Device files missing

Posted on 2002-07-23
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-28
For the past week, whenever I open my Win98 computer, I receive the following message:
“Cannot find a device file that may be needed to run Windows or a windows application.
The windows registry or SYSTEM.INI file refers to this device file, but the device file no longer exists.
     If you deleted this file on purpose, try uninstalling the associated application using the uninstall or setup program.
     If you still want to use the application associated with this device file, try reinstalling that application to replace the missing file… Press a key to continue”.
     When I start my computer, the message appears  twice requiring my attention each time..  It  first referring to Vredir.vxd    then again referring to dfs.vxd.  
Using the ”find” command, I am unable to find either of these files, either on my hard disc, or In my windows CD.  Other files with the sxd  ending are in Windows\Systems files, Anti-virus files, and related files including backups.  I previously uninstalled the Norton AV programs, but the “find” command indicates some of its folders are still in my machine.
     I am unable to find an uninstal command  for W98 on the W98 CD, startup disk, or in the Control Panel inst/uninstal.
I have tried the following with no success:
     Finding & replacing the missing files.
Starting computer with Windows98 CD in drive  -  error messages appeared same as starting from hard disc..
Startingcomputer with a floppy “emergency disk”. Worked, but no help.  The error messages did not appear.

There no indications of conflicts in Systems\Device Manager.

 My email address has recently changed. use jaynestemp@peoplepc.com

Question by:wfajaynes
LVL 63

Expert Comment

ID: 7172602

  I would run the Start-windows update to make sure that you have the newest updates.

In addition Cleanup the startup stuff. In win98/Win ME/Win XP -  Do a Start - Run - msconfig, startup Tab ,

 Run it and it will show you everything that is listed in all the possible startup                         places, and allow you to disable things one at a time until the problem is eliminated.
 A lot of probelms are caused by excess old baggage - programs that have not been properly  un-installed. Startup Cop will eliminate leftovers and un-wanted programs that you no longer want.
Older Antivirus programs and Norton Utilities have been known to cause problems
try disabling them also !

Use the control-panel - add/remove programs to remove any unused programs.

If this does not resolve the issue,

Then run SFC from the Start-run command, and have it fix any broken files.

ALso check into getting driver updates for ALL of your hardware, BIOS, VGA, motherboard etc.

Do a Defrag from SAFE mode !

Make sure that each partition has at least 15% free space.

You may try doing a scanreg /fix from a DOS prompt.
Scanreg /opt  also.

You may try doing a scanreg /restore from a DOS prompt

I hope this helps !

Expert Comment

ID: 7172754

Is the computer working okay after you acknowledge the error messages? If it is, then the files have been removed
but references to them remain. Simply removing the references from the start-up files will clear the error.

If these files are part of some process that you still are using or need to use , you may have to re-install the program..replacing the files may not be enough becuase each install places specific data entries in the registry that it expects to be there when it loads.

Sometimes when programs are uninstalled they don't always
clean up after themselves properly.

If your computer is already functioning properly without these files then removing the references to them will do no damage. Just make sure you remove references only to the files from the error message.

Back up system.ini and your registry.

Remove any references to these files.


Hope this helps,
Good Luck,

LVL 41

Accepted Solution

stevenlewis earned 800 total points
ID: 7172968
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 7173135
I didn't look at stevenlewis's link, however, the question you pose is common if you removed something or changed something. I would recommend that from the start/run command type sysedit and then do a search for the files you indicated. I think you will find them under the sys.ini and you can either apply a semi-colon in front of the line if that is the only thing identified or delete the file. Write down what you did so you can reinstate it if you like, however, don't think you need it if you removed the program etc. :>) Dave

Expert Comment

ID: 7376270
Hello all,
I am Computer101 from Experts-Exchange and also an expert within this topic area. This uestion has been open a long time.  What I am going to do is allow feedback from the questioner and xperts.  If it is not resolved, I will delete or accept an answer based on the info I have been given, Experts, feel free to offer input.  I will monitor these questions for a period of 5-7 days and come back and evaluate.  I will have another moderator (who is also an expert in this topic area) look at the question also to ensure we do the right thing for this question.

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E-E Admin

Expert Comment

ID: 8687519
Points to stevelewis for answering first and correctly to this question.

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