Recently Microsoft started rolling out Internet Explorer 8 as a non-optional update for Windows XP. Considering how insecure the older versions are this isnt really a bad thing except when the automatic update fails and stops your computer from booting correctly.
You may have seen the following errors pop up:
iertutil.dll could not be found
Error the ordinal 681 could not be loaded.
This happens as explorer is starting to load, and causes problems with automatic installation of USB devices as well. Fortunately though there is a fix.
There are several different methods that people reccomend on how to fix this particular issue. One of them is to use system restore to return the computer to a useable state. Although this is likely to fix this particular error, it can cause you more errors and despite what people believe it DOES delete data.
The appropriate way of fixing this error is to replace the iertutil.dll file with the version that windows is expecting to find – not the corrupted version.
This file is located in c:\windows\system32\ problem is it is corrupt or incorrect, luckily though Windows saves a copy of the file in C:\windows\system32\dllcache
Now there are two ways to move this file, if you have a recovery CD such as UBCD for Windows or MSDART you can copy the file from C:\windows\system32\dllcache to C:\windows\system32 and overwrite the existing file. I would reccomend doing this only if you are having issues with keyboard/mice since USB recogniton is broken.
If you can boot into windows still it is much easier to do the following:
1. Press ctrl+shit+esc on your keyboard, and you will see the task manager pop up.
2. Goto File > New task
3. Type in cmd and press enter
This should open the command prompt, although one computer I repaired recently would throw an error as soon as you typed into the run box, if this happens, click the error then use your keyboard to move the text cursor and continue writing the command
4. Once in command prompt type the following to enter the system32 directory
– cd \ (then press enter)
– cd windows\system32 (then press enter)
Your path should now show c:\windows\system32
Now that you are in this directory I suggest you rename your current iertutil.dll file just in case you need to revert back to it. Type the following:
– rename iertutil.dll iertutil.old (then press enter)
The command line will just return it will not say file successfully renamed or anything like that.
Now we need to copy the file from the dllcache into the system32 directory. To make the command more simple you should do the following:
Considering your path should show c:\windows\system32 you will only need to cd (change directory) into dllcache not an entire path
– cd dllcache (press enter)
– path will now show c:\windows\system32\dllcache
Now you are in the dllcache directory type the following to copy iertutil.dll to where it needs to be
– copy iertutil.dll c:\windows\system32 (press enter)
You should get the message “1 file(s) copied”
If you have got this far – you can now reboot your computer. Providing this was your only issue, you should now be able to boot all the way in to your desktop.
Now – before you go doing anything to avoid the error occuring again download Internet explorer 8 full installer http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=43 and install it. I strongly recommend running windows updates as well.