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.exe is not a valid Win32 application

April 2015

This article examines the scenario of .exe files not opening due to a corrupt file system or an unregistered file. Sometimes while launching an .exe file, an error occurs where the file is termed as an invalid Win32 application. This article solves this problem for the user. It highlights the reasons for the error and subsequently provides remedies for it. The various situations discussed here are: File downloads, a badly configured IDE Controller, support CD/DVD unreadable, a corrupted or unregistered file, spyware and a problematic browser configuration.


When you launch an executable file, Windows displays a message like:
Application name is not a valid Win32 application 

.exe is a file execution extension. There are different file formats for different systems that are identifiable with the help of different alphabets that accompany them.
  • File download
  • IDE Controller badly configured
  • Support CD / DVD unreadable
  • File system corrupted
  • File unregistered
  • Virus / spyware
  • Problem with browser configuration

Downloaded file


If the application in question was uploaded to the Internet, it is possible that it was corrupted during the download. In this case, just download the file again.

IDE controller badly configured

  • Right click on My Computer and select "Properties".
  • In System Properties, select the Hardware tab then Device Manager.
  • Double-click the IDE ATA / ATAPI controllers.
  • Double-click on Primary IDE Channel and Secondary IDE channel.
  • In the tab "Advanced Settings", under Device 0, ensure the command is set to DMA if available and not PIO only.

CD / DVD is unreadable


If the error is caused by a defective media, follow the steps below:
  • Try to read the CD / DVD in another drive
  • Clean with a soft cloth and water (no soap)
  • Attempt to retrieve the data with software such as Win ISO (free version), which will retrieve the damaged file

File system corrupt


To check the integrity of protected system files, run the following command:

sfc/scannow

File unregistered


If the error occurs at the opening of files, click Start / Run, then enter and confirm the following command:

regsvr32 / i SHELL32.DLL

Virus/spyware


The problem is most likely a Bagle Infection. For more information, please visit this site in order to disinfect your PC:
http://en.kioskea.net/faq/sujet 681 virus removal pack for w32 beagle mm

Problem with browser configuration

  • Disconnect from IE (Internet Explorer) or Firefox
  • Double click on IE (even if you only use Firefox)
  • Tools> Internet Options> Security Tab
  • Verify that the security level for this zone is medium-high and high NO.
  • Validate OK
  • Disconnect
  • Reconnect
For unlimited offline reading, you can download this article for free in PDF format:
Exe-is-not-a-valid-win32-application.pdf

See also

In the same category

Published by netty5. - Latest update by Jeff
This document entitled « .exe is not a valid Win32 application » from Kioskea (en.kioskea.net) is made available under the Creative Commons license. You can copy, modify copies of this page, under the conditions stipulated by the license, as this note appears clearly.