Err Msg: Error Loading GDI.EXE. You Must Reinstall Windows

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Article ID: 146904 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q146904
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SYMPTOMS

You may experience either of the following symptoms:
  • When you start Windows, you may receive the following error message:
    Error loading GDI.EXE. You must reinstall Windows.
  • When you start Windows, it may stop responding (hang). The Bootlog.txt file shows a "loadfail" status for all font files.

CAUSE

This error can occur if the Fonts folder is removed from the Windows folder.

RESOLUTION

To resolve this situation, use either of the following methods.

Method 1

Reinstall Windows.

Method 2

Boot the computer with a Windows 98 Startup disk with CD-ROM support. (Or, choose Command Prompt Only from the Windows 95/98 Startup menu if you have real-mode CD-ROM drivers installed, or if you have a copy of the Windows source files on your hard disk).

NOTE: These instructions assume that your CD-ROM drive letter is drive D and that Windows is installed in the C:\Windows folder. If this is not the case, adjust the following instructions accordingly.

Windows 95

Type the following commands, pressing ENTER after each command:
md c:\windows\fonts
attrib +s c:\windows\fonts
extract /a d:\win95\win95_02.cab *.fon /l c:\windows\fonts
extract /a d:\win95\win95_02.cab *.ttf /l c:\windows\fonts
Reboot the computer. If the Fonts folder exists, just use the extract commands to extract the fonts into the folder.

Windows 98

md c:\windows\fonts
attrib +s c:\windows\fonts
extract /a d:\win98\win98_22.cab *.fon /l c:\windows\fonts
extract /a d:\win98\win98_22.cab *.ttf /l c:\windows\fonts
Reboot the computer. If the Fonts folder exists, just use the extract commands to extract the fonts into the folder.

Windows Millennium

md c:\windows\fonts
attrib +s c:\windows\fonts
cd\windows\options\install
extract /a win_17.cab *.fon /l c:\windows\fonts
extract /a win_19.cab *.ttf /l c:\windows\fonts

MORE INFORMATION

The Fonts folder contains TrueType fonts (files with .ttf extensions) and Raster fonts (files with .fon extensions). Raster fonts are bitmap fonts supplied in different sizes for specific display resolutions. If the .fon files are missing, Windows cannot load successfully.

NOTE:The "error loading GDI.EXE" message may only flash for an instant, followed by the "now safe to turn off your computer" screen. This will behave similarly in safemode. Therefore, the "error loading GDI.EXE" message may not be noticed.

Accordingly, the bootlog.txt is the best resource to determine that the fonts folder is the problem.

Properties

Article ID: 146904 - Last Review: January 19, 2007 - Revision: 1.3
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 95
Keywords: 
kberrmsg kbprb KB146904

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