Q: ".dll is either not designed to run on Windows or it contains an error." Help me fix this please. This thread is locked from future replies

I keep getting this "Bad Image" error, and it's interfering with my computer operation, slowing things down, and just being a general pain.

C:\Windows\system32\apphelp.dll is either not designed to run on Windows or it contains an error. Try installing the program again using the original installation media or contact your system administrator or the software vender for support.

I don't think apphelp is the complete culprit, since this is a common (yet somehow unsolved, where ever I look) problem that occurs for a variety of different .dll files. (See here

Please help, I just finished recovering my computer from a full factory reset, which I had to employ to get the non-functional computer to work again. I just finished reinstalling all of my software and updates for said software, only a few days ago, and I really don't want to got through that again. I'm using vista home premium, 32 bit, service pack 2 I think, and I can provide any other information that is necessary.



Hi Alex Lindquist,

Welcome to Microsoft Answers Forums.

• When do you receive the error message?
• Do you remember making any changes to the computer recently?
• Do you have any security software installed on the computer?

This error message might occur if there are some corrupt system files on the computer. Would suggest that you run a SFC scan which would scan for corrupt system files on the computer and replace them.

Steps to perform SFC scan:

1. Click the Start button
2. From the Start Menu, Click All programs followed by Accessories
3. In the Accessories menu, Right Click on the Command Prompt option
4. From the drop down menu that appears, Click on the 'Run as administrator' option
5. If you have the User Account Control (UAC) enabled you will be asked for authorization prior to the command prompt opening. You may simply need to press the Continue button if you are the administrator or insert the administrator password etc.
6. In the Command Prompt window, type: sfc /scannow and then press Enter
7. A message will appear stating that 'the system scan will begin'
8. Be patient because the scan may take some time
9. If any files require replacing SFC will replace them. You may be asked to insert your Vista DVD for this process to continue
10. If everything is okay you should, after the scan, see the following message "Windows resource protection did not find any integrity violations"
11. After the scan has completed, Close the command prompt window restart the computer and check.

The scan may take some time, so be patient. Windows will repair any corrupted or missing files that it finds. If information from the installation CD is needed to repair the problem, you may be prompted to insert your Windows Vista.

For more information refer the below link.
How to use the System File Checker tool to troubleshoot missing or corrupted system files on Windows Vista or on Windows 7

If the above step fails I would suggest that you check if you have similar issue in the safe mode.

Steps to boot to Safe mode

1.     Restart your computer if it is powered on.
2.     Tap the F8 key after your computer initially powers on.
3.     Once you see the Advanced Boot Options menu you can stop tapping.
4.     Use the up/down arrow keys to highlight your selection.
5.     Select Safe Mode and press Enter.
6.     You should see drivers loading, and then Please wait.
7.     You should then be at the Welcome Screen.
8.     Logon to your computer using an account with Administrator privileges.

Start your computer in safe mode

If you do not face similar issue in the safe mode I would suggest that you try the clean boot procedure and check if it works.

How to troubleshoot a problem by performing a clean boot in Windows Vista or in Windows 7

Reset the computer to start as usual
After you have finished troubleshooting, follow these steps to reset the computer to start as usual:
Click Start, type msconfig.exe in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.
If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, type your password, or click Continue.
On the General tab, click the Normal Startup option, and then click OK.
When you are prompted to restart the computer, click Restart.

Halima S    - Microsoft Support.
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Views: 269,923 Last updated: March 22, 2018 Applies to: