Reader Sue wrote me to ask:
Terry…when I turn my computer I get this error… I’ve looked at DLL sites and can’t find why I am getting this and how to correct it…do you know? Thanks and thanks for your most helpful website… Sue N TX
MWSBAR.DLL is part of the MyWebSearch toolbar for Internet Explorer. It is installed as a BHO (Browser Helper Object) in Internet Eplorer. While some legitimate applications are installed as BHOs, it is also the way many spyware or adware programs make sure they get started.
I found some information about MWSBAR.DLL here http://www.pchell.com/support/mywebsearch.shtml.
Hopefully Sue had partially uninstalled MyWebSearch or some anti-spyware program that she runs had partially uninstalled it, because she’s getting the “not found” error as Windows tries to start it.
The error means that Windows is being told, in this case by Explorer.exe (the super Explorer program that actually is the Windows Desktop, Internet Explorer, Windows Explorer). Since it is the Windows Desktop and is also IE, and since MyWebSearch is installed as a BHO, MyWebSearch tries to start as you start Windows.
My first step to eliminate it would be to install and run
One of the tabs in WinPatrol allows you to easily uninstall Browser Helper Objects.
I find that one of the best tools I have for subsequent cleanup is Optimize 3.0. It’s not an anti-spyware program nor an anti-hijacker program — it is a Windows Registry repair program. One of its features is to get rid of all the junk left after uninstalls. I expect that it would have identified the attempt to start a non-existent file and would have offered to remove the offending Registry entry.