Troubleshooting NTVDM and WOW Startup Errors

This article was previously published under Q196453
Notice
This article applies to Windows 2000. Support for Windows 2000 ends on July 13, 2010. The Windows 2000 End-of-Support Solution Center is a starting point for planning your migration strategy from Windows 2000. For more information see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy.
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
SUMMARY
This is a step-by-step troubleshooter for troubleshooting NTVDM or WOWstartup issues. Please note that Sysedit.exe is a 16-bit program availablein Windows NT available for troubleshooting these issues. If it starts up,both the WOW and NTVDM DLLs and executables are okay and you need toconcentrate on the environmental steps below. If SYSEDIT does not start up,try to run only the MS-DOS shell "command.com" from the command prompt.Please note that, if SYSEDIT does not run, all of the steps below apply.
MORE INFORMATION
  1. Check the Autoexec.nt and Config.nt for anything unusual or anythingthat can be commented out.
  2. Rename Autoexec.bat.
  3. Check for changes in Win.ini or System.ini, or replace by expanding the original files off of the installation media.
  4. Rename all other *.ini files if possible
  5. In the Config.nt file, allow only:
          dos=high, umb      device=%SystemRoot%\system32\himem.sys      files=60      shell=%SystemRoot%\system32\command.com /e:4096						
    NOTE:
    • The default entries off of the installation disk will allow SYSEDIT to run, but other entries as outlined above may be needed for other applications to run.
    • Files has a valid range of: files = 5 to 254.
  6. Verify the environment variables by doing either of the following:

    • Click Start, click Settings, click Control Panel, double-click System, and then click the Environment tab. In Windows 2000, click Settings, click Control Panel, double-click System, click the Advanced tab, and then click Environment Variables.

      -or-
    • Run the SET command at the command prompt and check all environmental variables for nulls, blanks, double equal sign (==) marks, or other unknown entries.
  7. Ensure that the path is the same as the default path off of the CD; that is, that there are no entries prepended to the path; if a nonstandardentry is there, remove it.
  8. Check path length for lengths after expansion that are near 200characters. Path is a combination of path in Autoexec.nt and on theEnvironment tab in the System tool of Control Panel. If the path is over100 characters, change it for testing.
  9. Check the following registry entries. The easiest way is to check them out is to see if they are populated first. (There are some cases wherekeys or subkeys just disappear.) Then, if the keys are fully populated,do not try to determine the correct values, just download them and loadon a test system to see if the problem can be reproduced.

    Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\WOW: Parameters for WOW startup
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\WOW: System.ini settings
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\IniFile\Mapping: Mappings for Win.ini, System.ini, Winfile.ini,Progman.ini, and Control.ini
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Environment: Environment Settings
    • Other INI settings that can be found in the registry: see pages 905 through 908 of the Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Resource Kit.
  10. If this does not work, you have missing or corrupted files. (More likely, the files will be corrupted rather than missing; try to replace these first.)

    • Ntio.sys
    • Ntdos.sys
    • Ntvdm.exe
    • Ntvdm.dll (3.1 only)
    • Redir.exe
    • Wowexec.exe
    • Vdmredir.dll
    • Krnl386.exe
    • Krnl286.exe (Windows NT 3.1 only)
    • Gdi.exe
    • User.exe
    • Wow32.dll (not in Windows 3.1)
    • Commdlg.dll
    • Version.dll
    • Shell32.dll
    • Gdi32.dll
    • User32.dll
    • Advapi32.dll
    • Compobj.dll
    • Ddeml.dll
    • Ole2.dll
    • Ole2dist.dll
    • Storage.dll
    • Rpcrt4.dll
    Under system look for:

    • Avicap.dll
    • Avifile.dll
    • Commdlg.dll
    • Keyboard.drv
    • Lzexpand.dll
    • Mciavi.drv
    • Mciseq.drv
    • Mciwave.drv
    • Mmsystem.dll
    • Mmtask.tsk
    • Mouse.drv
    • Msvideo.dll
    • Olecli.dll
    • Olesvr.dll
    • Setup.inf
    • Shell.dll
    • Sound.drv
    • System.drv
    • Tapi.dll
    • Timer.drv
    • Ver.dll
    • Vga.drv
    • Wfwnet.drv
    • Winspool.drv
    Missing or corrupted DLLs second step:

    If it was not one of those, you can try the DLLs under the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\W


    Value: Known DLLs; here is the list of the DLLs, but most are in the list above.

    At this point, you may want to try the brute force method: do a parallel installation with all updates and just copy over %SystemRoot%\System and %SystemRoot%\System32 from the parallel installation to the new system.

    • Comm.drv
    • Commdlg.dll
    • Ctl3dv2.dll
    • Ddeml.dll
    • Keyboard.drv
    • Lanman.drv
    • Mapi.dll
    • Mmsystem.dll
    • Mouse.drv
    • Netapi.dll
    • Olecli.dll
    • Olesvr.dll
    • Pmspl.dll
    • Shell.dll
    • Sound.drv
    • System.drv
    • Toolhelp.dll
    • Vga.drv
    • Wfwnet.drv
    • Win87em.dll
    • Winoldap.mod
    • Winsock.dll
    • Winspool.exe
    • Wowdeb.exe
    • Timer.drv
    • Rasapi16.dll
    • Compobj.dll
    • Storage.dll
    • Ole2.dll
    • Ole2disp.dll
    • Ole2nls.dll
    • Typelib.dll
    • Msvideo.dll
    • Avifile.dll
    • Msacm.dll
    • Mciavi.drv
    • Mciseq.drv
    • Mciwave.drv
    • Progman.exe
    • Avicap.dll
tshoot wowexec subsystem vdm
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Article ID: 196453 - Last Review: 12/05/2015 09:50:12 - Revision: 1.4

Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server, Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition

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