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Thread: Dial-a-fix : Repair Windows problems easily

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Dial-a-fix : Repair Windows problems easily


    Dial-a-fix is an advanced utility for 32-bit versions of Microsoft Windows written by DjLizard in Borland Delphi 7 that repairs various Windows problems, such as:
    • Windows Update errors and problems with Automatic Updates
    • SSL, HTTPS, and Cryptography service (signing/verification) issues
    • COM/ActiveX object errors and missing registry entries

    ...and more.

    Dial-a-fix ("DAF") is a collection of known fixes gleaned from Microsoft Knowledgebase articles, Microsoft MVPs, and other important support forums, that will assist you in repairing problems with your system. Although this tool is ordinarily meant for power users, technicians, and administrators, it is quite safe to use even without technical guidance (although guidance is recommended). Simply choose the solutions you wish to apply via checkmarks, and click GO. There are other buttons and tools present on the main dialog as well, such as the policy scanner. All tools and checkmarks identify their purpose when you mouse over them.

    DAF's primary philosophy is to fix problems by setting various things back to their original Microsoft defaults. DAF currently does not interface with or repair any third party programs (and there are no plans to do so).

    DAF works on all pertinent 32-bit versions of Windows: 98, 98SE, Me, 2000, XP, and Server 2003. Dial-a-fix dynamically disables functions that are not applicable to your version of Windows. The version of Windows with the most support and functionality is currently Windows XP.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Dial-a-fix : User Interface

    User Interface

    Any sections that are grayed out for you do not apply to your particular version of Windows. Example: the "CryptSvc" service doesn't exist in Windows 2000, and thus you cannot Start or Stop it. (You can, however, register the DLLs that belong to those cryptography-related functions.) Windows XP has all functions enabled, so all of the information below will apply to it.


    This section serves only as a reminder to you; your temp folder needs to be emptied and you need to verify that the year is correct. An incorrect year can cause issues with SSL certificates like those used to receive Windows Updates or visit secure sites (such as banking websites).


    The Microsoft Installer service (MSI) handles installation and scripting of .MSI files. MSI installation packages have several advantages over legacy scripted installers such as additional features for administration and deployment. The Microsoft Installer service is also used to install Windows Update patches. If this service doesn't work, neither will Windows Update.

    • Dial-a-fix always attempts to stop services before making changes to them, however you can choose options that you need at the time.
    • After stopping "MSIServer", Dial-a-fix will unregister the service using its own command: msiexec.exe /unreg.
    • To re-register the service, Dial-a-fix executes msiexec.exe /regserver and then registers the DLL msi.dll.
    • If you wish to register msi.dll yourself, click Start, then Run, and type regsvr32 msi.dll or use the "Reregister Windows Installer" checkbox in Dial-a-fix.


    WU/WUAU stands for "Windows Update/Windows Update: Automatic Update". Obviously, both manual updating (through Windows Update) and the automatic updater are covered in this section.

    • Several services have to be configured and given appropriate permissions before they can be brought back up again, so this is done while the services are being stopped. If you mouseover the "Stop services" checkbox here (when it's not grayed out), you can see every equivalent command that you could perform to take the same action. This is as "open source" as Dial-a-fix gets.

    • As usual, several DLLs are required to make both WU and WUAU work correctly. Several of these DLL registrations serve multiple purposes (such as the XML DLLs). Example: the Microsoft Management Console (MMC.exe) won't work properly unless MSXML3.dll is properly registered. Windows Update won't work without these libraries either.

    • The Flush SoftwareDistribution button will erase all of the data that WU/WUAU has collected about which patches you need, which ones are already downloaded but not yet installed, and which ones still need to be downloaded. If you're constantly being told by Windows Update to install the same patches over and over again, or you don't actually meet the prerequisites to even be installing them, then flush the SoftwareDistribution button. If you find out through Event Viewer that the DataStore.edb file is corrupted, then flushing SoftwareDistribution will take care of this.

    • If you click Flush SoftwareDistribution, it will ask you if you wish to preserve your Windows Update history. This history is stored locally on your computer. The only purpose it serves to you is that you can look through all of the patches you've installed when you click on your update history at the Windows Update website. It also maintains a database of patches that you need. You can answer 'yes' if you want to keep your history, but if you are having a problem with DataStore.edb, you have no choice but to erase the history.


    The Cryptography service didn't exist as an actual Win32 service until Windows XP, but it's been around since Windows 98. I'll refer to the Cryptography service as the collection of libraries that perform security functions in Windows, such as:
    • Code signing
    • Driver file signature verification
    • SSL certificate verification which is used when visiting secure sites, such as banking sites (IE only; Firefox and Opera have their own internal SSL functionality)

    • The second root catalog folder, %systemroot%\System32\CatRoot2 can become inconsistent and per the Microsoft knowledge base, you can empty it by checkmarking "Empty System32\Catroot2" in Dial-a-fix.
    • In versions of Windows that do not contain an actual "CryptSvc" service, the DLL registrations are the only means for Windows to be able to use cryptography functionality

    Registration center

    This section contains miscellaneous DLL registrations that do not fit under one of the main categories. It is possible to discover system problems that may not have been obvious before. This version of Dial-a-fix is not able to do or suggest very much about errors detected in this section, but you can use tools such as Dependency Walker and the System File Checker to root out missing or corrupted files - the most common cause of error dialogs while processing this section.

    The toolbar

    From left to right:
    • "GO" - starts processing all checkmarked items
    • Double green checkmark: "Check all" - turns everything on
    • Red X: "Uncheck all" - turns everything off
    • "Policies" - opens the policy scanner. Dial-a-fix scans for policies on startup and pops this dialog up if you are afflicted. If you choose not to change any of your policies at that time (and close the dialog), you can get back to it here.
    • The hammer button: "Tools" - opens a secondary dialog with quite a bit more powerful scripts
    • The piece of paper button: "Log" - allows you to view, save, copy, or clear the log pane that Dial-a-fix keeps while processing
    • The question mark cloud: "Help" - shows you an introduction to Dial-a-fix, a list of downloadable system files, and some thanks/acknowledgments. Not very helpful, is it?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Dial-a-fix : Download

    Download Dial-a-fix v0.60.0.24 (2006-10-27)

    Primary download location (RECOMMENDED): Download
    Secondary download location: Download

    File type: .zip archive
    Contains: Dial-a-fix.exe and secedit.exe
    Size: 335,992 bytes
    MD5sum: 2c23c77cc3ec0ce7206e66d48e7adfae

    You do not have to click on secedit.exe after you've extracted the .zip - Dial-a-fix uses secedit.exe internally when you use the "Repair permissions" tool.

    ...........Source --

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