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VMM32.VXD missing/unable to load

ballinbuck asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-28
I formatted my hardrive and put Windows 98 SE on.  It loaded fine and I put in the product key and everything.  Then when it rebooted after initial installation setup it sais,

 "Windows protection error.  You need to restart your computer.
C:\WINDOWS\system\vmm32.vxd:  Missing/unable to load."

I did my research and found a suggestion, however it didn't work because it didnt apply to me because I don't have a Umax scanner.  It is known that the Umaxis11.386 file causes this.  I went ahead and tried the steps for this problem outlined here, but it didnt help because I dont have that file:

I have formatted the hardrive and installed Windows 98 SE twice and can't shake this problem.  I am able to boot to Safe Mode and made a startup disk from there.
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OK I am having trouble following your steps.  I got to the point where I  used a functional computer downloaded the blah.zip and extracted the files to my floppy.  After that you have written:

"Unzip to to the floppy disk, and then double-click the file BLA.EXE created on the floppy.
Use the File menu and select "Open".
Make sure that you Browse to a:\bootlog.txt rather than that computer's c:\bootlog.txt
Click "OK" and just ignore the message about how to create a new bootlog.txt file.

It will load the contents of the file in the main window.  Click in the box "Show Failures".  This will filter out the results, and then allow you to do a FIle > Save As, and copy the file by any name to your floppy.

Open the .txt file in NotePad and copy the contents.  Paste them here for us to inspect."

Am I supposed to do all of this on the functional computer that?  Or am I supposed to take the floppy out of the functional computer and insert into the computer with the problems and do those steps in safe mode?

Is the VMM32.VXD file missing, or not loading?  Is there anything in the CONFIG.SYS file that might prevent it from loading?  You can try disabling the CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files from the System Configuration Utility (msconfig).  They aren't needed to start Windows.

To see a list of all the files included in your vmm32.vxd file use regedit.exe and go to the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ System \ CurrentControlSet \ Control \ VMM32Files. All files listed in the right side of the display are within your system's personalized copy of vmm32.vxd.

For more information about the VMM32.VXD file use the following link:



I unplugged my ZIP driver and took out the ethernet card and the computer booted right up and finished the installation.  I then plugged the zip back in after that and it works fine.  However I need to find some drivers.  I'm having trouble finding the driver for my Riptide Sound Card Modem Combo.  The model on it is 90079.  I found a few that claim to be it, but they arent working.  It is an HP Pavilion 6470z.  If anyone knows where a working driver for the sound/modem card it would be great.  I will award the points to the person that helped the most with my original problem unless someone can get me the working driver. Also, when I go to Add New hardware, it lists that I dont have the drivers for these three things:
PCI Communication Device
PCI Input Controller
PCI Multimedia Audio Device
I'm guessing the last one is the sound/modem card.  Is the first one also pointing to the sound/modem card?  What is the middle one?


Thanks for all the help... I think i found the right driver because my audio is playing.  However nothing is coming out of the speakers yet.  I dont know, oh well.  Thanks
>>However nothing is coming out of the speakers yet.<<

Sometimes you can plug the wire in the wrong hole. I still do that to this day, I can never see
those tiny images and going with the color "green" sometimes can fool you cause the "green"
isn't actually green.


Sorry for the delay.  The BLA.EXE program is just what it says, ie. A Bootlog.Txt Analyzer.  So, it doesn't matter what computer you use, because you are reading a bootlog.txt saved from the affected computer.  That was the reason for keeping everything on the floppy and directing the program to open only the .txt file on the floppy.

I see that caza13's linked page could have saved me from typing such a full explanation about the file vmm32.vxd.  Oh well, at least it was in my own words.

I see also that unplugging peripherals and cards as I suggested has now allowed you to complete your installation.

Here's some suggestions for audio problems:


If your Bass and Treble controls don't work, then the patch on this page may help:




Here's HP's instructions for restoring original drivers:

Restoring software and drivers in Windows 98 and Me  
Performing the following steps will restore a single program or device driver:

Start Windows and place the last recovery disc into the top CD/DVD drive.
A Driver and Application Recovery window appears.
Click either the Applications or Device Drivers tab depending on what is to be recovered.
Select a program or driver from the list.
Click OK and the driver or program is automatically be restored.
An Application Recovery screen appears after the software is fully recovered.
Click Continue to recover another application, click Restart to restart the computer, or click Quit to end.

Here's the Pavilion Riptide Audio/Modem Update for North American Countries (date: 2000-06-08  Version  4.17  3.06 MB):


Riptide Audio/Modem ComboCard Update
Why do you need it?
This Patch fixes quite a few issues with the Riptide Modem / Audio Card and contains the Riptide Audio Driver and the Modem Driver - North America Only.
For more information ( http://h20015.www2.hp.com/nav/sitedirector?pageType=doc&td=personal_computing&docName=bph04990&lc=en)


Hopefully this will work now.

Turning off intergrated devices is also helpful in resolving this problem.
run the bear minimum for cmos configuration. Then once the problem is gone turn on the devices 1 at a time until you find the offender.

I was having similar problems with an old Compaq Presario laptop. It turned out the floopy drive was bad - first clue was when it would not make a startup disk. Then I kept getting the C:\WINDOWS\system\vmm32.vxd:  Missing/unable to load." message.

By disabling all peripheral devices I was able to get the computer to finish the installation and boot properly. Now all are re-enabled except for the floopy drive, and things seem ok.

Without a floopy drive you will be a bit screwed if you ever need to boot to a boot floopy.

If the file c:\windows\system\iosubsys\HSFLOP.PDR is missing, then that could be your problem with the floopy drive, LeeJolly.  Extract the file from your Windows 98 CD to that folder from a DOS box using the command:

EXTRACT  /A   x:\win98\BASE4.CAB   HSFLOP.PDR   /L   c:\windows\system\iosubsys

Or use Start > Run > and type SFC > click "OK"
Extract a single file.
It's in the .cab file WIN98_51.CAB in the "win98" folder on a Windows 98 SE CD.

By the way, this question is now closed, and has been for a while.

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