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June 12, 2018 11:01 AM   Subscribe

Tech support: Windows 7 black screen of death, two corrupted dll files?

I got back from a trip on Saturday. On Sunday my computer worked fine, but on Monday it booted to the Black Screen of Death (working cursor on a black screen). Unlike some of the KSOD situations I found while googling, I'm able to ctrl-alt-del and pull up the task manager, and launch whatever I want through that, but launching explorer.exe does nothing and even though I can run Chrome or whatever, there's no internet connection.

I tried running sfc /scannow. It said it repaired some files but that some were corrupted and couldn't be restored. I checked the CBS.log and it looks like there's two corrupted files that couldn't be repaired, \System32\msls31.dll and \SysWOW64\mscoree.dll, because "source file in store is also corrupted." Neither of them seem to have been modified recently. I'm not sure if that's even the problem. What should I try next?
posted by theodolite to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Before you do anything else: do you have a backup of all the data on this machine? If not, can you get a live Linux medium (DVD or USBstick) and boot from that, and rescue your data?
posted by Too-Ticky at 11:09 AM on June 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

Whoa, hold up, it looks like I can get the internet after all! Currently posting from Chrome with a mysterious black void in the background.

I don't currently have this computer backed up, although with this new development I suppose I could use dropbox or something.
posted by theodolite at 11:23 AM on June 12, 2018

This is a good sign, it seems. Now at least you can make a backup.
Perdonally I'd open a file manager and drop everything I wanted to keep on a USBstick or external HD, but hey, you do you.
posted by Too-Ticky at 11:32 AM on June 12, 2018

Is there some kind of browser based file manager I can use for that? I can't launch explorer.exe, and even if I try to do something like ctrl-O in Chrome, it crashes.
posted by theodolite at 11:41 AM on June 12, 2018

I figured out how to do it in cmd and I've backed up all the irreplaceable stuff. What now?
posted by theodolite at 12:24 PM on June 12, 2018

At this point, I'd have a hard time trusting the hardware in your computer, at least until you've identified the fault; files don't generally corrupt themselves with no reason. If malware caused the DLL corruption, then reformatting the drive and reinstalling Windows would be the way to go there. If the drive is starting to go bad, then replacing the drive first would be essential, and that would be my first guess in the non-malware case, especially with computers of the Windows 7 vintage. Otherwise it might be time to look at getting a new computer.
posted by Aleyn at 2:55 PM on June 12, 2018

Maybe try running some diagnostics?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:05 PM on June 12, 2018

In case anyone is dying to know, I emailed myself the two offending DLLs from a working Windows 7 computer, copied them over the old versions (which required some screwy permissions stuff), and everything's working again, at least for now.
posted by theodolite at 8:52 PM on June 20, 2018

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