Unable to Start Win 16 WOW Applications

This article was previously published under Q101924
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When starting 16-bit Windows applications with Windows NT, if you donot get an hourglass pointer and no application loads when you clickthe icon for a 16-bit Windows application, this may indicate a corruptor missing WOWEXEC.EXE file. The Windows On Windows (WOW) function ofWindows NT is handled by WOWEXEC.EXE. If the file is corrupt, thefollowing error message may appear:
"$ caused an exception in the Win16 Subsystem

Click on CLOSE to terminate the application Click on IGNORE to continue, you should save your work in a new file"
Windows 3.0 and 3.1 applications are 16-bit and run in WOW in aVirtual DOS Machine (VDM). There must be a valid WOWEXEC.EXE in theSYSTEM32 subdirectory for the WOW subsystem to start. If the file iscorrupt or missing, the above error message may appear during logon orwhen attempting to load a 16-bit Windows application.

The correct file size of WOWEXEC.EXE is 15872 bytes.

Article ID: 101924 - Last Review: 10/26/2013 01:33:00 - Revision: 3.0

  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.1
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