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Article ID: 164486 - Last Review: November 1, 2006 - Revision: 1.2

This article was previously published under Q164486
IMPORTANT: This article contains information about editing the registry. Before you edit the registry, make sure you understand how to restore it if a problem occurs. For information about how to do this, view the "Restoring the Registry" Help topic in Regedit.exe or the "Restoring a Registry Key" Help topic in Regedt32.exe.


Third party companies can replace the Gina.dll file that ships with Windows NT by editing the following registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon Value = GinaDLL REG_SZ

If the file referenced in the registry is missing or corrupted, Winlogon fails to start, and a blue-screen error message occurs.

NOTE: Windows NT 3.51 loads Msgina.dll if the third-party Gina.dll file is not found.


Windows NT 4.0 is designed to not load if Gina.dll (or its replacement) is not present.


To resolve this problem, replace the missing or corrupted Gina.dll with the version that ships with Windows NT.

WARNING: Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

For information about how to edit the registry, view the "Changing Keys And Values" Help topic in Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) or the "Add and Delete Information in the Registry" and "Edit Registry Data" Help topics in Regedt32.exe. Note that you should back up the registry before you edit it.

If Windows NT is installed on a FAT partition, copy the Software file that is located in the %SystemRoot%\System32\Config directory to a floppy disk and take it to another computer running Windows NT and follow these instructions:
  1. Start Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe).
  2. Go to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE window.
  3. Select the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE key entry.
  4. From the Registry menu, click Load Hive.
  5. Browse and select the failed Windows NT installation path, for example, Winnt.
  6. Go to the System32\Config directory, and select the Software file.

    NOTE: Software file with no extension is the correct one.
  7. Click OK, and type a key name of test.
  8. Double-click the new test key and follow this path:
    Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\Winlogon
  9. Modify the entry Ginadll:REG_SZ:MSGINA.DLL
  10. From the registry menu, click Unload Hive.
  11. Restart into the original Windows NT installation.


Microsoft recommends that third-party companies use FAT volumes to test their versions of Gina.dll. This facilitates the replacement of the new Gina.dll file.

  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Enterprise Edition
kbprb KB164486
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