It's 595 lines - none more, none less.
I always delete the whole existing folder and then unpack the one from the zip (can't remember how many times I said that already). I never use Explorer and I know how to manipulate files and folders.
Files are always deployed by the installer i build. A few posts up there's a package with both installers, you said you'd check them out. All files are deployed correctly - simply replacing kexbases.dll makes everything work.
Virtual machine is too complicated - I have spare hardware to test with, why waste HDD space? I can get the log in Safe Mode, but it's useless, it always says the same thing, over and over again. Just the line number is changed, it's 298 now, not 296 as it was previously.
Maybe the code needs rebased, maybe you have some particular settings in Visual Studio or in the project, that don't get propagated in the GitHub. I don't know, but fact is everything I build works, except for KernelEx. I've just built Miranda IM 0.10.12.0 this morning, both ANSI and Unicode, on my 98SE machine and the Unicode version works without problems on the XP machine while the ANSI is working on the test machine. That's pretty much code there, if there was something wrong with my setup I'd get errors, crashes, whatever.