NTVDM encountered a hard error on Windows 2003 SP2 after BackupExec 2010 Installation

Hi all,

Server OS : Microsoft Windows [Version 5.2.3790]

Here is the process we followed

BackupExec 12.5. Reboot
Removed SQL 2000 MSDE. Reboot
Installed BackupExec 2010 with SQL 2005 Express. REboot

* Tested a backup and it was successful.

Now we have other applications that now encounter the error below.

We have gone through the link below "Troubleshooting NTVDM and WOW Startup Errors"
with no success.

Any 16 Bit application will give this error now.

command.com, sysedit.exe, our scripts etc...

Any ideas are welcome as Google is not very friend with this error.

Thanks guys,

LVL 30
Brad HoweDevOps ManagerAsked:
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Check your Group Policy and make sure that Computer
Configuration/Administrative Templates/Windows Components "Prevent access to
16-bit applications" is set to Disabled.  Also check the registry and make
sure that the DWORD
value HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\WOW\DisallowedPolicyDefault is
set to 0.

What other apps are having this problem? Have you changed permissions on anything?  Do these apps run as services?  If so do the service accounts have proper permissions?


i am not sure if it helps but:




by the way jorlando's solution looks good from my point of view
Brad HoweDevOps ManagerAuthor Commented:

jorlando66 - Permissions were not changed. As mentioned on the process we followed above.

GPO and Registry are set correctly.

Read the post. command.com, sysedit.exe are 16Bit MS appliactions - read the support troubleshooting steps.

This is a not an account issue, It happens with domain admin, local admin, local user etc..

ByteSleuth = Thank you, I will take a look and let you know.

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I did read your link wich you used to troubleshoot, but I read from bottom up and stopped as it wasnt written for 2003 server.

Good luck.

Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
Brad HoweDevOps ManagerAuthor Commented:
I know that too :) 2000 and 2003 are similar as they are built on the same framwork.

Hopefully i can figure it out and post a solution for the future users.

- Hades666
Brad HoweDevOps ManagerAuthor Commented:
The matter has been resolved. The problem was caused by an entry in the registry at:


The VDD RegKey had an incorrect value in it pointing to a non-existant dll removed when we uninstalled the previous Symantec Backup Exec. This somehow caused the NTVDM to fail without an error message highlighting the fact that the file could not be found when the system tried to run it for the VDD value.

Hopefully this key will help others.


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Curt HuffVice PresidentCommented:
Bless you!  For me it was just after uninstalling Symantec Antivirus.  THANKS!
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