Fonts Display Incorrectly if More than 48 MB Worth of Fonts Exists

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Article ID: 219298 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

When you run any program that includes True Type fonts (for example, Windows NT shell, Microsoft Office, Microsoft WordPad, and so forth), you may experience the following symptoms:
  • Fonts are displayed incorrectly.
  • Unknown characters are displayed.
  • Blank space are displayed.
This article does not apply to printer fonts. Printer font output is not impacted by the 48 MB limit.

CAUSE

This behavior occurs because there is a 48 MB memory limit for fonts on a computer running Windows NT 4.0. After a computer running Windows NT reaches the 48 MB font limit, that session's fonts are displayed incorrectly as there is no room available to load and map fonts.

RESOLUTION

To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Windows NT 4.0. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
152734 How to Obtain the Latest Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack

STATUS

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in Windows NT 4.0. This problem was first corrected in Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 5.

MORE INFORMATION

For example, a computer running Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 3 with Office 2000 installed has approximately 20 MB of total fonts. If you enable the Japanese (8 MB), Korean (15 MB), and Chinese (8 MB) language settings, you reach approximately 51 MB of total fonts.

The 48 MB limit is easily reached on a computer running Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 4 with Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 and Office 2000 without enabling fonts for other languages. You can reach this limit by browsing Web pages. IE5 automatically installs fonts not currently loaded.

Simply deleting True Type fonts to an amount lower than the 48 MB limit may not resolve the issue.

You can view the fonts loaded on your computer by using the Control Panel Fonts tool. You can view the size of each font by opening a command prompt and going to the \%SystemRoot%\Font folder and typing DIR. If the size of the \%SystemRoot%\Font folder is equal to or greater than 48 MB, you may experience this issue.

Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 5 increases the font limit to 128 MB.

Properties

Article ID: 219298 - Last Review: October 14, 2013 - Revision: 2.2
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 1
  • Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 2
  • Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 3
  • Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 4
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 4
Keywords: 
kbnosurvey kbarchive kbbug kbfix kbqfe kbhotfixserver KB219298

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