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“There was a problem starting C:\Program” “The specified module could not be found.”

Posted by jpluimers on 2019/12/02

If you get this error:

—————————
RunDLL
—————————
There was a problem starting C:\Program

The specified module could not be found.

—————————
OK
—————————

Then it is likely a process trying to run an unquoted path like this:

"C:\Windows\System32\rundll32.exe" C:\Program Files (x86)\ThinkPad\Utilities\PWMTR64V.DLL,PwrMgrBkGndMonitor

Searching did not reveal anything unusual, nor did [WayBack] ProcExp (there were no parent processes), or [WayBack] AutoRuns:

Assuming it was some kind of power management, I started searching the installed applications with appwiz.cpl.

Uninstalling this one got me the same dialog, but now I could trace it down:

But now I knew the name and found [WayBack] Lenovo Power Manager does not work in Windows 10 – ThinkPad – NL indicating

There is no Lenovo Power Manager for Windows 10.

This meant this was an artefact left over after upgrading to Windows 10.

Searching the registry found it under Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run with name PWMTRV:

Running rundll32 "C:\Program Files (x86)\ThinkPad\Utilities\PWMTR64V.DLL,PwrMgrBkGndMonitor" did not fail, but did not do anything either.

So I started searching how to uninstall which also indicated a wrong path:

Key Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\{DAC01CEE-5BAE-42D5-81FC-B687E84E8405} had name UninstallString with value RunDll32 C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\InstallShield\Engine\6\Intel 32\ctor.dll,LaunchSetup "C:\Program Files (x86)\InstallShield Installation Information\{DAC01CEE-5BAE-42D5-81FC-B687E84E8405}\Setup.exe" -l0x9 -AddRemove

Running with quotes as RunDll32 "C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\InstallShield\Engine\6\Intel 32\ctor.dll",LaunchSetup "C:\Program Files (x86)\InstallShield Installation Information\{DAC01CEE-5BAE-42D5-81FC-B687E84E8405}\Setup.exe" -l0x9 -AddRemove got me

---------------------------
Confirm Uninstall
---------------------------
Do you want to completely remove the selected application and all of its components?
---------------------------
OK   Cancel   
---------------------------

Confirming the dialog worked: after a reboot no more messages.

–jeroen

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