Scarddlg.dll error when opening iTunes

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 20, 2008
Updated • Dec 2, 2012

A friend of mine recently received an error message whenever he was trying to open iTunes. The error stated that the file scarddlg.dll was missing on the system and that a reinstallation of the application might fix the problem. A reinstall did not help and he asked me if I was able to come up with a solution to his problem.

A quick look on the Internet revealed that scarddlg.dll was related to the Windows Smart Card service. I asked him to load services.msc in the run box and search for that entry. It turned out that he had disabled the service. I asked him to enable it again and from then on iTunes loaded as usual again.

I also knew that a software called xp lite was offering a way to remove that service completely from Windows, I think it was in the Pro version of it. If that has been done the service would not appear at all in the services menu anymore. You need to use XP Lite to add that service again. Another option would be to install Windows XP again.

Update: Here is a detailed tutorial on checking whether the Windows Smart Card service is disabled or uninstalled on the system:

  • Press Windows-r to bring up the run box on the system
  • Enter services.msc to load the Services Manager
  • Make sure the services list is sorted alphabetically by name
  • Scroll down until you get to the location where Windows Smart Card service should be listed
  • If it is disabled double-click it, switch the service to enabled or manual, and restart your PC.
  • If it is not there at all, it must have been deleted by a program or malware
  • In that case do the following to see if that gets it back.
  • Click on Start > All Programs > Accessories and locate the Command Prompt there.
  • Right-click it and select Run as administrator
  • Enter sfc /scannow and wait for the system to finish the integrity scan
  • Restart the PC afterwards and check if the service is now listed




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  1. Wolla said on April 29, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Using XPLite and iTunes myself, I have the same problem, yet after the innitial error screen, a second iTunes error screen pops up, stating the following:
    “Windows system components that iTunes requires are missing or corrupted.
    iTunes might be unable to launch or communicate with iPod or iPhone. For help repairing your operating system, click More Information.”
    It also displays the following 2 buttons to choose from:
    [ More Information ] [ Continue ]

    If I choose [ Continue ], iTunes opens up normally and syncs properly as far as I can tell.

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