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Error message when you restart a Windows XP-based computer: "Explorer.exe unable to locate component"

Support for Windows XP has ended

Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

When you restart a Microsoft Windows XP-based computer, you receive an error message that is similar to the following:
Explorer.exe unable to locate component
This application has failed to start because Browseui.dll was not found.
Re-installing the application may fix this problem.
Additionally, the following items are not displayed:
  • Desktop icons
  • Start menu
  • Taskbar
To resolve this issue, rename the Browseui.dll file, and then expand the Browseui.dll file from the Windows XP CD to the %Windir%\System32 folder. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Restart the computer in "Safe Mode with Command Prompt." To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Restart the computer. When the BIOS information is displayed, press F8.

      Note On a computer that is configured to run under multiple operating systems, you can press F8 when the Boot menu appears.
    2. When the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, select the Safe Mode with Command Prompt option, and then press ENTER.
    3. When the Boot menu appears again and "Safe Mode with Command Prompt" appears in blue at the bottom of the screen, select the operating system that you want to start, and then press ENTER.
  2. Insert the Windows XP CD in the CD drive.
  3. At the command prompt, switch to the following folder:
    Note The %Windir% folder is the folder where you installed Windows. Typically, the path of this folder is C:\Windows, so you would type "cd\windows\system32" and then press ENTER.
  4. Type ren browseui.dll browseui.old, and then press ENTER.

    Note If you receive a message that states that the file was not found, ignore the message and continue to the next step.
  5. Type the drive letter of the CD drive followed by a colon, and then press ENTER. For example, type D:, and then press ENTER if your CD drive letter is D.
  6. Type cd i386, and then press ENTER.
  7. Type expand Browseui.dl_ %Windir%\System32\Browseui.dll, and then press ENTER.

    Note Make sure that there is a character space between "Browseui.dl_" and "%Windir%."
  8. Press CTRL+ALT+DELETE, select Shut Down by using the TAB key, and then press ENTER.
  9. In the What do you want the computer to do? list, use the arrow keys to select Restart, and then press ENTER to restart the computer.
Open Windows Explorer and Microsoft Internet Explorer. Check to see whether you receive one of the following error messages:
Explorer.exe has encountered a problem and needs to close
Iexplorer.exe has encountered a problem and needs to close
If you receive either of the error messages, click more information in the error message to verify the mod name. If the mod name is Browseui.dll, you must unregister and then reregister the Browseui.dll file. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then click OK.
  2. At the command prompt, switch to the following folder:
  3. Type regsvr32 browseui.dll /u, and then press ENTER.
  4. Type regsvr32 browseui.dll, and then press ENTER.
  5. Type exit, and then press ENTER to close the Command Prompt window.
  6. Restart the computer.

Article ID: 914222 - Last Review: 06/01/2006 17:54:56 - Revision: 1.3

  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
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