lsass.exe - unable to locate component (red X) - This application has failed to start because SAMSRV.dll was not found. Re-installing the application may fix this problem.

I uninstalled Norton and then following the reboot it gives me this error message. It show Win XP screen loading then the screen (emachines) and this error message. I uninstalled Norton through Norton uninstall, not add/remove programs.

So far I've spoke with Norton, they've were unable to support this issue. I try accessing in safe mode, it gives the same error everytime. I've tried a recovery disc but then when asked for system admin password (there is not one) I leave it blank and it tells me it's wrong. I have found a samsrv.dll file and burned it to cd but have not idea how to install it with the computer's condition, if installing this file is possible.

I'm pretty tech savvy, but this has me becoming very frustrated. I've looked at many sites for help on this topic but seem to find little assistance. I'm able to work on another computer side-by-side luckily. Can anyone please help?

What is your system make and model?

What is your XP version and Service Pack?

When booting you see a message like this:

lsass.exe - Unable To Locate Component
The application has failed to start because SAMSRV.dll was not found.  Re-installing the application may fix this problem.

If you click OK, the mouse still works but that is all you can do.

You will also not boot into any kind of Safe Mode if the file is missing.

If you are trying to boot into the XP Recovery Console and do not know the Administrator password (and just pressing Enter doesn't work), then you are going to have to boot on something else, replace the missing file, then you can clear/change your XP Administrator password... or better yet, just configure your XP to not require an Administrator password ever again when booting into the Recovery Console (you can do that later).

For the moment, I would make a Hiren's boot CD and use that to get going again.  You can use the CD for other things later too.

You must replace the missing or corrupted file.

The file could really be missing if it was quarantined (effectively deleted) by your antivirus software.  If the file is simply missing, you can just replace it and then figure out later what happened to the file and decide what to do about it.

The most likely place to find a copy of SAMSRV.dll will be in either of these folders:


Locate a copy of the SAMSRV.dll file in one of those folders and copy/paste it into the c:\windows\system32 folder.

Respond in the affirmative if asked to overwrite or replace the existing file, remove the bootable CD, then restart your system.  There could be other files missing too and we can point the virtual finger at Norton.  

If you cannot find the file in those locations, you can search your system or copy one to a floppy/USB device and replace the missing or suspicious file using a Hiren's BootCD (now that you know what to do).

Your system may really be infected too, so just replacing the missing file does not necessarily mean your system is "fixed".

Here is how to make a  Hiren's BootCD:

Make yourself a Hiren's BootCD which you can download from here:

On the left, click Download, scroll down to the bottom, choose the latest version The download link is a little hard to see.  It is at the bottom of the page above the drop down list for older versions and looks like this (click this part to download the ZIP file:

Direct HTTP Mirror + Torrent + Torrent Magnet

Click the "Direct HTTP Mirror" link to start the download and save the ZIP file to your desktop of someplace you can remember.

The ZIP file is large, so the download will probably take a little while to complete.  Then unzip the download to extract the Hirens.BootCD.ISO file that will be used to create your new bootable CD.

Creating a bootable CD from a .ISO file is not the same as just copying the .ISO file to a blank CD.  You have to use software that understands how to burn a .ISO file to a CD to create a bootable CD.

In the Hiren's ZIP file are the BurnToCD.cmd file that you can double click to launch it.  The BurnToCD.cmd will use the extracted BurnCDCC.exe file to burn the .ISO file to a blank CD using your existing CD burner.  You can also use your own CD burning software as long as your software is capable of creating a bootable CD from a .ISO file.  Most modern CD burning programs can create bootable CDs from an .ISO image.  Creating a bootable CD from an ISO image is not the same as just burning the file to a CD.

If you need a free and easy CD burning software package, here is a popular free program:

Here are some instructions for ImgBurn:

It would be a good idea to test your new 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 booting on the Hiren's CD you will see a menu of options.  Choose the Mini XP option.  Then it will appear that Windows is being loaded and you will be presented with a desktop that has the look and feel of the Windows Explorer interface you are already used to using.

Using the Mini XP, you can access the Internet, maneuver around your system, search for files, copy files, replace files, run various scans for malicious software, edit text files (like the c:\boot.ini) etc.  

There are dozens of free and useful tools included in the CD that can be used to repair your system or copy your important personal files to another device (like a USB device or external drive) in the event that you just give up and decide to reinstall your XP (hopefully you will not make that decision).

Do, or do not. There is no try.

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Last updated April 29, 2021 Views 3,382 Applies to: