When you logon to your computer, the error "Can not find script file C:\WINDOWS\run.vbs" with Windows Script Host in the title is shown, in a blank screen with black background. This happens if a malware has modified the Userinit registry value, replacing the Windows default value data with a Vbscript filename.
Important #1: This post just explains how to fix the Userinit value and thereby helps you get access to your user profile. Whereas the malware which caused the problem in the first place might still be active and lurking around in the system. And in this case, the problem seems to have been caused by a complex malware that adds core components to the system making the removal process difficult. So, it’s highly advisable to get your system professionally checked for malware and eliminating them completely.
Fixing the Userinit Value
Note: If Task Manager doesn’t open due to DisableTaskMgr Policy enabled by the Malware, carry out the following procedure via Recovery Environment. Check out article How to Edit the Registry Offline Using Windows Recovery Environment? for more information.
After typing the logon credentials, system may stall at Preparing to login screen. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL, and click Task Manager. When the above error message dialog is visible, dismiss the dialog and switch to the Task Manager window. The file referenced in the Userinit registry value is run even before the user interface loads. To start the Explorer shell, switch to the Task Manager window, click File, and select Run new task. Type explorer.exe and press ENTER.
Start Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) and go to:
Double-click Userinit value and change the value data from:
to the following: [Caution: Take special care when entering. You need to remove wscript part.]
*Important #2*: If Windows is installed in a different drive than C:\, type the actual drive-letter and path. Also, include the trailing comma (,) as shown above. Take extreme care when typing the Userinit value, as typing a incorrect file name or path will prevent you from logging on to any user account. I’m not responsible if you type a wrong path and lock your self out of your user account.
Exit the Registry Editor.
Logoff and login back so that the Userinit.exe loads correctly and does the initialization or preliminary jobs like running logon scripts etc.
This fixes the run.vbs logon error message. Although the Vbscript file run.vbs may have been deleted by your anti-virus software, it’s still advisable to run a thorough scan.
Video Tutorial: Fix "Run.vbs" Error at Startup
About the author
Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.