How to Repair Damaged or Corrupted Password List Files

Password list files can sometimes become damaged or corrupted, which can cause many problems in Windows.

They can sometimes cause simple logon issues, or they could be the cause of error messages like "Explorer caused an invalid page fault in module Kernel32.dll" and similar messages.

Repairing password list files, all of which end in the file extension PWL, is a reasonably simple task since Windows can be instructed to auto-generate them on startup.

These steps apply to Windows 95 and Windows 98.

How to Repair Corrupted Password List Files

Follow these easy steps to repair the password list files on your Windows PC.

  1. Click on Start and then Search (or Find, depending on your Windows operating system version).

  2. Enter *.pwl in the text box, and then select Find Now. In other versions of Windows, you may need to select All files and folders, enter the *pwl search criteria, and then choose Search.

  3. In the list of PWL files found during the search, right-click each one and choose Delete. Repeat this step to delete all of them that are found.

  4. Close the Find or Search window.

  5. Restart your computer. When you log back into Windows, the password list files will be generated automatically.

In some early versions of Windows 95, the password list files aren't automatically created when you log on. In these cases, Microsoft has provided a tool to accomplish this. If the above steps don't work, and you suspect that you have an early version of Windows 95, download the mspwlupd.exe tool.

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