Why does my computer tell me “Windows registry or System.INI no longer exists. Then it says: C:\Progra~1\Symantec\symevnt.386”


Screen froze so did hard shutdown. During re-boot, rec'd msg saying that the device file to run Windows had been deleted. Windows registry or System.INI no longer exists. Then it says: C:\Progra~1\Symantec\symevnt.386

I didn't delete anything. I just hit the power button. You can see in My Computer that all files are there but I can't run them. How do I restore this? And, can it be fixed without running the original Microsoft startup disk? thx!


This question was answered on November 10, 2004. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

1) what were you doing when your computer froze?

Below is an explanation of what might have happened

This error message can occur for either of the following reasons:

• A Windows virtual device driver (VxD) referenced in the System.ini file or registry is missing or damaged

• One of the StaticVxD values in the registry contains invalid data For example, the value is blank or contains only spaces In this case, the missing device driver is not named in the error message

Since your using Windows 95 try the following:

WARNING: Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor can be solved Use Registry Editor at your own risk

For information about how to edit the registry, view the "Changing Keys And Values" Help topic in Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) or the "Add and Delete Information in the Registry" and "Edit Registry Data" Help topics in Regedt32.exe Note that you should back up the registry before you edit it

To resolve this problem, follow each step below until the error no longer occurs:

1 If you have recently removed a program or component, reinstall the program or component, then run the uninstall tool if one is available If no uninstall tool is available for the program or component, contact the manufacturer to obtain instructions on uninstalling

2 If the missing device driver has a .386 extension, disable the line referring to this device driver in the System.ini file by placing a semicolon (;) at the beginning of the line For example, if the line referencing the missing device driver reads


change the line to read


3 If the missing device driver has a .vxd extension, it is a driver designed for use with Windows 95 or Windows 98 and is referenced in the registry In most cases, a program or component with drivers designed for use with Windows 95 or Windows 98 will also be listed in the Add/Remove Programs tool in Control Panel Following the instructions in step 1 should correct the problem

Use the following syntax to extract a file from a known cabinet file:

extract <cabinet> <filename> /l <destination>

For example, to extract the Windows 95 Unidrv.dll file from the Win95_10.cab file on a disk in drive A to the Windows\System folder on drive C, use the following command:

extract a:\win95_10.cab unidrv.dll /l c:\windows\system

4 If a specific device driver is not named in the error message, one of the StaticVxD values in the registry is probably blank or contains only spaces The StaticVxD values are located in the registry keys below the following key:


Use Registry Editor to locate and delete any StaticVxD value in the registry that contains invalid data, is blank, or contains only spaces

When Windows starts, the System.ini file and the registry are read to obtain a list of device drivers to load When Windows cannot locate a virtual device driver that it is attempting to load, an error message is generated

Virtual device drivers are files required by various programs to communicate with your computer's hardware

The following sample registry key contains a StaticVxD value:


The data for this StaticVxD value is "*COMBUFF" (without the quotation marks; the quotation marks appear in Registry Editor but are not part of the VxD name) The asterisk (*) preceding the VxD name indicates that the VxD is internal to the Vmm32.vxd file If the VxD referenced by the StaticVxD value is not internal to the Vmm32.vxd file, its name is not preceded by an asterisk and typically has a .vxd extension

Good Luck!

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Posted by julie of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on November 10, 2004