Sunday, January 29, 2006

Bill Gates is the Devil - 0xc0000005

Windows is cranky, unstable, proprietary, a resource hog, and generally a pain. It is also essentially unavoidable for anyone wanting to use a personal computer on the internet. In a few years, there will be a critical mass of people sick of MicroSloth and a sufficiently big player to make linux an actual usuable alternative. Someday.

My next OS will probably be Linux, and then I'll never look back to Microsoft. But Linux isn't ready for prime time, for a general consumer public. So, we all must wrestle with the evil Mr. Gates until that time.

One value in keeping a blog is that I can now make information available to the global least, to anyone desperate enough to wade through the details of a Google search for a solution. You'd think I'd have to put this information on some topic-specific site for it to be findable and useful for any fellow Windows sufferers. No, Google catalogs everything on the internet, and will direct people to this page, even though it's in a personal blog. That is, as long as the person enters a carefully-designed set of search criteria.

I recently fixed Internet Explorer ver 6 (IE6) on a PC running Windows 2000. Symptom: upon trying to start the program, one gets only a little grey error message box, saying: The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000005). No details otherwise forthcoming from the Idiot Operating System from Redmond.

Re-install IE6: no change. Perform three different adware/spyware/virus scans: a few mangy mongrels ejected from the hard drive, but no change in IE behavior. Diligent search on the support pages from Microsoft: nothing. Diligent Google search: a vast number of red herrings, a few possibilities, but not a single description of a successful repair of this specific problem. Grrr.

My hero of the day, however, is Tom Keefer of Portland, OR. He posts occasionally on In reply to another condemned soul (also plagued by the same, exact IE problem) he made the brilliantly concise suggestion: "I'm not sure this will help in your case, but it's worth a try: download and run IEFix." He kindly included a link to the download site, the URL is: You get an file. You have to know how to unzip a .zip file. If you don't have an unzipper, I recommend WinZip 8.1, available at

Now, IEFix does what Mr. Gates should have forseen a need for. It simply makes sure all the needed IE files are on the PC drive, in the right places, all properly registered in the registry, and that the necessary registry "keys" are there, with the proper values.

Outstanding resource. It's capable of fixing not just this error, but a whole host of IE problems on Windows machines, not just Win2000 or XP. But to be perfect, IEFix ought to be available as a self-extracting archive (a *.exe file), and ought to be available by FTP download. See, if you don't have a working browswer, you can still download by FTP from a command prompt. This program is to fix a non-working browser, so why distribute by a method that requires a browswer?

Anyway, IEFix lived up to its name. IE6 is up and running on this PC.

Executive Summary:
Problem: Internet Explorer won't start. Error Message: The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000005).

Solution:, which explains and then points to

Happy Browsing!



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