Laptop wont start - shell32.dll

  ianeon 17:08 03 Mar 2011

My daughter has a laptop running Vista Home Premium, on which she has all her GCSE papers( not backed up).
She cannot get her computer to Boot Up and gets the following message: "This application failed to start because shell32.dll was not found. Re-installing the application may fix this problem."

The same message appears if you try to boot up in Safe Mode, all we get is a black screen.
We tried to do a repair( we have the Vista disc ) this failed to solve the problem, we still get the same message..

We need to recover her GCSE papers and then sort out the computer problem.

Any advice about how to recover her papers would be gratefully received.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:35 03 Mar 2011

To recover files

1 place Laptop hard drive into an external caddy such as click here and connect to another PC

2 Connect laptop hard drive to a PC IDE drive click here
Sata drive just use a sata cable aand power cable direct to a spare SATA port on the motherboard.

Either way if you cannot gain access to the file you may need to take ownership of the file(windows password set on the laptop) post back if neded.

Try and repair the laptop by booting from the VISTA disk and doing
1 a Startup repair if no good then
2. a system restore to a date before the problem occured

  ianeon 18:00 03 Mar 2011

Fruit Bat - thank you for that advice.

This is a bit too complicated for me - would any local computer shop be able to carry out this procedure ?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:03 03 Mar 2011

You need to look at Windows Vista's Repair Your Computer options.

* Startup repair - This automatically fixes problems that are preventing Windows from starting
* System Restore - This will Restore Windows to an earlier point in time
* Windows Complete PC Restore - This will completely restore your entire PC - programs, system settings and files - from a back up that you have previously created (Available in Windows Vista Business, Enterprise and Ultimate editions only)
* Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool - This checks your computer's memory hardware for errors
* Command Prompt - This opens a Command Window

With the Complete PC Restore Option you must have made a backup of your system, either on your hard drive or on a set of DVDs, in order to use this option. If you don't have a backup then don't use this option

How you access the repair options will depend upon whether you have a Windows Vista installation disk or whether your operating system came pre-installed by your PC manufacturer.

Pre-Installed Options

If no repair options are available your PC manufacturer may have replaced the tools or customised them. Check your Computer Manual before proceeding.

1/ Start your PC

2/ If your PC has one operating system Press and Hold the F8 key as your PC starts. If the Windows Logo appear you will need to start again

3/ If you have a dual boot system a Boot option menu will appear. Highlight the Vista operating system and Press the F8 key

4/ In both cases, if all has gone well, an Advanced options screen will now appear

5/ Highlight the repair Your Computer option and Press Enter

6/ Select a keyboard layout, and then Click the Next button

7/ Next select your user Name and Enter your Password, then Click OK

8/ The recovery options should now appear

Windows Installation Disk

1/ make sure your PC can boot directly from the Vista DVD. Obviously, most modern PCs can. With older machines you may need to check the PC's BIOS

2/ Start the PC

3/ Immediately insert the Windows Vista DVD into the DVD drive

4/ A Black screen will appear with the words 'Press any key to boot from CD or DVD'

5/ Press Any key to start the booting process

6/ A new screen will now appear with a progress bar. The legend say's 'Windows is loading files'

7/ After a few minutes the Microsoft copyright window ill appear and another small progress bar will be visible

8/ You will next see a Blue curtained screen

9/ After a short while the Language option screen will appear

10/ Select your language and keyboard language and the Click the Next button

11/ At the bottom left of the next screen - the Install screen, Click on the Repair Your Computer option

12/ The System recovery options will now search for your Windows Vista installation

13/ Once the Vista installation has been located, Highlight it and then Click the Next button

14/ You are now presented with the set of recovery options

15/ Click on the Option you require and follow the onscreen prompts

  ianeon 18:10 03 Mar 2011

Thank you - we did a "start up repair" but that didn't do any good - we still had the same problem when the computer restarted

  MAT ALAN 18:18 03 Mar 2011

click here

Might help...
link suggests it could also be Graphics driver related or HDD failure, can also be mal/spyware related...

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 19:22 03 Mar 2011

Tried the system restore?

Yes a computer shop can remove your hard drive and attempt to recover data.

Another method to recover DATA is to boot using a live linux CD and transfer the files to a USB stick
click here

  ianeon 20:01 03 Mar 2011

How do I use System Restore when the computer won't boot up in Normal Mode or in Safe Mode ?

  ianeon 20:03 03 Mar 2011

Thank you for the Linux idea

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 20:28 03 Mar 2011

You can select system restore from the menu items when you boot from the Vista DVD (see My Post 18:03)

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