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NTVDM.EXE is not running.  Can't make use of 16 bit application

Posted on 2009-04-01
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I recently moved to a Vista Ultimate 32 bit machine.  I have most things working but my Programming Development is still having problems.  I use Clarion  6, which is a 16 bit developement environment.
The program runs, but I can't compile anything.
It just freezes and eventually gives an error.
It can either be
"ntvdm.exe is not responding" or
"ntvdm.exe has stopped working"

I've done a bit of research and ntvdm is a program that allows 16 bit applications to run on a 32 bit machine. Obviously I am in need of this.  
I'm looking at my process list in task manager and it is not there.  It appears to not be running.  I found the file in the System32 directory and tried to run it from there, but it made no difference. i.e. still didn't appear in process list and I still couldn't compile in the Clarion environment.

Could someone please help me sort this out.... or else I'm going to have to downgrade to an XP OS.
Cheers....
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Question by:obrienj
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Expert Comment

by:LeeTutor
ID: 24038267
Have you tried running in XP compatibility mode, and running as Administrator?
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Expert Comment

by:Adam Leinss
ID: 24038657
Or run a VM with Windows XP.
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Author Comment

by:obrienj
ID: 24039178
What do you mean running in XP compatibility mode?  

I do not wish to run a VM with Windows XP.  I was using VM before and it's pretty slow. Although that was on XP and only had 2GB of RAM.  Maybe it's better utilised in Vista?
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 24039260
Right click the shortcut for the program, select Properties, click on the Compatibility tab, and then put a check mark next to "Run this program using compatibility mode", and make sure the list box item for Windows XP is selected.
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Author Comment

by:obrienj
ID: 24039378
Okay, tried that.  Still the same problems.
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by:Adam Leinss
ID: 24039707
My last thought would be to try DOSBox: http://www.dosbox.com/
I used this on my dad's laptop to run EGAChess which was made in 1985 on XP.  Says it works on Vista as well.  Worth a shot before you downgrade.
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Author Comment

by:obrienj
ID: 24039744
There has to be something wrong with my setup.  The program runs fine on vista for other users of it.

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Expert Comment

by:LeeTutor
ID: 24039846
Well, it is probably something in the registry.  You could try creating a new one and copying the data as explained on this page:

http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/Help/769495bf-035c-4764-a538-c9b05c22001e1033.mspx
Windows Help and How-To:  Fix a corrupted user profile
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 24059014
obrienj, any feedback?
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Author Comment

by:obrienj
ID: 24059348
No, sorry.  I've been busy with other work for the last few days.  I don't see how removing/replacing my profile is going to help me.  It's something I don't really want to do.... and the machine is brand new anyway. i.e. the profile is new too.
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 24059390
You said:

>The program runs fine on vista for other users of it.

This suggests to me that it is something in your profile that is corrupted.  If you don't want to create a new profile yet, you may try just running chkdsk and see if that corrects the problem.
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Author Comment

by:obrienj
ID: 24059421
Sorry, you misunderstood.  What I meant was other users of the software..... rather than other profiles on this vista.
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 24059593
Are there Vista users of the software on your machine other than you that have no problem?  Even if not, it could still be a profile problem.  Or it could be interactions with other programs that the other successful Vista users of the software aren't subject to because they aren't using those other programs.  If there are other Vista users who have no problems with the software, then this suggests to me that it is not a problem with the software and it is not a problem with the Vista OS itself; it is something to do with the user, which COULD imply a profile problem.  Anyway, a chkdsk would be an easy (though time-consuming) way to see if the problem can be eliminated that way...
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Author Comment

by:obrienj
ID: 24059617
No, no other users on this machine.  Basically I put up a post on the softwares forum and no other users are reporting any problems with Vista... well, not in relation to this issue.

Okay, I will try running chkdsk, but it will be next week before I get the chance.
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Author Comment

by:obrienj
ID: 24206499
Just dawned on me the today to try and use the software in safe mode.  It works perfectly.
This would lead me to believe it's a software clash issue.

I'm having trouble narrowing it down to what software though...
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Accepted Solution

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LeeTutor earned 500 total points
ID: 24206587
it may be because of some conflict caused by startup programs (which do not run in Safe mode) or some driver that is not used in safe mode.  In Windows 98/ME/XP/Vista, you can choose which programs are run at startup by using the Microsoft Configuration utility:  click on the Start button, choose Run, type in MSCONFIG (doesn't need to be all capitals), click OK.  Choose the Startup tab, deselect programs to run at startup by removing the check mark.  In Windows 9x/ME, you may need to disable just about everything except Explorer, ScanRegistry and SysTray.  In Windows XP/Vista, just click on the button for Disable All. Reboot and see if the problem goes away.  If it does then re-enable the startup programs one (or a few) at a time, reboot, and when the problem occurs again, there is your culprit.  If you have a great number of apps to narrow down on in trying to track down the culprit, do it instead by dividing up the loading programs into successively smaller halves:  disable half of them; if the problem doesn't go away, then the offending app is within the other half, so divide that group into half; or if the problem does go away, then the disabled group contains the offender, so again narrow down by dividing in half.  

In Windows XP/Vista: If the problem continues to come up with all startup programs disabled, then it is probably a driver or service.  You can click on the Services tab in MSCONFIG, click on the button for Hide All Microsoft Services, leaving only third-party services displayed, then try turning them off in the same way you did for startup programs.  Finally, if third-party services are eliminated from being the cause of the problem, you could try narrowing down on Microsoft services in the same way.
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Author Comment

by:obrienj
ID: 24212886
Ya, I've been doing all that.  When all startup software is turned off (leaving services on), the problem does not occur.  
This means it is something in that list.   I went through them slowly turning them on until the problem arose.  I thought I had found the problem, but then the problem was occurring even when I turned that one off again.  Weird.  I had to stop searching as it was taking too much time.... having to restart every time etc.  
I'll have a look again today.
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Author Comment

by:obrienj
ID: 24213198
Okay, found the software causing the problems.

It appears to be the Fingerprint Reader Suite startup program.  

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