Trying to install Windows Me, from original CD - it has worked before, no problems, and please don't ask me why I want to mess around with Me still - but every time, after it goes through the initial CD setup process, it hangs on the intro screen when it's supposed to boot from the hard disk.
If I leave it for ten minutes or more, it spits an error message about how VMM32.VXD is not found or damaged.
I can't get past that.
I'm just wondering what does that mean? What should I do?
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Well, if you must and must and must know, mainly I just want to show my father the OS from his first computer again, and to have some nostalgia for those days.
Besides, I like to play with older systems too, and I thought I might also have some fun with very old DOS games that I haven't touched in years.
So, see, Windows Me can be much, much better than Windows 7 or 8 for SOME things...
Now, do you know anything about my predicament, please?
I've been battling that damn CD installation, on and off, for like 5-6 days now, formatting in all kinds of ways, and always seeing "Cannot start Windows because VMM32.VXD was not found or is damaged. You need to run the setup program again to install VMM32.VXD."
I thought it was the hard-drive, but it won't install on the extended partition, either. So, either a lot of separately-spread-out sectors are defective, or it's just the computer that won't allow Me to be installed. (Maybe Dell built it like that.)
DOS 6.22 won't install, either, by the way. It always gives an error message at 4%.
Do you think it's the HDD?
Oh, and I just don't like Linux, or Mac OS for that matter. (I've seen UNIX, too, at some point, at some university, and I truly hated that, big time.) I never played much with these other operating systems, and to me they just seem cumbersome. Like eating soup with a fork. I just don't like anything but Microsoft OSs. I'm sorry, it's probably wrong, but I don't want Linux. (Or any other systems but Windows.)
No offense, I hope.
What are the specs of this PC? CPU, memory, etc,etc.
Nope, no scratches. CD is fine, I have used it before with success on other computers, and since then it has been stored properly in its original packaging.
Me should install on this computer. It's powerful enough for XP, no problem. But I think Dell might have messed with the hardware to only install what they originally installed on it.
Processor is Pentium 4, 2.6 GHz, 512 MB RAM, and I don't know what else you might want to know. You don't need to know the video card, or anything like that, do you?
EDIT: Oh, by the way, I made a couple of attempts to install Windows 2000 since then, and Windows 2000 installs fine. (But it's not the Me CD at fault. It can't be.)
Under windows me a change was made were win.com was no longer called but vmm32.vxd via ios.sys.
Once installed via cd check bios and confirm first bootable device as hard drive.
Limit memory installed to 256 ... some systems maxed out at 384mb which triggered the error.
Confirming file exists and possible fix:
a) Restart pc using a startup disc or cd, choose dos prompt only as startup type
b) Type CD C:\ at the command prompt.
c) Type EDIT AUTOEXEC.BAT at the command prompt
d) After the Edit screen opens, find the line that begins with path= and type
c:\windows\system at the end of the line.
If you cannot find a line that starts with path=, type path=c:\windows\system on a new line.
e) Press ALT + S to save the AUTOEXEC.BAT file.
f) Press ALT + X to close the editor.
g) Restart the computer, the error should no longer appear.
Note: For technical support "But I think Dell" is of little help in diagnosing issues ...
Please be more specific : Make and Model.
Last edited by Bjs; 16th Dec 2013 at 04:42.
The PC is circa 2004? WinME came out in 2000?
Perhaps some of the drivers are incompatible, or some other issue with the Hardware.
Davexnet: You're probably right. Damn Dell and their picky hardware!
Thank you very much, man. It seemed like your solution would probably be the one. Especially because I opened autoexec.bat (in C:\) and it was totally empty. So I typed "path=c:\windows\system". And saved it. But, unfortunately, still no luck. Same VMM32.VXD error message after reboot.
You know, later, I went into c:\windows\system, and there is a VMM32.VXD file there, and a VMM32.VXD folder, too. So, WTF?
And why was autoexec.bat completely empty, when it wasn't supposed to?
(Oh, and I posted some specs above. Do they help? - Pentium 4, 2.6 GHz, 512 MB RAM)
Thanks again for a great effort to help me!
could not combine the VxDs into a monolithic file
Note: win95/98/98se/me ... as system restarts enter bios and set hard drive as the first and only bootable device, save, exit to restart system.
And, you know, Windows XP doesn't want to install either. No matter how I partition the hard-drive. It can't have bad sectors everywhere, to always give the same error message, can it?
Windows XP was working well as it was installed when I got the computer.
But now I can't install XP again, either, and it always spits out the same error message:
Windows copies files;
Starts actual install;
"Fatal error -- An error has been encountered that prevents setup from continuing. -- One of the components that windows needs to continue setup could not be installed. -- The parameter is incorrect."
(- just as explained here: http://www.pcreview.co.uk/forums/xp-install-fails-installation-failed-e-i386-asms-erro...-t3355722.html, but no beeping -)
Maybe it's the CD-RW drive, but it's the only one in the computer. I don't think I can use a USB external burner, can I?
EDIT: Oh, and the Me setup process (which includes a yellow-on-blue version of scandisk) inspects the partitions every time. I managed to see to it that it finds no errors, so I should be okay regarding that aspect.
Perhaps something about the partition setup.
I believe WinME should be in the first primary partiton, fat32 and less than 16GB.
Last edited by davexnet; 18th Dec 2013 at 18:38.
Oh, yes, I know. I used fdisk to partition the hard-drive (both as three partitions and as one partition), made the correct partition active, and then also used format to format them (as FAT32).
I'm quite positive (even though I don't consider myself an expert) that I did everything right the last several attempts.
I don't know why the older version of XP (on CDRW) won't install, but a newer version of XP (special, with 7 and Vista themes/wallpapers/screensavers, etc.) did install fine (from CDR).
Vista installs too. (If you're wondering how I could install Vista when I only have a CDRW drive, I have a CD with barebones Vista.)
So, several OSs worked. But DOS, Windows 98 and Me refused to install. Must be a hardware incompatibility. (Not hard-drive defects... Would I be correct to take this as a fact, considering all this?
(By the way, I did a low-level format on the hard-drives, too. Is that helpful with drives that are a little crazy?)
Sounds like at least some of your installation disks are modified from their original versions. That makes their functionality questionable.
You can download original versions of Dell install disks for most OS's. They will only run on a Dell pc, (motherboard), and SFAIK no Dell is limited in any way to a particular OS, other than hardware capability. You must start with a KNOWN GOOD install disk. Modified copies do NOT fit into this category.
DOS, 98, and ME are all essentially the same underlying OS, in particular they have limitations on hard drive capacity. Been a long time since I've installed dozens of those, (except for ME, which was avoided for the putrid crap that it was), but there were various utilities whose purpose was to mask the actual size of the drive.
I would start over with only ONE drive in the system, the smallest one you have, remove ALL partitions, and start over with ONE OS at a time. Unless an external utility is MANDATORY due to drive size, allow the OS in question to handle drive preparation. If it works, wipe the drive again and try the next one. Get EACH OS working, one at a time, before attempting to have multiple OS functioning. As a professional in the industry for many years, multiple OS on a single drive is a bad idea; such a project is one that I would leave money on the table and walk away from.
The low-level format, from the correct manufacturer's disk and using the correct parameters for the particular drive model, can be useful for a questionable drive and IF USED CORRECTLY, will do no harm. Used with the wrong parameters they can produce an unusable drive. Haven't had a need to use this function in over a decade.
Thanks for the info on the low-level formatting. (It seems to be doing good, by the way. I haven't seen any more boot errors regarding the second, larger drive since doing it.)
Well, I was generally using proper versions to install the OSs. DOS came on three floppy disks, and 98, Me, 2000 and XP all had their non-modified CDs.
I actually started with using a modified version of XP solely and only because the straight, original version was not working.
And I gave Vista a try, too, because originally I thought "why not dual-boot 2000 and Vista?" So I tried it. And then I realized that I still want XP. XP is great.
But the issue here is not my use of modified installation CDs.
Why even go there?
With all due respect, I'm not here to disagree with people and chat about what's worse, computer companies or modified versions of disks. If I'm using these modified versions of disks (and not for the first time, on my own,) it's because they have been proven to work.
And they're certainly not the problem. I can attest to that.
The problems appeared way before. You must read the whole thread, please.
Yeah, I wouldn't have tried to install three OSs on one drive, ordinarily, either, but I decided I wanted three OSs now, and I only had two drives. So, at least one drive would have to contain two OSs unfortunately.
Besides, this way I can keep and use the new hard-drive I put in (- the one I low-formatted to try and get rid of all the small problems it had -) just for storage.
Finally, I should mention - because it seems people start questioning my methods like crazy - that this is not my good, primary computer! It's not my fifth computer, in order of usefulness, for that matter. I'm just using it to play around. (If I wanted, I could throw it away tomorrow, and not miss it.)
Alright, I'm going to try installing Me again, on a partition of under 16 GB (made properly by the Me boot disk, through fdisk and format) but on the second drive this time, after disabling the first drive (where all previous Me installations failed) in the BIOS.
Maybe there is something wrong with the first sectors of the first drive. (And I hope disabling it in the BIOS will not allow MBR and other essential information, for all OSs, to be written there anymore.)
If it still doesn't work, it's gotta be the Dell hardware.
Installations shouldn't fail in exactly the same way on two completely different drives, should they? For example, DOS installation stopped at 4% copying files. What are the chances it will stop in exactly the same spot again if I use another drive to install on?...
Thanks again for the replies, everybody!
Last edited by jeanpave; 19th Dec 2013 at 08:01.
Why don't you visit the Dell forums and ask them flat outright whether your unit supports Windows ME.
They may even have some further troubleshooting tips, etc, etc.
I did read the entire thread, I almost always do.
I questioned the usage of modified disks because decades of experience have shown me, without doubt, that this is a valid concern.
For just one example, a pressed disk is more likely to be readable on an older CD drive with a weak laser than a burned one. Also your statement that it "can't be the ME cd". Statements such as this are very often made in error, and lead to incorrect conclusions.
A modified disk may very well work, on many PC's, but not on some due to the modification, whereas a factory standard CD might work, due to being unmodified. With no idea who did the mods and what they are, they only absolutely certain fact is that it is different from an installation disk which is designed and built to work under almost any condition.
One other possibility is bad memory. I can absolutely verify that bad memory can cause a "failure to copy file" error during installation. If this determination was made while using a modified install CD, then it would NOT be verified. The explanation for the involvement of memory in the installation error is that the files are read from the CD, decompressed in RAM, and then written to the hard drive. There is a verification process using checksums which will give that error if what was written is not what it is supposed to be.
I would be very strongly of the opinion that the failures have absolutely nothing to do with the hardware being from Dell. Have never, ever had any similar problem and I've changed OS's on a crapload of Dell machines.
You could try the DOS install on the same drive attached to a completely different PC, and move it the the old Dell after install. Should work with no problem.Just make sure the hard drive parameters in the BIOS are identical on both PC.
Also, if you want to prevent a drive from being used, disconnect the data and power cables. Do not rely on a software selection to prevent this, make it absolutely impossible with no doubt. The BIOS menu can change without user input, there are often multiple ways to disable a drive, there is auto-detection, they can get reset to default values, etc. A drive with the data and power cables removed absolutely, positively cannot function.
There is certainty and there is guesswork. When you are dealing with a black box in the first place, remove as much guesswork as you possibly can. Most of the time somebody says "it can't be This", they are wrong. It may be very unlikely but not impossible. It is already not functioning the way it should, meaning you are already in the area of the unlikely but not impossible. Make whatever you can impossible to narrow down the search area.
So, you know, you're not the only one who says things with some solid backing behind him.
(But thanks for trying to lead me on the right path anyway.)
Okay, now I'm quite sure it's the stupid Dell CDRW drive. (It has that unique design of theirs, so I know it's Dell.)
Because for the Windows 98 CD, which works fine on 3-4 other computers I have, I tried with and without a 98 boot disk, and on both of the drives, and either of them partitioned with 1, 2 or 3 partitions, larger and smaller than 16 GB, and I always get "CDR101:Not ready reading drive F".
I'm sure the damn CD drive is very finicky.
No point in trying to install anything older than Windows 2000 on this PC, I'm sure.
I'd connect another CD drive, but I don't want to open another computer just to install 98/Me. To hell with it. If I really want it, I'll just run it in a XP-suited version of VMWare.
(Nothing's worth that much trouble. It's been like 3 weeks of trying this and trying that, in all my spare time. Screw Dell's damn special picky hardware!)
To close this conversation, I'm also going to mention that, by booting with a floppy disk, I do get messages like "Your CD-ROM is drive F", and I can go to F: and type "dir" and see the contents of the CD, including setup.exe, but as soon as I type "setup.exe" and hit Enter boom! "Not ready reading drive F -- Abort, Retry, Fail?"
Isn't that some disgusting piece of crap?!? And yes, I will blame Dell. Who else?
Last edited by jeanpave; 20th Dec 2013 at 01:18.