VBScript relies upon a specific file (vbscript.dll) being present and correctly registered in Windows. We will review two possible solutions to resolve such an error – the first is to re-register the vbscript.dll file and the second is to repair a specific registry setting.
Re-register The Dll File
1. Open an elevated (admin) command prompt – both options open up a Command Prompt window:
- XP – click Start \ All Programs \ Accessories \ Command Prompt
- Vista/Windows 7 – click Start \ All Programs \ Accessories then right click on ‘Command Prompt’ and click on ‘Run as administrator’
2. Carefully type the following, pressing Enter after each line:
You should see a message that the operation succeeded – press OK then close the Command Prompt window.
Tip: if the operation says that vbscript.dll was not found (and you’re sure you ran the command from the system32 folder as above) then try to replace the missing vbscript.dll file by using System File Checker.
3. Run the program that uses VBScript again and see if it works – if it still produces the same Script Engine error, proceed to the next section.
Repair VBScript Language Registry Setting
Be careful when editing the registry – create a system restore point first for safety or take a backup e.g. with the Tweaking.com registry backup utility.
1. Open the Registry Editor:
- XP – click Start \ Run and type regedit into the Run box then press OK
- Vista/7 – click Start and type regedit into the Search box then press OK
2. In the Registry Editor, browse to the following key:
The entry called (Default) should have a value of C:\Windows\system32\vbscript.dll as shown below (ignore the Default Engine and ThreadingModel entries – you may have different ones):
However, an old/corrupt antivirus may have set the value of (Default) to something different as shown below:
If the value of (Default) is not correct then double click it and change its value to C:\Windows\system32\vbscript.dll and press OK.
Note: if you get an ‘Error Editing Value’ error message when you press OK, you need to change the permissions of the InprocServer32 registry key then try again.
3. Close the Registry Editor and restart the computer.
4. Run the program that uses VBScript again – if the registry setting was the cause of the error it should now work.
Why Is The Registry Change Required?
The (Default) value defines the file to be used by VBScript – by default this is vbscript.dll
Some antivirus programs change it to point to their own .dll file so they process the scripts and can check for signs of malicious behavior – a good thing.
However, this becomes a problem if the antivirus is uninstalled (so it deletes its own .dll file) but does not also change the (Default) value back to the original vbscript.dll location…
In this case, VBScript continues to look for the antivirus .dll file that no longer exists – causing the error message that it can’t be found:
There can be many causes for VBScript error messages but this particular one is often caused by a badly coded uninstall of an antivirus program.
I have seen Avast! uninstallation cause this problem and some people suggest McAfee may also be responsible – doubtless there are several others.