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back to article Microsoft probes IE8 dll AWOL hell

Microsoft has said it is investigating a niggling problem with an Internet Explorer 8 update that's disabling a number of Windows XP machines. Admins and users are reporting here that after they installed an IE8 patch on PCs running Windows XP the machines were unable to boot Microsoft's browser. One Reg reader contacted us to …

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Anonymous Coward

Just Microsoft

trying to persuade you to upgrade XP and buy a new OS from them (again).

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Joke

Alternatively,

it is Microsoft trying to persuade users not to use IE at all

Not likely, I must admit, but it is an alternative explanation.

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WTF?

There's an IE8?

I wouldn't know I switched to an alternate browser so long ago......

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Trollface

Was the an FF8? I think I blinked and missed it.

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@Ian Stephenson

Internet Explorer was deservedly ignored in favour of other browsers in the past, and I would argue that IE9 is still not up there with Firefox or Chrome yet.

However, it is a big improvement on the last few versions, and I think Firefox is going downhill, to the point where I now use Chrome as my main browser.

My point is, I'm not recommending using Internet Explorer, but I do recommend keeping an eye on it (discourage counting it out entirely, if you prefer to look at it that way). The browser market *may* change to the point where it becomes a candidate for the best browser, and if you ignore it just because it *used to be* crap/it's IE/it's Microsoft/insert reason here, you might end up missing out in future.

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Bronze badge

Version numbering

I think that the 'alternative browser' people have changed to use Fibonacci series versioning. Gets you stratospheric much quicker

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Flawed logic

In that case, there should be a FF8, followed by FF13.

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Joke

There was an FF8. And FF1-7 and 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 etc for the future.

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Megaphone

@squilookie

Agreed. Unfortunately this aspect goes double for Microsoft; it wouldn't be the first time where they started with a product which was plain out bad only to eventually manage and turn it into something useful again.

You have to give 'm credit for that achievement IMO, its just too bad that many people already lost interest completely due to the often poor start.

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This post has been deleted by its author

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@qsuilookle

Missing what, exactly?

It's a friggin' browser, dammit!

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@Someone Else

Missing out on features that make the browser more pleasant, helpful or otherwise better.

I see what you're getting at and yes, there are much more important things in life,. But why limit yourself to an inferior browser (this is all hypothetical, I have not said that IE is better than the other browsers, just that, if it continues to improve and if Firefox and Chrome lose their momentum - entirely possible - it may become the best browser in the future) just because of old prejudices.

I care about this mostly because I work as a web developer and it has a huge impact on my work. I make the assumption, rightly or wrongly, that folk hanging round a site like the Register and taking the time to post in the forums care about these things more than the average user, some to a greater extent than I do and others to a lesser extent...

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So which is it? disabling a number of Windows XP machines, or, machines were unable to boot Microsoft's browser (not that that statement makes any sense to me)

Are you refering to Windows XP as the 'browser'?

Make sense Reg

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Disabling XP machines, gets to the user logon then stops with a missing iertutil.dll warning and says unable to load explorer. Once the file is restored following one of the various prpcedures outlined in the thread IE8 may or may not be in a working condition and may require a re-install to get it working.

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Stop

Not being able to boot Internet Explorer?

That's surely an upgrade then....

If they want a faster, more featured and more secure browser, they could always download Opera...

Start, Run, ftp -A ftp.opera.com

get pub/opera/win/1161/en/Opera_1161_en_Setup.exe

Job done :-)

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I'll bet anything on 3rd party software causing this

My first thought was that it could possibly be a false positive from antivirus software, but I'd guess it's more likely to be a failed malware infection attempt that causes to dll to not be installed/updated correctly during the patching process

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WTF?

same old same old bs...

The problem is that although I have been using IE8 on my XP rig (a $10K Aus one btw, waiting for W7 to get out of beta stage which should be in about 12 months from now)for a year the folks at Redmond (who supposedly know a fair bit about your system when they post updates) insist that I upgrade to IE8 on the update page.

Being a relaxed chap after a few months without W update issues (fool, fool, fool...) i figured wtf, just update the buggah and install over the top...

Oops...

Reboot took me right back to the glory days of Windows ME daily reinstall fun...

After a messy but fluky sysrestore (the 3rd attempt I think) I finally got back to scratch...and hid the W update prompt for IE8 for ever...

Still good to see that tradition prevails and Redmond can still fu.k you over by insisting you install something you already have installed.

As I said, maybe 12 months and I might...just might... try W7 (or vista SP 4 as it should be called)

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Facepalm

Yeah, I've got a similar problem running ie6 on windows 95....

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Anonymous Coward

slow news day Reg?

if the problem has existed years, why is it now news? especially when the only source of the news is a thread on an australian ISPs forum?!

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Hmmmm....not being able to boot IE8

Just....how is this a problem?

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Still have old hardware here.

I noticed many upgrades break shit over the years.

Most get's mitigated.

IE8 forced.

Somehow AVID fixed their shit? Maybe...Sometimes

You whine about IE6 on the web, WE whine about IE6 needs to run some hardware.

We whine about the death of our BAND, BUSINESS, OR WHATEVER.

Sure you patch it eventually. What about the YEARS in between?

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Wow! That was brilliantly incomprehensible.

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Pint

Agreed

It takes talent to write text that's that hard to understand

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Alien

I had to look at the poster again cause when I read that I thought amanfrommars was back.....

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WTF?

Since when did no browser = disabled machine?

Are these lusers unable to install another browser to continue their p0r surfing?

And on a slightly different topic , how about dropping this politicall correct "spokesperson" cr@p. Its spokesman or woman. Can't reg's reporters tell the difference anymore or have they spent too long in the basement?

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FAIL

Since IEs bloody DLLs render a lot more than the browser...

The interdependencies of the bloody DLL subsystems in Windows defy description. Missing browser DLLs can have impact WAY beyond the browser... wasn't this one of the big hoohas when Microsoft "tightly coupled" IE into Windows in the first place?

Either way, I'm not surprised that a missing IE DLL can nuke Windows XP.

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Black Helicopters

Not everybody is thinking here

If you cannot load IE, it is hard to get patches.

Don't know if M$ has taken a wild hair to be reasonable, but I've seen the "screw you, you aren't using IE" when looking for patches enough that I don't even bother going there with Firefox.

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Browser Ballot

Instantly implodes if this issue happens and it seems its an update in the same batch that causes it. Cue unable to do a damn thing with the PC except shutdown and come at it via safe mode OR if its not totally crippled, reinstall IE8 from a full download.

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Simply

go over to the LINUX box and tell Firefox to lie to the Micro-Soft site.

"I am IE, really I am."

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Anonymous Coward

That's why I loved Maxthon.

Back in the day, I used Maxthon; it was running IE in the background as renderer, yes, but if any bugger would try to infect it, it would:

a) Fail completely

b) Infect Maxthon instead and crash it, keeping my machine stable all around, allowing the anti-virus to work it out, deleting any part being totally possible without borking the machine.

I found important to keep IE working, even though not using it. Now I run Chrome, but keeping IE ok remains important.

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Joke

Attn tinfoil hatters...

iertutil = Internet Explorer Random (or Remote) Termination UTILity?

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Meh

yeah great. woop woop to the home users. effing brilliant.

what about a business environment based on a standard platform?

what about the hundereds of machines support people look after, that are still cranking along with winXP and IE6 due to some retarded legacy app?

hell we've only just rolled out IE8, and have to keep IE6 published on citrix "just in case". in two places we've had to go the other way. leave IE6 on there and push IE8 over citrix...

things like this remind me why i don't read the comments most of the time. unimpressed - i had hoped for some light on resolving the issue, but no. obviously too much to ask.

All your suggestions of 'firefox memory leak' version nine million "we fixed it properly this time!", or boogle chrome "all your info are belong to us", or that snooty holier than thou feeling you get from running that effing public sesspool of openly raped sourcecode 'linux' can be treated with the contempt they deserve.

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FAIL

@andy70

"i had hoped for some light on resolving the issue"

If you're the support professional (if that isn't an oxymoron) you imply you could already have found the answer already.

"that snooty holier than thou feeling you get from running that effing public sesspool of openly raped sourcecode 'linux'"

Be sure to keep that opinion in mind when you're rolling out next weeks 20MB anti virus update to the "hundereds" of machines running your favourite Microsoft toyware OS.

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Oh just go away.

If your only rebuttle is to churn out the old "windoze sux" attitude then you really have no idea as to whats happening in the real world. I really dont give a monkeys about your OS of choice but if you have nothing constructive to add, then add nothing...

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@cornz 1

"If your only rebuttle is to churn out the old "windoze sux" attitude"

Well unfortunately it does suck. It has piss poor security, illogical component integration (see IE), is vulnerable to all sorts of attack vectors, uses far more CPU and memory than it should, has poor remote access - you either have to run one of the many 1-task utililities on your local machine or an entire VNC session just because MS can't be bothered to create a proper command line with access via ssh (no powershell doesn't count as a proper command line) - win32 is a lousy low level API , Posix is poorly supported (hello, can it even do fork() yet? No), the message passing paradigm is well past its sell by date for an OS that has designs on the server room , and its generally unreliable - even if Windows doesn't crash so much these days it still needs a reboot every few weeks. Its hardly 24/7/365.

Did I leave anything out?

Oh yeah , it costs a fortune.

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I fail to see the problem

Let me get this right ...

You install some sort of random MS update and IE will no longer boot?

and the problem is?

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FAIL

Yawn...

Reported this to El reg MONTHS ago as it was happening with almost EVERY reinstall and got strenously ignored. Same response when reporting it to MS. Not seen so much of it of late but its still an arse when it does happen. Easilly fixed mind. It does also cause greif when it's done with the same bunch of updates that installs the dammed ballot screen, which loads, then crashes bitching about said DLL not being there. Easy fix win+r pull down the full IE8 install from another pc and run it.

Its just a pita and takes extra time to deal with.

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DJ

Does make one wonder...

about the brain-dead decision to 'incorporate' IE into Windows in the first place.

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Headmaster

Since When Did Anyone "Boot" a Browser?

Can we get the basic computer science and terminology right, please?

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As a side note

I just couldn't help myself and did a search of my XP machine for iertutil.dll.

The search revealed I have no less than 29 copies of this DLL taking up residence on my C drive!

Some people have none? It all seems terribly unfair!

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Pirate

NOTE TO ALL WINDOWS XP USERS...

This issue is likely to happen regardless of which browser you use to do you web browsing. I even found the problem on a PC where the user had (months ago) removed IE.

It doesn't seem to have any weighting if you are using IE6, IE7 or IE8... if you have IE on your PC, you will likely (at some point in time, unless Microsoft release a patch for their patch) come across this missing DLL issue. In every single case I have worked on so far, the user has had no interaction with installing an update for weeks. So I believe it to be a forced update of Microsoft's in an effort to ensure that ALL windows XP computers have IE8.

The fix is easy enough - whilst your PC is working (or if not, get access to a working PC), burn a copy of the iertutil.dll (normally found in the system32 folder) to a CD. I say CD because a flash drive is not going to be detected at this stage in the Windows boot procedure.

If/when you do have the error, press Ctrl+Alt+Del, and while on the "Applications" tab, go to File > New Task (Run...). Type in CMD and press enter (you may be bombarded with error messages while trying this - just dismiss them).

When the command prompt appears, put in your CD that you prepared earlier, type D: (or E: or whatever your ODD is) and press enter.

Type DIR and press enter to see the contents of the drive you are on. If you got the right one, you will see the iertutil.dll listed.

Type COPY IERTUTIL.DLL C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32 and press enter.

If the file copied successfully, type SHUTDOWN -R and press enter. Wait for the computer to restart and your work is done.

My suggestion to EVERY Windows XP user is to burn this dll to a CD just as a precautionary measure... it could save you hours of work and $$$ if you had someone else do it.

Thanks Microsoft!

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