How to Fix The Windows XP iertutil.dll Errors

In my work as an IT professional, I’ve recently been encountering a whole swathe of “iertutil.dll” errors on Windows XP machines. I believe this issue is also affecting some Windows Vista installations, however the solutions below are only tested on XP.

If you’re one of the unlucky souls who has stumbled into this issue after an Internet Explorer 8 update, then I’ve got a few different things you can try to get your system back up and running without a full system reinstall. The first thing that you’ll need to do is locate a version of “iertutil.dll” that is applicable to your version of Internet Explorer. I’m going to act on the assumption that the vast majority of you have just attempted the upgrade to Internet Explorer 8, and you may download that file from here. It’s worked for all the systems I have restored so far.

Now, the question is how best to get this file back on your problematic system. The file itself needs to be copied into the system32 folder within your Windows folder. That is usually “C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32”

The Simplest Option

1. Burn the above file to a CD.

2. Boot into Windows, hit OK when you get the “iertutil.dll” error and then press CTRL-SHIFT-ESCAPE. This should bring up the task manager. You may continue to receive errors while doing this, but just keep clicking OK. Then click File, Run…, and type in CMD and hit Enter.

3. You should now be at a command prompt. Change to your CD drive by typing its drive letter. So to change to drive D: you would simply type “D:” and hit Enter.

4. Copy the iertutil.dll file from the CD to your hard drive by typing

copy iertutil.dll C:\windows\system32

and hit Enter. Obviously change drive letters as appropriate.


5. Reboot and the problem should be fixed.

Web Browser Option

If the above steps do not work, or the system does not have a CD drive, you should be able to run a browser from task manager, as long as you have something other than Internet Explorer installed. That is, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome both work when “iertutil.dll” is missing, although you may continue to get errors. Again, browse to this article and click this link to download the dll file. If you try to click “Save as” it will probably crash, so you will need to save to the default location and then browse to it using the command prompt as per the previous instructions.

Windows 7 Boot CD Option

If the other approaches are not workable for some reason, another option is to use a Windows 7 boot DVD and get to the recovery console. From here, you can connect a USB stick and transfer the file across in a similar fashion.

If all of the above fails or if you have any questions please post below and I will do my best to assist you. It’s a frustrating problem, and do keep in mind that in some extreme scenarios you may need to run a full system repair installation.

Image credit: Grunge Office Stamp – Error by Big Stock Photo


JJ runs a company that specialises in IT Support and cloud IT Solutions in Australia. He also moonlights as a tech blogger.

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