Task Manager will not run

All of a sudden I can not run Task Manager. It started when right clicking on the taskbar and choosing Task Manager gave me the message that "Windows can not find C:\Windows\system32\taskmgr.exe" However the file exists.

I tried running malware scans with no help.
I have searched the web and found multiple solutions that have not worked.

I don't want to be without this important tool.

Thank you for any help.
LVL 1
Robert WardlowPresidentAsked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Open cmd.exe with Run as Administrator and in the command window, run:

dism.exe /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth

Restart after this and test.

Task Manager is fully built into Windows so if that does not work, run a non-destructive Repair Install.

Go to the Media Creation Link

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

Windows 10 is running, so click on the Download button (not Upgrade Button, select Open (Run) but NOT Save. Allow the program to run. Allow drivers to update. Then select Keep Everything.
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RaminTechnical AdvisorCommented:
1. Right-Click on My Computer icon  and select Properties. then select Advanced System settings
2. Select the Advanced tab
3. Click on Environment Variables
4. Under "System Variables" locate Path and choose 'EDIT'
5. Copy the entire string and paste it into a new Notepad file to save it somewhere else
6. Add:  ; C:\Windows\System32;  to the end of that string
7. Verify that you used a semi-colon before and after that addrwss  
8. Click 'Ok'
9. Restart your PC

Note: you have to put semi-colon between every
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Robert WardlowPresidentAuthor Commented:
I have tried dism. I will run the Windows 10 non destructive repair

I don't think the path change will work but I will try it.


Thank you, I will try both suggestions
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RaminTechnical AdvisorCommented:
But I'm sure it will work.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
My path for this has never changed (or at clients) but the repair does work.
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RaminTechnical AdvisorCommented:
I've used this method many times and I hope it works for you too.

You just need to add ; C:\Windows\System32 to the path variable.

To do this just  Under "System Variables" locate Path select it then choose 'EDIT'

Then with right arrow key on your keyboard go to the end of the string.

if it already  has a semi colon (the last character) then just add:  C:\Windows\System32;   if there is no semi-colon then add this:  ; C:\Windows\System32;
Ok.
Restart your PC.
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Mal OsborneAlpha GeekCommented:
I have seen Malware do this. Try copying and renaming the executable, maybe TM.exe. It might run then.
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nobusCommented:
i suppose you tried rebooting?  that fixes a lot of things
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Robert WardlowPresidentAuthor Commented:
Nobus, thank you for your suggestion but yes I have rebooted about 100 times as I have been following every fix I have found online.

Mal, yes, I agree Malware can do this. I did try renaming the executable with no luck. Thank you

Ramin, unfortunately I started the repair as recommended by John first. It is taking a long time. If that doesn't work I will definitely try the path

Thank you all I will let you know how this works.
Bob
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Yes it does take a long time for Repair ( two or three hours depending on the situation)
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Robert WardlowPresidentAuthor Commented:
Well, after 4 hours the repair did not work.

Ramin, I added the system variable and restarted with no luck

Mal, I tried renaming the file as you suggested but I can't rename the file. I get a message that says:

You require permission from Trusted Installer to make changes to this file.
I tried changing security permissions to this file and got this message "Unable to save permission changes on taskmgr.exe"

Does anyone have experience releasing permissions from TrustedInstaller (part of Windows Installer Service)?

Thanks
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
If Repair does not work (last possible step), back everything up and reinstall Windows.
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Robert WardlowPresidentAuthor Commented:
John,
Can I use the same link to reinstall Windows 10. My laptop was Win7 from Lenovo and it went through the Free Win 10 upgrade so I have no windows 10 license .

If I do a reinstall from my laptop I will get Win7

Thanks
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Yes, you have Windows 10 running so you are licensed.  Use the ISO from the Media Creation Link and reinstall Windows. You will get Windows 10
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nobusCommented:
i would test ram and disk first - it can simply be bad hardware
i use the ubcd for this :
Hardware diagnostic CD    UBCD
---------------------------------------------------
go to the download page, scroll down to the mirror section, and  click on a mirror to start the download
Download the UBCD and make the cd   <<==on a WORKING PC, and boot the problem PC from it
Here 2 links, one to the general site, and a direct link to the download

since the downloaded file is an ISO file, eg ubcd527.iso - so you need to use an ISO burning tool
if you don't have that software, install cdburnerXP : http://cdburnerxp.se/

If you want also the Ram tested - run memtest86+ at least 1 full pass,  - you should have NO errors!
direct download :  http://www.memtest.org/
 
For disk Diagnostics run the disk diag for your disk brand (eg seagate diag for seagate drive)  from the HDD section -  long or advanced diag !  (runs at least for30 minutes)

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/      

**  you can make a bootable cd - or bootable usb stick
*** note *** for SSD drives  use the tool from the manufacturer, like intel 's toolbox :
https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/18455/Intel-Solid-State-Drive-Toolbox

for completeness -here's how i handle disk problems : http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Hard_Drives/A_3000-The-bad-hard-disk-problem.html

==>>****in order to be able to  boot from CD or usb - you may have to disable secure boot in the bios
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Robert WardlowPresidentAuthor Commented:
Thank you all for your help. As John suggested I had to do a full reload.
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Robert WardlowPresidentAuthor Commented:
Thanks
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You are very welcome and I was happy to help.
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