My Hard Drive?

Well on my hard drive I have Windows 98.  When I installed it a two years ago I put it on a FAT32 file system.  My hard drive now won't even boot up.  When booting up it will start to show the Win98 display.  Then, it will give me an error saying that the VMM32.vxd file is missing or corrupt.  Well I don't have a UMAX scanner or software for that.  I have made a .bat file to reset the VMM32 file also and that didn't help any.  The error I was getting and called Western Digital about they said that I will have to get a new hard drive.  Maybe a header was out?  When I start my computer and press F8 to get the boot up menu I can choose the dos prompt.  From there I can see a listing of my files.  I have copied a few files onto 3.5"'s and they worked.  But I guess I'm seeing the files displayed from the file allocation table.  I've hooked it up as a secondary drive.  When I go into my Windows XP I will go to Windows Explorer.  It won't show me anything on that disk though.  When I look at my Windows XP disk it will show me that it is a NTFS file system.  When I look at my 98 disk the space for the type of file system my software is on won't even be there.  There have been a couple times I've tried to do a scandisk.  However, when I woke up about eight hours later it was still on two percent.  I need to get the software off that computer if possible.  I don't know if Norton Ghost will do that or not.  I've had other people mention software but to use it I would have to go into Windows to work it.  In Windows I can't see any file or software.  At the Command Line not in Windows I can see my files.  They all might not be there.  I just need to see what I can do to get what I can.  I would appreciate any help I might be able to get.  And I do appreciate you spending the time needed to read this and hopefully be helpful with restoring some of this.  Thanks,

William RichardsonAsked:
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VMM32.vxd is a part of Win98 kernel. You may try to perform clear install of your Win98 (into another folder on the same disk) and then try to backup some data. But it seems that at least system registry is already lost. Also it seems to be a series of partition table errors. If you have Partition Magic try to run it just to see partitions info. If it will say that partition table is corrupted don't allow it reinitialize it. Run any DOS-based partition recovery software. Meybe it will help you. Norton Ghost will only copy your partition or hard disk, but it doesn't restore any data.

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VMM32.VXD is, like msa2003 said, a Windows System file which belongs in C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\.  It isn't just one file but really is several essential files all wrapped up into one and Windows NEEDS this file to start properly. When you install Windows, it figures out which files your system needs and packs them into it.  So, if you see something like "C:\Windows\System\vmm32.vxd (configmg.vxd)" this is OK. It just means that configmg.vxd is being used from inside vmm32.vxd.

What you CAN'T do is just find this file in your Windows CD's .CAB files and just extract it out into your Windows folders.  This won't work because it is just a basic shell.  This also means that not everybody's VMM32.VXD file is the same.

I don't know about the UMAX scanner software, but it obviously writes something into this file. I would just ignore this for now. (I take it that you found this info here:

If you look at your Windows directory, you will see a folder  C:\Windows\system\vmm32 . Any *.vxd file in this folder will be automatically loaded and used during Windows 98 startup.  The files in this folder take priority over same files inside vmm32.vxd, but I am not absolutely sure whether they can totally replace the single file vmm32.vxd.

To see what files are loaded from vmm32.vxd, you can look into your Registry at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\VMM32Files.
WARNING: DON'T even open ther registry unless you know EXACTLY what you are doing and don't change anything.  I have 43 different .vxd files in there and yours will be different. Some of the files are to do with the FAT file system which is why this file is needed for startup.  It looks like your vmm32.vxd file is corrupted.

I assume that you got the idea about restoring everything to your file from somebody's web page or from a book somewhere.  It is a fairly complicated process and there may be a possibility you have caused some further damage either to the Registry or to this file.  Because this procedure relies on you getting the necessary list of files from the Registry, if your registry is already damaged, you won't be able to restore the file properly.  I would avoid even trying this again for now.

What I would suggest is that you boot your computer into full DOS from a Boot Floppy which is designed for your operating system. Now, if you just install Windows from your CD right over the old installation, chances are that it won't update the file but, if you rename your "C:\Windows\System\VMM32.VXD" file as some other name like "C:\Windows\System\VMM32.OLD" BEFORE you reinstall Windows, then it should rewrite the file.

Go to the C:\Windows\System folder and see if VMM32.VXD is there.  Use the DOS Command:
DIR /S /P and you can see the files a page at a time.

The problem is that you may have to reinstall some of your other programmes again, but you can do this from within Windows once you can get your machine to boot up.  Your machine isn't working at the moment anyway, so this is the simplest solution I can see.

This link may be helpful:

Error Message: VMM32.VXD Is Required to Run Windows... - Q194679

This is only MY solution. If you wait in here, you will probably get a few more ideas and you can decide which one looks best for your abilities.  Meantime maybe you can find some other advice from Microsoft's Knowledgebase articles.
I meant to say, don't let Western Digital try to sell you a new hard disk.  Maybe there is something wrong with the disk, but they are sales people and won't even try to advise you of a way to try and fix this problem.

Check your Warranty BEFORE you are tempted to telephone them and, if they try and sell you a new disk, say "Why should I? If this disk had gone wrong after 2 years, then I surely don't intend to buy another Western Digital one".  Maybe they will send you a free one :-)

If you don't ask you won't get. Sometimes things like this work but mostly they don't.
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run the WD disk diagnostic program on the disk 
Well since you have another system running an OS that you can but this disk into that machine then use one of these to get your files back but intall onto the good disk that has a OS that is working.

Take look at these.


File Recovery is a data recovery program that supports the FAT 12/16/32 and NTFS file systems. The current version 3.x replaces the previous version 2.x, which is now over 6 years old.

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Tool to check and undelete partition
Works with the following partitions:
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EasyRecovery DataRecovery is a simple, yet powerful tool that recovers data that is lost, inaccessible or deleted. It's the ultimate do-it-yourself solution for nearly all causes of data loss (except physical hardware or system problems) where your hard drive and system are fully functional.

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GetDataBack for FAT
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Norton Utilities/SystemWorks
The Norton Protected Recycle Bin helps you recover deleted and overwritten files.
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Data Recovery
Fast File Undelete


File Recover 2000


File Restore
If you've deleted your data and you want to get it back, you need FileRestore.
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Disk Commander
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As a tool to 'UNDELETE' files that have been accidentaly deleted.
This feature is implemented for HPFS and NTFS only.


Emergency Undelete
I believe this is free
For Win2000 and NT may work on XP


Hard Drive Mechanic
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demo version:

Filerecovery for Windows
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A definite must for the PC guru! It will allow the user to perform all data recovery tasks associated with disks which are not physically damaged.

File Scavenge
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Undelete 3.0
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Restoration  (FREE)
For 9x/NT/2K/XP. Restore deleted files that are no longer in the Recycle Bin! When a file is deleted from your computer, its contents arent immediately destroyed. Its hard drive space is made available for use, but until that space is overwritten, your old data is usually intact. Restoration by Brian Kato recovers such files on either FAT or NTFS partitions. Only 406 KB (or 200 KB for XP or 2K), it fits easily on a floppy, or runs from your hard drive. Generally, the sooner you try to restore a file, the more successful youll be.

FinalData Data Recovery
FinalData Data Recovery Solution will recover files that have been lost by   quick formatting, FDISK, FAT damage, MBR damage or directory   destruction. It recovers data from FAT12/16/32, NTFS, and EXT2, EXT3.

Or Data Recovery Services
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ESS Data Recovery
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The Crazy One
Maybe it's a compressed drive???

Since you are able to boot to the DOS prompt I seriously doubt the hard drive is bad.  What I would recommend is to start the computer again and instead of pressing F8 and going to a dos prompt press F5 and it will load Windows 98 in safe mode.  If Windows '98 Fails to load in safe mode then your Windows '98 installation is corrupt, in that case you can re-run the setup.exe found on your Windows '98 CDROM.  I believe that if you re-install Windows '98 and keep it in the same directory as the originial installation it will actually "repair" the install and not remove any previous registry settings.  At least in safe mode you will be able to use Windows Explorer to copy your software anywhere you need it.

Windows XP is a little weird when adding disks, give a thanks to Microsoft for trying to play Big Brother, I've had to run NTFS conversion on my FAT32 disks before to get Windows XP to even read them  though Microsoft swears its backwards compatible.

For now the fastest and easiest way is to try and see if your Windows will load in safe mode.
Check this out.. it gives you the answer.
You can reference M.S. knowledge database article IDQ167889.
Database support OSR2.1


Is your operating system Windows 98 or Windows 98SE?  It definitely isn't Windows 95 OSR2 is it?
You did say that you didn't have a UMAX scanner or installed software for it, but have you EVER HAD a UMAX or other usb scanner installed on your system.

To my knowledge, Windows95 OSR2 requires the Windows usb supplement to be installed because anything after this has the usb components already built-in.

Have you tried to reinstall Windows over your existing installation as I suggested in the second comment to your question?
William RichardsonAuthor Commented:
Well I already have the diagnosis software from Western Digital.  I got a Code 0257 when I did the test.  I went into my Windows XP OS and had my Win98 as my secondary drive.  I went into Windows Explorer and saw both hard drives.  The first time I clicked on my Win98 disk it said "This drive needs to be formated first."  The second time I clicked on this drive I got the message "D:\ is not accessible.  The parameter is incorrect"  I might have to see if there is any software that can help me.  I've even tried to convert my FAT32 to NTFS but I couldn't do that either.
I have just looked back again at your original question. Am I correct in now understanding that you have:
1. ONE computer with 2 hard drives?  
2. And that you have
  (a)the primary master hard drive installed with Windows 98 and
  (b)the primary slave hard drive installed with Windows XP?


Was the Windows 98 Disk always alone in another computer and you have just put it into a Windows XP machine as a slave drive to test it?

Have you got around to trying to reinstall Windows 98 over it again?
here is the error code list for data guard
0257 is not listed, and they say to contact them,if the code is not listed
William RichardsonAuthor Commented:
I had my Western Digital with Win98 in a computer as a primary master.  I can't get anything up.  I've put it into my other system with my XP being the primary master and the Win98 being the primary slave.  With my XP disk I just formated the whole thing as an NTFS.  I don't have a FAT or FAT32 partition on it for my MBR.  Will that matter?
William RichardsonAuthor Commented:
The error code 0257 that I get from it you can find with the error codes with They have two different tables of codes. They have
Data Life Guard 10.0 Error Codes chart and then further down on the page they have
Data Life Guard 2.8 Error Codes chart.
On Data Life Guard 2.8 Error Codes chart is where 0257 is at.
OK, did you try the error correction, and then rerun the test?
use Data Lifeguard repair option for additional error correction. Please re-test the drive with Data Lifeguard.
William RichardsonAuthor Commented:
I had Data Lifegaurd 2.8 before.  I went back to Western Digital and downloaded 10.0  I am now getting the 103 error code.
William RichardsonAuthor Commented:
When I disconnect my primary master and only have my Western Digital (primary slave) for my hard drive when it starts to boot up it stops and shows

Pri Slave Hard Disk: S.M.A.R.T. Command Failed
Press F1 to Resume
Then that is another sign that the disk is defective.
The suggested resolutions all seem to have veered away from the original problem:

1. Computer booted until Windows logo showed, then issued  error message "VMM32.vxd" missing or corrupt
2. An attempt was made to reconstruct the VMM32.VXD file but it would appear to have beed an incomplete or flawed procedure
3. The Computer was still capable of booting to DOS and all folders and files were accessible
4. Scandisk was run and was still going after 8 hours. We don't know if it was set to automatically fix damaged areas and we don't know whether a backup was created in so doing. Scandisk was interrupted midway.
5. No efforts were made to do a dirty install over the existing operating system after renaming VMM32.VXD as suggested
6. The drive was then put into an XP NTFS machine as a primary slave drive but Windows XP was not able to see anything on the slave drive's FAT32 format
7. It is then apparent that from an error message"This drive needs to be formatted first".  
7. The hard drive is then subjected to several diagnostic checks and, presumably, attempts are made to repair some unknown damage.
8. The drive has now been formatted as NTFS using the Windows XP primary master.

It seems as if one problem has been piled on top of the last without trying the first and simplest thing - try a reinstall from a boot floppy.  I am not saying that it WOULD have worked, but the systematic approach has obviously gone out the window.  We will probably never know now if this issue could have been fixed by a reinstall.
Hello M1Bill,
Did you check out this link ?
You can reference M.S. knowledge database article IDQ167889.
Database support OSR2.1
I know you stated you did not have a umax scanner, however I does deal with the problem being masked as a umax driver problem.
Just checking...

William RichardsonAuthor Commented:
Well I have a full version on Win98.  At the dos prompt I can type in setup.exe.  It will start and do Microsoft Scandisk.  I'll get a check with Media descriptor.  But, that's all I'll get.  About 15 seconds later a message comes up "ScanDisk encountered a data error while reading the FAT on drive C."  It just says that these errors need to be repaired before continuing with setup.  I guess I can say that my hard drive is a little loud though too.  When it is trying to boot or when it is opening files in dos it is making this clicking noise.  What would be causing that.  I do appreciate your time.
You can try to use SETUP.EXE without Scandisk running automatically.  There are "switch" options to stop other things from running also.

Setup Options:  SETUP [/ie] [/im] [/is] [/iv] [/nr] [/T:tmpdir]

     /ie          Skip the Startup Disk screen.
     /im          Skip the check for low conventional memory.
     /is          Do not run ScanDisk.
     /iv          Do not display billboards.
     /nr          Skips the registry check.
     /T:tmpdir     Specifies the directory where Setup is to copy its temporary files.
               This directory must already exist, but any existing files in the directory
               will be deleted.

What I suggest, as a test, is that you first try the following command:

SETUP /is /nr

Let us know what happens.
Still comes across like the hardrive is damaged. The things you have post continually point to a defective hard disk.
Take this hard drive out and put into another machine and see if you still have problems with it. If so then get another hard drive.
Pri Slave Hard Disk: S.M.A.R.T. Command Failed
smart =self monitoring and reporting technology
the drive is telling you it is going bad
William RichardsonAuthor Commented:
Well I put in my Windows 98 disk.  At the command prompt I typed "setup /is /nr"  and it started Windows 98 Setup.  It said that it was preparing the Windows 98 Setup Wizard, which will guide you through the rest of the setup process.  But then I had a message pop up "ATTENTION: A serious disk error has occurred while writing to drive C."  I've retied but I'm getting the same error.
>>>Well I put in my Windows 98 disk.

What Disk the CD?

Did you attempt this install on the same hard drive that we have been discussing? If so why not accept that this disk has quit working? Have you tried installing on this disk in another machine? If not do so if you can. If you can't install and get a disk error than  there is no reason to pursue this the disk is dead.
Hello M1Bill,
Everything is pointing to a bad harddrive.  If you have an old harddrive that works try that one to determine that your procedures work. That will definitely indicate the drive is bad.
M1Bill, at this point I think you are beating a dead horse, replace the drive, and then set up windows, and you should be good
LucFEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
No comment has been added lately, so it's time to clean up this TA.
I will leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area that this question is:

Points split between msa2003 and BillDL

Please leave any comments here within the next seven days.


EE Cleanup Volunteer
Hey, Luc.  When did you start dedicating all your free time as a Cleanup Volunteer.  Your services are needed for "expert input", not for mopping up old questions that members haven't returned to.  Hope you still have enough time left to still do this as well.

I fully agree with your suggestion  :-)
LucFEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
Only spending time as a CV at the times QP is quiet ;-)
Thank you SpazMODic, and LucF
LucFEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
You're welcome ;-)
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