Why do I receive an error on startup that says the system can't find system32.exe in my system32 folder?

A. More than likely, your machine was infected by the system32.exe virus, which your antivirus software removed without removing the startup entry in the registry. To resolve this error, perform the following steps:

  1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
  2. Navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run registry subkey.
  3. Select the entry "Explorer.exe C:\Windows\system32\system32.exe", then click Delete (the path for this registry entry might be slightly different on your machine, depending on where you installed Windows).
  4. If you see a registry entry for cmd32.exe, remove it as well.
  5. Click Yes to the confirmation dialog box.

If you can't find the registry entry I describe in Step 2, review this FAQ for a list of other registry locations you can search.

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