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Couldn't load vmm32.vxd on W98SE

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ragnargd    12


i managed to install all three classic OS on one machine: W7 64bit, XP, and W98SE, each on it's own ssd, with 4GB (98 just seing 1GB), a phenom II x4 910e (passively cooled), a GF6600 (Passively cooled), DX fully working on each OS, and a SBLive, EAX working fine on XP and 98SE, everything running just fine, and absolutely silent. Call me McGyver.

Then, suddenly, after some days, and after tampering with partition sizes, W98SE doesn't start, but complains it cannot load vmm32.vxd. Call me Looser.

By googling around, the solutions named were:

- reinstalling W98SE (wooo... would you if you were me?)

- some findings on some obscure scanner (which i don't have, see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/191874/en-us)

- repairing dibeng.dll (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/311188/de - german txt, to which the english original cannot be found anymore)

- building a new vmm32.vxd (http://www.easydesksoftware.com/news/news10.htm)

The last one makes the most sense somehow, but i find it rather confusing - but that may be due to me not being a native speaker.


- is it just me and my insufficient english, and the instructions on repairing are just fine, and i should keep on re-reading it? (if they are, they should be transferred and stickied somewhere around here on msfn, IMHO)

- are there any other links, which i should read?

- what do *you* think may be the cause, or a solution?

Thank you very much!

Ragnar G.D.

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dencorso    512

Post a *legible* picture of the blue screen complaining about vmm32.vxd.

What exactly did you do? "Tampering with partition sizes" is way too vague.

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ragnargd    12

Post a *legible* picture of the blue screen complaining about vmm32.vxd.

What exactly did you do? "Tampering with partition sizes" is way too vague.

I get no blue screen.

I normally start windows 98 from the commandline with "win" (I boot up to DOS 7 first).

At first I get:

"Sektor kann nicht gelesen werden" (can't read sector)

"(Wiederholen), (A)bbrechen, (F)ehler" (repeat, abort, error)

...and THEN i get (tranlated)...

"Cannot find or load vmm32.vxd"

"Press enter"

On pressing enter, the machine powers down.

"Tampering" means, I had a second unused NTFS-partition on that disk, removed it, and extended the FAT32-partititon - with EASEUS Home Edition (I installed that on, and started it from XP). So i can start DOS 7, but cannot continue to W98SE. As i was impatient, i restarted that process inbetween, which is a Very Bad Idea , of course. It may turn out there are more damaged files... then there is no way except for reinstalling.. but that is speculation until now...

Ragnar G.D.

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submix8c    89

Exactly how large did you "expand" that partition? I normally "ghost" a partition to backup, delete/define partitions, then "ghost" restore.

What Fun! Have you looked into "PC Inspector File Recovery"? It kind of looks like the "expand" goobered you OR that the Partition is "out of bounds" (ref. the topic you assist with - links to HDD Partitions GT 132GiB - there ARE stipulations).

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ragnargd    12

Did you run Scandisk, in DOS mode?

@submix8c: The SSD has 29 GB, so i cannot break it with FAT32 regarding partition size. But your comment was the inspiration for what i had to look... :(

Scandisk complains about LBA-functionality. As it did not do that before, something went very wrong.

I retraced my steps, and, yes, i seriously fu**ed that one up:

When extending the partition from 14GB to 29 GB, cluster size changed from 8kB to 16kB.

That was why it took so long, as that means many files had to be touched.

When i terminated that prematurely, i killed the partition.

chkdsk (from XP and W7) shows many, many files are gone to heaven device NUL.

Thanky You all for looking at it, i should have done the filechecking before even asking, I wasted your time. Sorry... :(

None the less: The link about repairing vmm32.vxd is providing quite some insight. Read it: (http://www.easydesks...news/news10.htm)

I re-post it here, so it doesn't get lost:, credit goes to the easydesk-engineers. It is capped somewhere at the end when things get interesting, but even then.


How to Repair the Vmm32.vxd

This week we will talk about how to repair or replace a damaged or missing Vmm32.vxd file. It seems to be a popular informational search request on our site. People looking for " Unable to find VMM32.VXD" or "Cannot find or corrupt Windows Loader".

You will need to know exactly what the Vmm32.vxd file is. The Vmm32.vxd file is used on the Windows 9x and ME platforms only. The Vmm32.vxd is a monolithic file that contains many different VXD files (Virtual Device Driver), much like a CAB or a ZIP file. The Vmm32.vxd file is created by the Windows Setup program, and it contains different drivers for each machine. In many cases it will contain different drivers on each installation of Windows to the same machine, so replacing this file cannot be done by getting it from another machine. There is a standard VMM32.vxd file in the Windows Cabinet files, but it is not usable as is. It only contains a few basic VXDs and Windows adds to it as it installs Windows using the Wininit.ini file.

If the Vmm32.vxd file is damaged or missing Windows will not boot, so you have three choices. 1.You can obtain it from a backup. For those of you who have WinSafe, it automatically monitors and backs up the Vmm32.vxd file, it will even tell you if the file is missing or changed before shutting down Windows. If the file changed and you find out it is damaged when you try and reboot; WinSafe can restore its' backup Vmm32.vxd from DOS. If it is missing WinSafe will not shut down Windows, allowing you to restore with WinSafe backup file.

2. Reinstall Windows

3. Make a repair, which is the topic of this newsletter.

You can find a list of all the files inside the Vmm32.vxd file at the Registry Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ System\ CurrentControlSet\ Control\ VMM32Files.

So before you have a problem it is a good time to export this Key so you have a list for the future should you decide to repair the damaged or missing Vmm32.vxd file.

If you need to get this list and you are unable to boot to Windows, You have two .

go to the Command prompt and at the C:\Windows> prompt type:

RegEdit /e Vmmlist.txt HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ System\ CurrentControlSet\ Control\ VMM32Files

Press Enter.

Now you can read the file in DOS by typing:

Edit C:\Windows\Vmmlist.txt

Press Enter.

If you get an error you may need to go to the Windows\Command prompt and type it.

Or you can copy the System.dat file to another computer using 9x or ME. Then have Registry Drill load the file and you will be able to view the Key on another computer.

OK, so now you have a list which looks something like this abbreviated example(your actual list may contain approximately 40 or more file names):

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ System\ CurrentControlSet\ Control\ VMM32Files]




The file names are vdd.vxd, vflatd.vxd, and biosxlat.vxd. You can extract each file, one at a time to the Windows\System\Vmm32 folder. This folder is used when a vxd file needs to be added to the Vmm32.vxd file; instead of trying to have Wininit.ini try to add the file to the Vmm32.vxd file and risk corrupting the file, the new file can be placed here. If a file is listed in the Vmm32Files Registry Key, Windows looks inside the Vmm32.vxd file and in the Windows\System\Vmm32 folder for it. Now would be a good time to see what files are in this folder so you can eliminate extracting the ones that are in the folder already.

I noticed that some software vendors put the files in the Iosubsys folder instead. I prefer the Vmm32 folder, Windows loads this folder first.

Rename the old Vmm32.vxd to something like Vmm32.sav, if it has not already been deleted. You will find it in the Windows\System folder. You will also find a stock VMM32.vxd file in the cab files, extract it to the System folder.

Now I guess you want to know how to extract a file when your in DOS. You will need to know where your Windows Installation files are located. If your files are on a CD you will need to reboot and load your CD-ROM with the Windows CD in it. Mine are on my hard drive at C:\Windows\Options\Cabs, so therefore I will move my DOS prompt to C:\Windows\Options\Cabs>. Make sure you have Extract.exe in your Windows installation files' folder. If not, you will need to do this from the Windows\Command folder, adjusting the paths accordingly.

Now at the C:\Windows\Options\Cabs> type :

Extract /A CabFile_Starting# /E FileName_Wanted /L VMM32_Folder

Press Enter

The /A switch tells Extract to search all the cabinet file from the cabinet number entered up.

CabFile_Starting# = the first cabinet file number you have after the Precopy cab(s). Mine is Base2.cab, so I will replace this variable with Base2.cab. The /A tells Extract to search all the Cabinet files. If you are using the Windows\Command> prompt you will need to enter the full path, I would need to use C:\Windows\Options\Cabs\Base2.cab

FileName_Wanted = The name of the file in the list. In my case I will replace this variable with vdd.vxd. The /E switch tells Extract what file name to search for and extract.

VMM32_Folder = The path to the Vmm32 Folder. In my case I will replace this variable with C:\Windows\System\Vmm32. The /Lswitch tells Extract the location to extract the file to.

Now, for a HOT tip, try making a Batch file (.BAT) to extract all the files at once. To make a Batch file type each command on one line, then go to the next line and type the next command. Each command consists of the file name you want to extract. Save the file and run it. Example of the Batch file that I will save as VmmList.bat:

Extract /A Base2.cab /E VDD.vxd /L C:\Windows\System\Vmm32

Extract /A Base2.cab /E Vflatd.vxd /L C:\Windows\System\Vmm32

Extract /A Base2.cab /E Biosxlat.vxd /L C:\Windows\System\Vmm32

For those of you who know about Wininit.ini you can create a new Vmm32.vxd file using the following example, and extracting the required files to a temp folder. Rename the existing Vmm32.vxd and extract the standard Vmm32.vxd from your cabinet files. This method is not recommended for beginners, I have seen to many Vmm32.vxd files get corrupt installing 3rd party software when the vendor try's to use the Wininit file to add a VXD to the Vmm32.vxd.




C:\Windows\Temp\Biosxlat.vxd = C:\Windows\System\Vmm32.vxd


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ragnargd    12

So sorry for your loss. We all grieve for you. :(

Hope you didn't lose anything that can't be replaced.

The loss is grave: Six pounds of male nerd pride, 23 gigazillion hours of installation time, AND a Level 5 archer in Diablo I. :no:

Yes, pity me. It feels so good noone is making fun of me, eh? <_<

Now, where is my Win98SE CD...

Edited by ragnargd

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jaclaz    906

Yes, pity me. It feels so good noone is making fun of me, eh? <_<

Well, but do not insist too much on the pity or someone could start exactly that ... ;):angel

For NO apparent reason, a lolcat :w00t: :


and a F.A.Q.:



(just to cheer you up a bit :yes: )


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LoneCrusader    94

... a Level 5 archer in Diablo I. :no:

I assume you meant a Level 50 archer? :o

That does suck... I know how long it takes to achieve that. :(

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To ragnargd, I just wanted to add that there are two very specific tools that relate to what you described in Post #6.

VxdLib by Clive Turvey lets you pack, unpack, list and extract the monolithic VMM32.VXD constructed during Win9x setup. He also has some detailed documentation on the exact format of the file that may be useful for determining how it is corrupted. I remember using it years ago to extract the 40 or so packed files and then WinDiffing them against the CAB versions. Jaclaz actually found a link to get it in this thread. It is still working ... VxdLib ... ( freeware )

RegDat by Henry Ulbrich for Win9x is a cool utility that is kind of a registry DAT reader. You select a DAT hive to load and it gives you a perfect facsimile of the REGEDIT GUI viewing the DAT like a live registry for browsing, compare and export, etc. Just be real careful to not confuse the current registry of the machine in use, with your loaded 'remote' DAT file, and don't mash them together unless you really want to! Read the HELP file. This was a very nice piece of coding, genius really. One of the very few offline registry hive decoders around. ( shareware, see notes below )

for Win9x ... I found, downloaded and compared a copy of
RegDat v1.3 (2002-03-03)
, Verified as authentic distribution against my own copy. Get it while you can:
. Another:
found in
. If direct is not working, goto the page because it might be a dynamic download URL.

for NT/2K/XP/Vista/7 ... I found, downloaded and compared a copy of
RegDatXP v4.3 (2010-02-09)
, Verified as authentic distribution against my own copy. Get it while you can:
found in
. If direct is not working, goto the page because it might be a dynamic download URL.

REGDAT STATUS: both of the help files talk about Shareware/Nagware registration with some features otherwise disabled. The problem is, Henry Ulbrich's website is definitely offline and you get a parking space. What is odd is that he updated RegDatXP for Windows 7 in 2010. It would be worth trying to determine where he is in order to find out how to get his utilities fully enabled.

EDIT: Rewrote the post after locating the files. Download them before they disappear!

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot

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jaclaz    906

RegDat by H. Ulbrich for Win9x ...... Unfortunately I can find no working links at the moment, .....





For the record (and not necessarily useful/suggested for the specific *whatever* Regdat was originally suggested) but freeware:



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jaclaz    906

Whoops, both of those are "downloaders". They are probably safe to execute but because the 'Official Download' is dead, running the downloader app will probably just get the same result as if you click on the 'Official Download' manually (parking space where H. Ulbrich used to be).

It's strange :w00t: , go to the "upper" page:


click on download Regdat 1.3, you will land:


Server 1

Official Download

Server 2

Brothersoft(CDN for Global)

Server 3

Brothersoft(US mirror)

clicking on first link leads eventually to the dead homepage.

clicking on 2nd or 3rd NOW gets to the downloader, a few minutes ago they went directly to the .zip download

It seems like I somehow "triggered" the stupid downloader for this otherwise forgotten app. :ph34r:

Anyway, direct links ;):




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