Issue: How to fix "The specified module could not be found" error on Windows?
Lately, I’ve been dealing with an error on startup that states “The specified module could not be found.” What is it and what should do I do about it?
“The specified module could not be found” error usually shows on Windows startup and warm-up, but it may also pop up when working with various programs or trying to connect to the Internet. Just like the majority of Windows errors,, this one might be caused by a bunch of reasons, including a virus attack as well as corrupted system files.
The reason for “The specified module could not be found” error to arise is very simple: RunDLL is a legitimate Windows component that is used to launch .dll files (it is very similar to an .exe file). Windows displays the error when a scheduled task or a Windows registry entry, which is set up to be run at startup, is deleted. The component might be related to a legitimate program, as well as malware. Many users face this problem when dealing with the browser hijacker Conduit infection.
Apart from malware infections, other triggers for “The specified module could not be found” include:
- missing or corrupted DLL files;
- damaged Windows registry entries;
- incorrect installation of programs;
- outdated Windows drivers.
To fix “The specified module could not be found” error, you'll have to analyze the background of the error and isolate its culprit. Usually, the alert provides quite explicit information about the problem, so it's not difficult to understand which part of the system is malfunctioning:
There was a problem starting C:\\Program
The specified module could not be found.
Normally, the error provides a full path to the DLL file or program that was unable to start. Therefore, write this name down and follow the instructions provided below to fix the “The specified module could not be found” error completely.
This video contains all the information required to solve this problem:
Fix 1. Scan your computer for malware
There have been several instances of people experiencing the “The specified module could not be found” error due to Conduit or other malware infection. In some cases, malicious files might nit be deleted appropriately, and the remainants might cause various issues, including the The specified module could not be found” error. For that, you should employ reputable anti-malware software and perform a full system scan.
There are plenty of free security tools available, as well as the built-in Windows Defender. So choose appropriately and then scan your system by choosing “Full scan” option:
- Type in Security into Windows search and select Windows Security
- Pick Virus & Threat protection
- Go for Scan options
- Select Full scan and then choose Scan now
Fix 2. Delete BackgroundContainer task
- Press Win + R on your keyboard
- Type in taskschd.msc and press Enter
- In the Task Scheduler click on Task Scheduler Library once
- Right-click on the BackgroundContainer task and select Delete
Fix 3. Stop the process of the related .dll
If the “The specified module could not be found” error pinpoints which .dll file is causing the problem you can find it and stop its process by following steps below. It should work as “The specified module could not be found” error fix for most users:
- Press Win + E to open File Explorer
- When in Folder Options, go to View tab.
- Under Hidden files and folders option, find and tick Show hidden files and folders.
- Then find and untick Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) option.
- Click OK.
- Right-click on Start and pick Settings
- Go to Update & Security and select Recovery
- Under Advanced startup section click Restart now
- In the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings and Restart
- Once Windows restarts, press F5 or 5 to to enter Safe Mode with Networking
- Log into your PC as an administrator
- Open Windows Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete (Ctrl+Shift+Esc) keys together.
- Go to Process tab.
- In the list of processes, find entries that are associated with “The specified module could not be found” error and click End task.
Fix 4. Use SFC feature via Command Prompt
Corrupted system files might be another reason for the issue to arise, and System File Checker and find and repair them. Thus, access Command Prompt to run the scan:
- Type in Command Prompt or cmd into Windows search box
- Right-click on Command Prompt and pick Run as administrator
- When the new window opens, type in the following command and hit Enter:
- Wait till Windows finishes the scan and reports results
Fix 5. Delete Windows registry files
WARNING: tampering with Windows registry might result in permanent system damage, if modifications are not applied correctly. Therefore, please proceed with the next step with caution and at your own risk. If you want to avoid possible OS corruption, you can employ Reimage and fix all the invalid registry entries left by malware, consequently fixing the “The specified module could not be found” error.
Before you proceed, you should backup your Registry. Once it’s done, follow these steps:
- Click Windows + R keys and type regedit in the Run box.
- Open Registry Editor.
- Find and delete these registry entries:
- Restart the computer
If you have followed these instructions carefully and attentively, they should have helped to solve the problem that caused “The specified module could not be found” error message.
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