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Article ID: 273738 - Last Review: June 19, 2014 - Revision: 2.0

 
If this article does not describe the error message that you are receiving, view the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article to view more articles that describe error messages:
315854  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315854/EN-US/ ) Windows 98 and Windows Me Error Message Resource Center

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Summary

This article describes how to troubleshoot problems with your computer if it stops responding (hangs) or if you receive either a "fatal exception" or "invalid VxD" error message.

More information

To troubleshoot problems with your computer if it stops responding (hangs) or if you receive either a "fatal exception" or "invalid VxD" error message, use the System Information Utility tool (Msconfig.exe). After you restart your computer several times, this tool can help you isolate a specific file or registry key that is causing the problem. After you determine the specific file or registry key that is causing the problem, edit the appropriate file or registry key to remove the entry, and then return the System Configuration Utility tool to Normal Startup mode.

For additional information about how to perform a clean-start procedure in Windows Me by using the System Configuration Utility tool, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
267288  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/267288/EN-US/ ) How to Perform a Clean Boot in Windows Millennium Edition
The following topics are included in this article:
  • How to start Windows Me in Safe mode
  • Windows Me does not start in Safe mode
  • Windows Me starts in Safe mode

How to Start Windows Me in Safe Mode

If Windows Me does not start normally, try to start your computer in Safe mode. When you start Windows Me in Safe mode, many Windows Me device drivers are disabled and the standard VGA display driver is used.

To start Windows Me in Safe mode, press and hold down the CTRL key while you restart your computer, and then choose Safe Mode on the Windows Me Startup menu.

If your computer does not start in Safe mode, view the "Windows Me Does Not Start in Safe Mode" section of this article.

If Windows Me does start in Safe mode, view the "Windows Me Starts in Safe Mode" section of this article.

Windows Me Does Not Start in Safe Mode

Any of the following conditions can prevent Windows Me from starting in Safe mode:
  • Your computer may be infected with a virus.For additional information about computer viruses, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    129972  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/129972/EN-US/ ) Description of Computer Viruses
  • The complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) settings for your computer may be incorrect.

    Verify that your CMOS settings are correct. Note that you may need to contact the computer manufacturer to verify these settings.
  • There may be a hardware conflict on your computer. Hardware conflicts can include Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) basic input/output system (BIOS) settings, Interrupt Request (IRQ) conflicts, redundant communications (COM) ports (for example, two COM1 ports, or an internal modem that is set to the same COM port as an existing serial port), or a damaged memory module or chip.
  • You may need to change a setting in the Msdos.sys file. For example, the Logo setting should be zero (0).
For additional information about the Msdos.sys file, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
118579  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/118579/EN-US/ ) Contents of the Windows Msdos.sys File
If Windows Me still does not start in Safe mode, there may be a registry problem. To diagnose a registry problem, run the Windows Registry Checker tool (Scanreg.exe).
  1. Restart your computer with the Startup disk in your floppy disk drive, and then choose the Minimal boot option.
  2. Type scanreg /restore, and then press ENTER.
The Windows Registry Checker tool (Scanreg.exe) is not included on the Startup disk. When you start your computer with the Startup disk, the folder where the Windows Registry Checker tool is located (C:\Windows\Command) is added to the path. For additional information about the Windows Registry Checker tool, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
183887  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/183887/EN-US/ ) Description of the Windows Registry Checker Tool (Scanreg.exe)
For additional information about receiving an error message that your registry is damaged after you run the Windows Registry Checker tool, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
186909  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/186909/EN-US/ ) Registry Checker Continues to Detect Registry Damage
If Windows Me still does not start in Safe mode after you use the Windows Registry Checker tool, reinstall Windows Me in the same folder in which you originally installed it.

If you still cannot start Windows Me in Safe mode, install Windows Me in a new, empty folder. This is a troubleshooting step to help you determine if the problem is related to a remnant of the previous operating system, such as a configuration setting, or if the problem is a hardware problem.

Windows Me Starts in Safe Mode

When you start your computer in Safe Mode, the "Safe Mode Troubleshooter" Help topic is displayed. For additional information about how to use the Safe Mode Troubleshooter, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
274155  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/274155/EN-US/ ) Description of the Safe Mode Troubleshooter
If Windows Me does start in Safe mode, use the following procedure to see if any devices do not load correctly:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type msconfig in the Open box, and then click OK.
  2. Click Selective Startup.NOTE: The System Configuration Utility tool (Msconfig.exe) cannot disable a file that has the read-only attribute, although it behaves as though it can. To determine if the System Configuration Utility tool has replaced the file that you are trying to disable, open the file. If you see text similar to the following text at the beginning of the file, the System Configuration Utility tool did replace the file:
    rem
    rem   *** DO NOT EDIT THIS FILE! ***
    rem
    rem   This file was created by the System Configuration Utility as
    rem   a placeholder for your SYSTEM.INI file. Your actual
    rem   SYSTEM.INI file has been saved under the name SYSTEM.TSH.
    rem
    						
  3. : The System Configuration Utility tool (Msconfig.exe) cannot disable a file that has the read-only attribute, although it behaves as though it can. To determine if the System Configuration Utility tool has replaced the file that you are trying to disable, open the file. If you see text similar to the following text at the beginning of the file, the System Configuration Utility tool did replace the file: The following chart describes four different boot options and which items each boot option verifies. To use a boot option, click to clear or select the appropriate check boxes for the specific boot options that are described in the following sections.
Collapse this tableExpand this table
PromptBoot ABoot BBoot CBoot D
Process System.ini fileYesNoYesYes
Process Win.ini fileNoYesYesYes
Load Static VxDYesYesNoYes
Load Startup group itemsYesYesYesNo
NOTE: If Windows Me does not start normally when you use any of the boot options, view the "Troubleshooting Protected-Mode Driver Problems" section in this article.

The Boot A Option

Start your computer by using the Boot A option. If Windows Me starts normally when you use the Boot A option, there is a problem in the Win.ini file. To find the line in the Win.ini file that is causing the problem:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type msconfig in the Open box, and then click OK.
  2. Click Process Win.ini file on the General tab to restore the original file.
  3. On the Win.ini tab, double-click the Windows folder.
  4. Click to clear the load= check box, click to clear the run= check box, and then click OK.
  5. When you are prompted to restart your computer, click Yes.
If Windows Me starts normally, there is a terminate-and-stay-resident (TSR) program that is loading from the run or load line in the Win.ini file that is causing the problem. Contact the manufacturer of the program for further assistance.

If Windows Me does not start normally when you use the Boot A option, try the Boot B option.

The Boot B Option

If Windows Me starts normally when you use the Boot B option, there is a problem with the System.ini file. The problem is most likely in the [386Enh] section of the original System.ini file.

To find the line in the System.ini file that is causing the problem:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type msconfig in the Open box, and then click OK.
  2. Click Process System.ini file on the General tab to restore the original file.
  3. Double-click the 386Enh folder on the System.ini tab.
  4. Click to clear each check box that does not have a Windows flag next to it.
If Windows Me starts normally, there is a driver loading from the 386Enh folder that is causing the problem.

If Windows Me does not start normally, click to clear the remaining check boxes on the System.ini tab, one at a time, starting with the Boot folder. Restart your computer after you click to clear each check box. When the problem returns, the last check box that you selected is loading a driver that is preventing Windows Me from starting normally.

NOTE: If Windows Me starts normally after you click to clear the display.drv=pnpdrvr.drv check box, there is a problem with the display driver.

NOTE: When Adobe Type Manager (ATM) is installed, it modifies the SYSTEM.INI file by changing the SYSTEM.DRV line and adding a new line. For example:
[Boot]
SYSTEM.DRV=ATMSYS.DRV
ATM.SYSTEM.DRV=SYSTEM.DRV
For additional information about how to troubleshoot video problems, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
127139  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/127139/EN-US/ ) Troubleshooting Video Problems in Windows
If Windows Me does not start normally when you use the Boot B option, try the Boot C option.

The Boot C Option

If Windows Me starts normally when you use the Boot C option, there is a problem with a static virtual device driver (VxD) that is loaded from the following registry key:
HKEY_Local_Machine\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\VxD
To resolve this problem, view the "Troubleshooting Static VxD Problems" section in this article.

If Windows Me does not start normally when you use the Boot A, Boot B, or Boot C options, try the Boot D option.

The Boot D Option

If Windows Me starts normally when you use the Boot D option, there is a problem with a program that is run during startup. For information about how to resolve this problem, view the "Troubleshooting Startup Folder Problems" section in this article.

If you still cannot start Windows Me normally after you view the "Troubleshooting Startup Folder Problems" section in this article, view the "Troubleshooting Protected-Mode Driver Problems" section in this article.

Troubleshooting Static VxD Problems

The problem may be caused by a driver or VxD that is loaded from the registry. To determine if this is the cause of the problem:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type msconfig in the Open box, and then click OK.
  2. Click Selective Startup, and then click to clear the Process Static VxDs check box.
  3. Click OK, and then restart your computer when you are prompted.
If the problem is resolved, the problem static VxD is being loaded from the registry. To resolve this problem:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type msconfig in the Open box, and then click OK.
  2. On the Static VxDs tab, click to select the first check box in the list.
  3. Click OK, and then restart your computer when you are prompted.
If the problem is still resolved, repeat step 1 through step 3, but click to select the next check box on the Static VxDs tab.

When the problem returns, the last check box that you selected is loading the driver or TSR that is causing the problem. If the problem file is any of the following files, the problem is most likely with your network adapter:
Vnetsup.vxd
Ndis.vxd
Vnetbios.vxd
Vredir.vxd
Dfs.vxd
Vserver.vxd
Ndiswan.vxd
If the cause of the problem is your network adapter driver, contact the network adapter manufacturer and obtain a newer driver that works with Windows Me.

If the cause of the problem is a hardware conflict, view the "Troubleshooting Protected-Mode Driver Problems" section in this article.

Troubleshooting Startup Folder Problems

The problem that you are having may be a result of a program that runs during startup. To determine which program is causing the problem:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type msconfig in the Open box, and then click OK.
  2. Click the Startup tab, and then click to clear each check box.
  3. Click OK, and then restart your computer when you are prompted.
If the problem is resolved:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type msconfig in the Open box, and then click OK.
  2. On the Startup tab, click to select the first check box in the list.
  3. Click OK, and then restart your computer when you are prompted.
If the problem is still resolved, repeat step 1 through step 3, but click to select the next check box in the list.

When the problem returns, the last check box that you selected is loading a program that is preventing Windows Me from starting normally. Contact the program manufacturer for further assistance.

Troubleshooting Protected-Mode Driver Problems

The problem may be a Windows Me protected-mode driver. To determine if this is the case, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type msconfig in the Open box, and then click OK.
  2. On the General tab, click Advanced.
  3. In Settings, click to select the first check box.
  4. Click OK, click OK, and then restart your computer.
If the problem is not resolved, repeat step 1 through step 4, but click to select the next check box in step 3. When the problem is resolved, the last check box that you selected is causing the problem. For additional information about advanced settings, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
181966  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/181966/EN-US/ ) System Configuration Utility Advanced Troubleshooting Settings
If the problem is not resolved, make PCI bus IRQ steering unavailable in Windows. For additional information about how to make PCI bus IRQ steering unavailable, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
182628  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/182628/EN-US/ ) How to Disable PCI Bus IRQ Steering in Windows
If the problem is not resolved, make devices unavailable in Device Manager:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click System.
  3. On the Device Manager tab, make all devices under the following branches unavailable:

    • Display adapters
    • Floppy disk controllers
    • Hard disk controllers
    • Keyboard
    • Mouse
    • Network adapters
    • Ports
    • PCMCIA socket
    • SCSI controllers
    • Sound, video, and game controllers

    To make a device unavailable in Device Manager:
    1. Double-click the branch that contains the device that you want to disable, click the device, and then click Properties.
    2. On the General tab, click to select the Disable In This Hardware Profile check box, and then click OK.
    3. Restart your computer.
  4. If the problem is resolved, make available the devices that you made unavailable, and then verify that that there are no conflicting devices.

    NOTE: Make devices available in the following order:

    1. COM ports
    2. Hard disk controllers
    3. Floppy disk controllers
    4. Other devices
    To make a device available and check for possible conflicts:
    1. Double-click the branch that contains the device that you want to disable, click the device, and then click Properties.
    2. On the General tab, click to clear the Disable In This Hardware Profile check box.
    3. Click the Resources tab and verify that there are no conflicts listed in Conflicting Device List. Note that the Resources tab does not appear for each device.
    4. Click OK, and then restart your computer.
If there is a problem with a device, view the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
133240  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/133240/EN-US/ ) Troubleshooting Device Conflicts with Device Manager
For additional information about how to use the System Restore utility, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
267951  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/267951/EN-US/ ) Description of the System Restore Utility in Windows Millennium Edition
Keywords: 
kberrmsg kbfatalexerr0d kbfatalexerr0e kbhowto kbtshoot kbwinme KB273738
Retired KB ArticleRetired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
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