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Article ID: 254914 - Last Review: March 27, 2007 - Revision: 4.7

This article was previously published under Q254914
Notice
This article applies to Windows 2000. Support for Windows 2000 ends on July 13, 2010. The Windows 2000 End-of-Support Solution Center (http://support.microsoft.com/?scid=http%3a%2f%2fsupport.microsoft.com%2fwin2000) is a starting point for planning your migration strategy from Windows 2000. For more information see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy (http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/) .
For a Microsoft Windows XP version of this article, see 314452  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314452/ ) .
Notice
This article applies to Windows 2000. Support for Windows 2000 ends on July 13, 2010. The Windows 2000 End-of-Support Solution Center (http://support.microsoft.com/?scid=http%3a%2f%2fsupport.microsoft.com%2fwin2000) is a starting point for planning your migration strategy from Windows 2000. For more information see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy (http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/) .

SYMPTOMS

After you install some programs, one of the following error messages may appear when you attempt to run 16-bit programs:
16 bit MS-DOS Subsystem
drive:\program path
XXXX. An installable Virtual Device Driver failed DLL initialization. Choose 'Close' to terminate the application.
-or-
16 bit MS-DOS Subsystem
drive:\program path
SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\VirtualDeviceDrivers. VDD. Virtual Device Driver format in the registry is invalid. Choose 'Close' to terminate the application.
In some cases, clicking Ignore allows the program to run properly, but the error message continues to be displayed when you start 16-bit programs.

CAUSE

This behavior can occur if the following registry value has become corrupted:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\VirtualDeviceDrivers\VDD
This issue may occur after you install a 16-bit program, or a program that uses a 16-bit installation program, that is not Windows 2000 compliant.

RESOLUTION

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  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322756/ ) How to back up and restore the registry in Windows
  1. Start Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe).
  2. Locate and click the following value:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\VirtualDeviceDrivers\VDD
  3. On the Edit menu, click Delete.
  4. On the Edit menu, click Add Value.
  5. Type VDD in the Value Name box, click REG_MULTI_SZ for the Data Type, and then click OK.
  6. The Multi-String editor appears. Leave this entry blank and click OK.
  7. Quit Registry Editor.
If the above steps do not work, or if you are unable to create the VDD key, it may be necessary to also delete and recreate the whole VirtualDeviceDrivers registry key.

STATUS

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

MORE INFORMATION

These error messages can also occur in Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 if this key is manually deleted for testing purposes.

APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
Keywords: 
kb3rdparty kbappdev kberrmsg kbprb KB254914
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