Age of Empires 3 Won't install

By Tongan ยท 11 replies
Aug 5, 2007
  1. When I insert the AoE3 disk and click "install", the computer stalls for several minutes then I get the error message: "I\\:setup.exe is not a valid Win32 application", and my only option is to click OK.

    I'm no expert, but I recently had the file rundll32.exe deleted (I don't know how it was deleted), and I have a feeling that this may be the problem?

    Anyone who is familiar with anything I have explained, please give any advice on what to do.
    Any bit of help would be appreciated.
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Registry error, usually caused by using poorly designed registry fix software, or spyware software.

    Best fix is to run your Windows XP disc from a cold boot and choose Repair. If you are using a recovery disc from eMachines, Compaq, Sony, and a few others, or an OEM Windows disc, you will likely have to do a reinstall...

    These programs promise to fix it for a price
    SITESRundll Repair -
    Rundll32 Error -
    Free Download that claims to fix all dll errors -

    for your own fix, see

    and other searches at
  3. Tongan

    Tongan TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 53

    Thankyou raybay.
    What is a "Cold boot", and is it OK to use a friends XP disk?

    Thankyou for the help
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    It is OK to use it for repair, bacause it will usually not be asking for the product ID or Key. If it does ask for it, use your friend's key, but you sometimes only have one to three days to register it, as opposed to 30 days for full installs.
    It varies from disc to disc, there are 11 different types of Windows XP home discs, and 17 different Windows XP Professional discs which make it difficult to give you exact advice.
  5. Tongan

    Tongan TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 53

    OK..Thanks Ray, you have helped me a lot.:bounce:
  6. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    RayBay, you're not going to like what I'm about to say!

    First, you don't need to cold boot to perform an XP repair installation. Warm restart is how I always do it! For Tongan, a "cold" boot means you start the comp when the power is off. A "warm" boot or "warm restart" means you simply restart the comp (no power cycle.)

    SOme manufacturers offer a "partial" recovery" which is an XP repair with some extra features they throw in. HP has this. You don't need to re-install.
  7. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Different strokes for different folks.
    A cold boot is a better choice for a problematic machine... you don't want the residuals.
  8. Tongan

    Tongan TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 53

    OK, thanks Almcneil...Ill figure it out:bounce: . I just gotta get my hand on an XP disk....Is it ok for my friend David Anderson to burn XP, or do I need an original copy?
  9. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    You can use your friend's XP CD or have him burn you a copy. Either way, it's fine. As for the Product ID, use the one that came with your PC (there should be a Microsoft sticker on the side of the chassis with the ID.) You may have to activate it following the repair installation process.
  10. Tongan

    Tongan TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 53

    Yeah, I borrowed my mates XP disk and followed some simple instructions from the Microsoft web-site.
    It was simpler than I thought it would be.....Just typed some words in cmnd prompt.

    My sndvol.exe file also went missing, which I recovered in the same way......but now ANOTHER file (null) is not working, which runs Windows updates. (Just a tiny file in C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers).
    I wonder why all these system32 files are screwing up?

    Anyways, thanks for all the help and any further suggestions are appreciated.
  11. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    You need to run an XP repair installation, not the Recovery Console. When it asks you to press 'R' for repair using Recovery console, skip that and instead press Enter. The next prompt will be for the automated repair installation feature. That will fix any missing system files.
  12. Rolfman

    Rolfman TS Enthusiast Posts: 95

    You might also want to try this.

    if the problems begun not too long ago you can try a system Restore.
    on the Star menu , accesories then SYSTEM TOOLS , just back up any file
    you might want to keep , then restore your pc back to a day or moth were it was working properly.
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