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Device file needed to run Windows or a Win's Application

Posted on 2003-02-19
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On Startup I have this question come up, 'Device file needed to run Windows or a Win's Application' for various VxD files: C:\Progra~1\MagnaRam\Magna 95.VxD, ...\TRBOLOAD.VxD, ...\CASHBAK9.VXD and ...\MEMLINK9.VXD

In Add/Remove programs I believe there is a MagnaRam 97, but unsure if I should uninstall this program. In the registry I can find a few items: Magna RAM 97 - Uninstall, Magna 95.exe and Magna RAM - log.95.exe

I am not the original owner of this computer. From this information it looks like someone installed Win 98 over 95. Do you think this is why the startup is looking for these VxD files?

I'm not that fimilar with using the Registry. Can I uninstall this program? Or is this something else?
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Question by:Morris1
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14 Comments
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:bjorndahlen
ID: 7984206
MagnaRam is a ram compression program.
Considering the prices of RAM (even SIMM's) these days,
I'd toss it out (from add/remove programs) and buy more memory if necessary.
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LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:sramesh2k
ID: 7984242

First, remove the application from add/remove.
then Goto registry editor (run the file called regedit.exe)

use the find option and locate each of the .vxd files.

delete them.

be sure to backup the registry first.
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LVL 38

Accepted Solution

by:
BillDL earned 300 total points
ID: 7984312
Yes

Here's extracts of a description of the product from

http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.html?i=162

MagnaRAM by Quarterdeck - a RAM compression utility

MagnaRAM takes part of the system's free memory and creates what it calls a buffer. In this buffer, it stores memory that Windows would normally swap to the hard disk. But when it stores it here, it compresses it, so that it can fit more into it. If Windows fills up this buffer and still needs to swap to disk, MagnaRAM compresses the data before writing it to the Hard Drive, so that the write time is less. Somewhat like writing notes down in shorthand to save time and keep up.

A feature that comes with MagnaRAM is TurboLoad. You can activate this feature separate of the compression. TurboLoad analyzes how applications load and calculates optimal ways to load them (it does this the first time you load the application while it is active). Then, each time you load the application, it uses these calculations to load the program faster.

I would avoid using applications such as this at all costs. Great when they work, but can cause mayhem when they stop working, leaving you with a compressed swap file which is then managed by a broken application.

My advice is not to try and uninstall it yet. It is always better to reinstall the programme to correct any missing or corrupt files before doing a full uninstall.  The only problem is that I can't seem to see any trial versions on the net which you could download for this purpose, and a real version will set you back about $20
http://www.interwb.com/software.html

There's thousands of "serialz" and "cracks" out there, (just type "Quarterdeck MagnaRam 97" into Google and see) but I don't know where you'll get a legit copy.

I would say that you first want to disable whatever is causing Windows to try and load this programme at startup.

1. The safest way is to run MSCONFIG from the Start Menu > Run option and look for any matching entries in the "Startup" tab.  This way it is possible to enable it again if you get worse problems.

2. If you have Tweak UI in your control panel, look and se if there are any mentions under any of the tabs for this programme to disable.

3. Right-click > Edit on C:\Autoexec.bat. See if there are any matches to either of these programmes or named files.  Add the word "rem" without the " " at the start of the relevant line, save the file, and reboot.

4. If no joy there, then check the registry under either (or both) of the following keys:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

Look for any "StringValues" (the icons with the small red 'ab') with a path or name matching MagnaRam, TurboLoad, or any of the mentioned files.  While you have the "Run" key highlighted, use the Menu option "Registry > Export Registry File > Selected Branch, and save it as a relevant file name to a logical place like your desktop.  Now right-click on the relevant entry and delete it. Reboot.

Judging by the shortened file names in your error description, these files are being looked for at the very start of your boot sequence. Because of the nature of the application, this makes sense, but it may well mean that you won't find the entry in any of the files Windows uses to boot, and may have to look into DOS files.  Let us know if you are successful in disabling the programme first, and by that time I may have found a source of the programme for you to download and install (then uninstall again).

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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 7984325
Another thought, have you tried searching your system for these files? Maybe they have been accidentally moved to the wrong folder.

I wouldn't try to uninstall until you have disabled it from your boot sequence first.
0
 

Author Comment

by:Morris1
ID: 7996595
For BillDL
In MSCONFIG I unchecked MagnaRAM C:|Progra~\magnaram\Logo95.exe
Nothing in Autoexe.bat. I was a little unsure about deleting
the same wordind as above from the Registry under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE........
With a reboot it would always go to BIOS setup. So I put the checkmark back on. Any other ideas?
0
 

Author Comment

by:Morris1
ID: 7996598
For BillDL
In MSCONFIG I unchecked MagnaRAM C:|Progra~\magnaram\Logo95.exe
Nothing in Autoexe.bat. I was a little unsure about deleting
the same wordind as above from the Registry under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE........
With a reboot it would always go to BIOS setup. So I put the checkmark back on. Any other ideas?
0
 
LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 7998412
Morris1

I'll look carefully at my system and get back to you.
0
 
LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 8000620
Morris1

This programme appears to have overwritten the relevant system file's instruction line to allow the Operating System's "Shell" to load. In your case the shell needed is obviously Windows and, without the necessary command, it doesn't know what should be loaded.

I'm not exactly sure what you mean when you say that "With a reboot it would always go to BIOS setup". This is very important. Do you mean that:

(1) It always goes into a full-screen DOS (ie. black and white screen) and then presents a list of possible boot options (The Boot Menu) such as "Safe Mode", Command Prompt, Step-by-step etc. OR
(2) It loads the actual CMOS setup (often referred to as the BIOS setup) which can only be navigated through using the keyboard and shows brightly-coloured sections of available choices such as "Peripheral Setup", "IDE HDD Detection" "BIOS Default" etc.

If it is the first scenario above, this is relatively easy to restore with the addition of a couple of lines to a system file, however

If it is the 2nd scenario:  
(1) How do you escape from this screen? eg. just switch off or
(2) If you are exiting using the option "Exit without saving changes", what happens then?

Your system should certainly not be going straight into the BIOS screen.

As far as editing the Registry, there is nothing to be afraid of as long as you follow advice to create a backup before making any changes, and have an idea of the layout.  I can explain these or provide you with a printable page which will explain this fully, but first let me know about the points I asked above.
0
 

Author Comment

by:Morris1
ID: 8010638
BillDL,

Thanks for continuing with me on this solution. You definitely will get the points for this question when it's resolved.

Yes, #2. With startup, it automatically went to the CMOS setup (when I unchecked the MagnaRAM C:|Progra~\magnaram\Logo95.exe in the MSCONFIG). I was just as puzzled with this, as well. I checked the setup to see if anything needed to be changed. I'm not that fimiliar with all the setting, but the main hardware items looked okay. I didn't change anything and I believe I either pressed ESC or Exit wthout saving changes. Then the same device file messages needed again, would come up, as before with the startup. The second restart, it did the same thing. So, by putting the check mark back on, again for this file in the MSCONFIG, the next restart didn't go here (CMOS setup).
 
I'll get brave and export the matching MagnaRAM, TurboLoad, etc files from the Registry. Then delete them.
 
I'm not sure what you've saying, "This programme appears to have overwritten the relevant system file's instruction line to allow the Operating System's "Shell" to load. In your case the shell needed is obviously Windows and, without the necessary command, it doesn't know what should be loaded.

Should I reload Windows 98 from another CD I have?

As I'm new to using Experts-Exchange, would this method be correct for adding comments to you?
0
 

Author Comment

by:Morris1
ID: 8011531
BillDL,

Thanks for continuing with me on this solution. You definitely will get the points for this question when it's resolved.

Yes, #2. With startup, it automatically went to the CMOS setup (when I unchecked the MagnaRAM C:|Progra~\magnaram\Logo95.exe in the MSCONFIG). I was just as puzzled with this, as well. I checked the setup to see if anything needed to be changed. I'm not that fimiliar with all the setting, but the main hardware items looked okay. I didn't change anything and I believe I either pressed ESC or Exit wthout saving changes. Then the same device file messages needed again, would come up, as before with the startup. The second restart, it did the same thing. So, by putting the check mark back on, again for this file in the MSCONFIG, the next restart didn't go here (CMOS setup).
 
I'll get brave and export the matching MagnaRAM, TurboLoad, etc files from the Registry. Then delete them.
 
I'm not sure what you've saying, "This programme appears to have overwritten the relevant system file's instruction line to allow the Operating System's "Shell" to load. In your case the shell needed is obviously Windows and, without the necessary command, it doesn't know what should be loaded.

Should I reload Windows 98 from another CD I have?

As I'm new to using Experts-Exchange, would this method be correct for adding comments to you?
0
 
LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 8013952
Morris1

What I was referring to was on the assumption that your boot sequence was loading the Boot Menu ie. the DOS choices to continue to Load Normal, Safe Mode, Logged etc.

The file I was referring to was MSDOS.SYS. and the line forcing this Boot Menu would have probably been the last line. To view yours in NotePad you would have had to first remove the "Read-Only" attribute by Right-clicking and selecting "Properties" then hold the Shift key, Right click > Open with > Notepad (Ensuring that the checkmark in "Always open this file type... was removed first).

My MSDOS.SYS looks like this:
-----------------------------
[Paths]
WinDir=C:\WINDOWS
WinBootDir=C:\WINDOWS
HostWinBootDrv=C
UninstallDir=C:\

[Options]
BootMulti=1
BootGUI=1
DoubleBuffer=1
AutoScan=1
WinVer=4.10.2222
;
;The following lines are required for compatibility with other programs.
;Do not remove them (MSDOS.SYS needs to be >1024 bytes).
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxa
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxb
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxc
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxd
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxe
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxf
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxg
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxh
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxi
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxj
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxk
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxl
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxm
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxn
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxo
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxp
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxq
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxr
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxs
BootMenu=0
-----------------------------

The final line "BootMenu=1" is the only thing requiring editing to enable or disable the Boot Menu. To enable it, change the zero to a 1, and vice versa.

Obviously this isn't the root of the problem here and I suspect it goes much deeper to the fact that your swap file is compressed and not being recognised in the absence of essential files installed by the programme which has taken over the handling of the compressed area of your hard disk created by that same programme.

It was for this reason that I had looked at attempting to reinstall the programme fully and then uninstall it properly in case it left your swap file completely unmanaged and therefore unusable.  It would appear, however, that this is the scenario you have now reached.

I mentioned something earlier and I'm not sure if you tried it.
"Have you tried searching your system for these files? Maybe they have been accidentally moved to the wrong folder".
My intention was to try and restore the MagnaRam programme to a functional state before uninstalling it so that the uninstall routine would hopefully restore your original settings.

IMPORTANT
---------
Please look at my very last paragraph before continuing here. Does this programme appear on you Start Menu, and if so, can you run it? If so, can you then disable it via user options?

Try this and see if the files (or indeed the "C:\Program Files\MagnaRam\" programme folder) do exist.  If so, move the files or programme folder (if necessary in full DOS) to the correct place where they are being sought during the boot process which leads to the error.  
If it boots after this, then attempt an uninstallation through Start > Settings > Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs and then reboot.

If the files/folder are truly missing, then verify the following setting:
Right-click on My Computer > System Properties > Performance Tab > Virtual Memory > "Let Windows manage my virtual memory settings".

If this doesn't work, then just go ahead and attempt an uninstallation through Start > Settings > Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs and then reboot. You have no choice and options are running out anyway. If the programme folder doesn't exist at all, then the uninstallation will obviously fail but this may give you details of any other files looked for, and where thay are supposed to be. (I am thinking here, that perhaps if only the files mentioned in the error are missing, then maybe you could create bogus ones to allow an ininstall - if you catch my drift).

If this doesn't work, boot to a Windows98 Boot floppy, insert your Win98 CD Rom, and do a "dirty installation" ie. right over your existing installation in the hope that it corrects any wrong or missing files.  This doesn't always work because the installation won't overwrite any existing files even though they may not be as they would be with a clean install, but it's worth a go.

Failing this, then use RegEdit to find and delete the Registry entries discussed above.

If the uninstall option works, then it was bjorndahlen who first suggested this action, and bear in mind that it was sramesh2k who first suggested the deletion of the .vxd Registry entries.

I found 3 web pages which tend to indicate a specific Registry entry at:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Vxd\MagnaRam

http://www.slawwwa.boom.ru/0S4mb.htm
http://kira-v.chat.ru/magnaram.htm
http://ntyouth.myrice.com/articles/vxd/vxd.html

Unfortunately the first 2 are Russian and the last is Chinese. Maybe you know a Russian or Chinese person to translate?  As you will see, one of the Russian ones lists the registry settings which may actually be a way of spoofing the Registry to use a cracked version. I don't know about this, and I am NOT sure what will happen if you delete the final "MagnaRam" sub key (the folder in the left pane of RegEdit) so PLEASE ONLY DO THIS AS A LAST RESORT.

There is, however, one interesting an apparently important bit of info which tends to suggest that the programme itself has "User Options" to disable it.

I hope something works
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Author Comment

by:Morris1
ID: 8809497
Got, lot of good answers, quickly. I stayed away from deleting these items from the Registry, as I was very unfamiliar with using it. Felt, very safe with BillDL's answer and comments, but after much time away from this, I finally need to delete these in the Registry. Now I have a new problem, with the start-up it goes to the BIOS set-up. I don't need to do anything here, but to save and on it goes without getting the previous errors. Would a low battery be the problem?
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 8811168
Morris1, There is a strong probability that this COULD be the problem.  Your computer seems to be identifying the hardware to the extent that all you have to do is confirm that it has figured this out correctly.

Replacing the battery SHOULD be easy, but make sure that it isn't one of the coin-cell ones that's actually soldered into the clip holding it.  There are a lot that resemble the standard removeable ones, but look for tell-tale dimples on the part of the clip that holds the battery down.  Often this is the result of it being soldered on.  If it doesn't come out VERY easily, then have another look to make sure before forcing it.  Make sure you know exactly the type of battery and double-check that the voltage is the same.  Most are pretty universal model numbers available in many outlets.

This action would normally drain the trickle charge from the small memory area that holds the CMOS settings, but I suspect that these are being lost anyway.  Once your system has booted, the motherboard sustains this trickle charge to hold the settings in memory until the machine is powered off.  I HAVE managed to change several batteries VERY quickly and retain the settings before the CMOS memory was lost, but I had to be really fast.

I think that you should have a go at this and reckon that there isn't much to lose by doing so.  Let me know how it goes.
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