want the system to look at the CD drive first, not the afflicted hard disk.

Your system may already be set to boot from the CD as the first boot device, so you may not have to change anything.  If you put the CD in to boot on it and it boots on the CD, you will know it since you will get a different message as the system boots on the CD. 

This is why it is a good idea to test the new CD on a system that you know works so you can see how it works.  Just boot the good system on the CD and when you get into the Recovery Console, just type in 'exit' to leave the Recovery Console and remove the CD - you don't need to "do" anything - just make sure the new CD works.

What I did was used the Recovery Console to purposely corrupt my c:\windows\system32\mscamr32.dll file (hereafter referred to as "the file").

That way, I can actually see the same problem and know how to fix it instead of wasting time with suggestions about trying a bunch of things that might work maybe (what a concept).

From the Recovery Console, I copied my c:\boot.ini (a text file) over the top of the c:\windows\system32\msacm32.dll file, so that would "corrupt" it pretty badly since the msacm32.dll file would really now just be a text file, then I removed the Recovery Console CD and rebooted normally.

I saw the error message I stated previously which match your descriptions. lsass.exe, userinit.exe, explorer.exe, etc.

Then I booted on an XP Recovery Console CD I have (one I made) and booted the system on that Recovery Console CD.

You should be at the C:\WINDOWS prompt after booting on the CD

I skipped the chkdsk /r part since it take several hours for my system to run chkdsk /r, but I encourage you to run chkdsk /r as indicated.

Then I made a backup copy of the original/suspicious file (it is not missing with that error) by typing in the following command from the Recovery Console:

copy c:\windows\system32\msacm32.dll  c:\windows\system32\msacm32.old

That would copy the current file (if there is one) and it will just complain if there is not one to copy.

We know that XP likes to keep backup copies of critical system files in this folder:

c:\windows\system32\dllcache

There is a "good" copy of all the important XP files there, and there is a copy of msacm32.dll that you need to copy to replace yours.

You can replace just about any missing or suspicious critical XP system file using this method.

Knowing that, copy in the backup copy of the file and replace the missing/suspicious file using this command:

copy c:\windows\system32\dllcache\msacm32.dll  c:\windows\system32

Respond in the affirmative if asked to overwrite the existing file and then you should see a message that 1 file(s) was copied.

Type 'exit' to leave the Recovery Console, remove the CD (so the system doesn't boot on it again) and reboot normally.


Do, or do not. There is no try.

I decided to save up points for a new puppy instead of a pony!

kubilayelmas
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kubilayelmas replied on

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JoseIbara, you just saved me hours of work. I can confirm that this method of replacing the corrupted .dll file from C:\Windows\System32\dllcache folder is working perfectly. I had the same issue with the same msacm32.dll file and fixed it exactly like this way...

good job and thanks.

A. User
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A. User replied on

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Good job!

Maybe some day I will get my new puppy.

Since there is no Microsoft Support Moderator reply in this thread, I doubt that it will be marked as the answer.

It seems that only threads that have MSM replies automatically get marked as answers by other MSMs after a few days of inactivity in the thread - even if the reply is not an answer.

Why is that you reckon?


 


Do, or do not. There is no try.

I decided to save up points for a new puppy instead of a pony!

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