What is a windows protection errors and how can I fix them?

Question

During a boot-up of Win98 ( cold or Hot ) I'm recieving the following start-up error: " While initalizing NTKERN: Windows protection error, please reboot the system. " This hard drive at one time was a duel-boot system with Win98 on one drive and NTWKS 4.0 on another hard drive, with the startup files for both O/S's on the C: drive. I completly removed all of my O/S's with fdisk and reformated the C: drive. Also I have fdisk'd with the ext. /mbr to remove the boot record. I then reinstalled Win98 ( full copy ) on my C: drive, ran scandisk, and defrag, with no errors reported, but I will still recieve this error on occasion. After the error the system boots to the Safe-mode setting, and then I can restart my system in the normal mode and the system will boot-up just fine, with no errors reported. Since this error message is refering to the NT Kernel.exe file, I'm wondering if I still have some NTWKST boot-up files hanging around. If so how can I get rid of these. One thing I was considering was to change to a differant hard drive in my system ( I have 3 hard drives ) do you think this would be a good idea? Any advise would help.

Thank You

Answer

This question was answered on August 27, 1999. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

You most likely are suffering from the lingering effects of your dual boot configuration If you change the physical drive that you boot from, it should eliminate the error, but it won't fix the problem Your best bet to get rid of it would be to use fdisk to completely remove all partitions and start over.

In addition, the following information was found on the microsoft website, this should be useful, in solving your problem.

Troubleshooting Windows Protection Errors

The information in this article applies to:

Microsoft Windows 95

Microsoft Windows 98

Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition

SYMPTOMS

When you start Windows, you may receive either of the following error messages:

While initializing device <device name> Windows Protection Error

Windows Protection Error

CAUSE

A Windows Protection Error means that an error occurred loading a virtual device driver (VxD) before the desktop is loaded In many cases you can tell from the error message which VxD did not load, but in other cases you may not be able to determine which VxD caused the problem

Windows Protection Errors are generated when any of the following conditions occur:

A real-mode driver and a protected-mode driver are in conflict

The registry is damaged

The Win.com or Command.com file is infected with a virus or is damaged

A driver is being loaded from the System.ini file for which a protected-mode driver has already been initialized

There is a physical I/O or RAM address conflict

There are incorrect CMOS settings for a built-in peripheral device (such as cache settings, CPU timing, hard disks, and so on)

The Plug and Play feature of the computer's BIOS is not working correctly

The computer contains a malfunctioning system cache or memory

The computer's motherboard is not working properly

You installed Microsoft Office 97 and you are using the Novell Client 32 software.

RESOLUTION

To resolve a Windows Protection Error, try the following steps:

Start the computer in Safe mode If the error does not occur in Safe mode, see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

Windows 98:

ARTICLE-ID: Q188867

TITLE: Troubleshooting Windows 98 Startup Problems and Error Messages

(The above article is available at the end of this one)

Make sure that the computer's CMOS settings are correct For information about changing CMOS settings on your computer, please refer to the computer's documentation or manufacturer

Install a clean copy of Windows in an empty folder Choose the Custom installation option and do not let Setup detect the hardware in your computer Install only a mouse, a VGA video adapter, and a keyboard

If the error still occurs, it is most likely caused by faulty hardware

MORE INFORMATION

The VxD that is generating the error message can be any VxD--either a default installed VxD or a third-party .386 driver being loaded from the System.ini file If you do not know which driver is causing the error message, create a Bootlog.txt file and check to see which driver was the last driver initialized This is typically the driver causing the problem

NOTE: You may also receive a Windows Protection error message when you restart Windows 95 after installing a program or making a configuration change to your computer

The information in this article applies to:

Microsoft Windows 98

Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition

This article describes troubleshooting steps that may help you solve problems starting Windows 98 This information is also available in our Windows 98 Startup and Shutdown Troubleshooting Wizard We recommend using this wizard, but we have also created this text-based article for your convenience The Windows 98 Startup and Shutdown Troubleshooting Wizard is located on the following Microsoft Web page:

http://support.microsoft.com/support/tshoot/default.asp

SUMMARY

This article lists troubleshooting steps you can use if your computer stops responding (hangs), or you receive an error message, such as a fatal exception error message or an invalid VxD error message

This article describes troubleshooting steps using the System Information Utility (Msconfig.exe) After restarting your computer several times, this tool can help isolate a specific file or registry entry that is causing the problem Once the specific entry that is causing the problem is determined, you should edit the appropriate file or registry key to remove the entry and then return the System Configuration Utility to Normal Startup mode

For information about clean booting Windows 98 using the System Configuration Utility, please see the "Narrowing the Focus" section in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:

ARTICLE - ID: Q192926

TITLE : How to Perform Clean-Boot Troubleshooting for Windows 98

MORE INFORMATION

Start Windows 98 in Safe Mode

If Windows 98 does not start normally, try to start it in Safe mode Starting Windows 98 in Safe mode bypasses the current real-mode configuration and loads a minimal protected-mode configuration, disabling Windows 98 device drivers and using the standard VGA display adapter To start Windows 98 in Safe mode, restart your computer, press and hold down the CTRL key until the Windows 98 Startup menu appears, and then choose Safe Mode

If Windows 98 does not start in Safe mode, see the "Windows 98 Does Not Start in Safe Mode" section later in this article If Windows 98 does start in Safe mode, see the "Windows 98 Starts in Safe Mode" section later in this article

Windows 98 Does Not Start in Safe Mode

Any of the following conditions can cause Windows 98 not to start in Safe mode:

Your computer is infected with a virus For additional information about computer viruses, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

ARTICLE-ID: Q129972

TITLE : Description of Computer Viruses

Your computer's CMOS settings are not correct Check your computer's CMOS settings to make sure they are correct Note that you may need to contact the computer manufacturer to verify these settings

There is a hardware conflict These conflicts can include, but are not limited to, PCI BIOS settings, IRQ conflicts, redundant COM ports (for example, two COM1 ports, or an internal modem set to the same COM port as an existing serial port), and defective RAM chips

A setting in the Msdos.sys file needs to be changed (for example, the Logo setting should be set to zero) For additional information about the Msdos.sys file, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

ARTICLE-ID: Q118579

TITLE : Contents of the Windows Msdos.sys File

You have a compressed drive that is unable to mount a compressed volume (CVF) file For more information about how to troubleshoot DriveSpace issues, please see the following articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

ARTICLE-ID: Q130018

TITLE : Computer Caught in Reboot Loop After Using DriveSpace

ARTICLE-ID: Q133175

TITLE : Troubleshooting DriveSpace in Windows 95

If you are still unable to start Windows 98 in Safe mode, run the Windows Registry Checker (Scanreg.exe) tool as there may be a problem with the system registry To start Windows Registry Checker, restart your computer, press and hold CTRL, choose Command Prompt Only, type scanreg, and then press ENTER

For information about Windows Registry Checker, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

ARTICLE-ID: Q183887

TITLE : Description of the Windows Registry Checker Tool (Scanreg.exe)

If you are still unable to start Windows 98 in Safe mode after using Windows Registry Checker, install Windows 98 into a new, empty folder This step helps to establish whether the problem is related to a remnant of the previous operating system (such as a configuration setting) or a hardware problem

Windows 98 Starts in Safe Mode

If Windows 98 starts in Safe mode, step through the startup process to see if any devices do not load properly To do so, follow these steps:

Click Start, click Run, type msconfig in the Open box, and then click OK

Click Selective Startup

Try different boot options The following table lists several startup options The options are labeled Boot A, Boot B, Boot C To use a boot option, click the appropriate check boxes to select or clear them Follow the instructions below the table to determine the cause of your problem

Boot A Boot B Boot C

------------------------------------------------------------

Process Config.sys file Yes No Yes

Process Autoexec.bat file Yes No Yes

Process Winstart.bat (if available) Yes Yes No

Process System.ini file No Yes Yes

Process Win.ini file No Yes Yes

Load Startup Group items Yes Yes No

NOTE: The Msconfig tool cannot disable a file that has the read-only attribute, although it behaves as though it can To determine if the Msconfig tool has replaced the file you are attempting to disable with a copy of the file, text similar to the following text should appear at the beginning of the file:

rem

rem *** DO NOT EDIT THIS FILE! ***

rem

rem This file was created by the System Configuration Utility as

rem a placeholder for your AUTOEXEC.BAT file Your actual

rem AUTOEXEC.BAT file has been saved under the name AUTOEXEC.TSH.

rem

NOTE: If Windows 98 does not start normally under any of the following scenarios, see the "Troubleshooting Protected-Mode Driver Problems" section later in this article

First, try the Boot A option If Windows 98 does not start normally under these conditions, try the Boot B option If Windows 98 does start normally using the Boot A option, there is a problem in the System.ini or Win.ini file To find which line in the System.ini or Win.ini file is causing the problem, follow these steps:

Click Start, click Run, type msconfig in the Open box type, and then click OK

Click the Win.ini tab

Double-click the Windows folder

Click the load= and run= check boxes to remove the check marks

Click OK

When you are prompted to restart your computer, click Yes

If Windows 98 starts normally using the Boot B option, there is a problem with a driver or terminate-and-stay-resident (TSR) program being loaded from the Config.sys or Autoexec.bat file See the "Troubleshooting TSR Problems" section later in this article

If Windows 98 does not start normally with the Boot A or Boot B options, try the Boot C option If Windows 98 starts normally using the Boot C option, there is a problem with a program that is run during startup See the "Troubleshooting StartUp Folder Problems" section later in this article

If you are still unable to start Windows 98 normally, use the System File Checker tool to check for damaged or replaced system files To start System File Checker, click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, click System Information, and then click System File Checker on the Tools menu

For information about how to use System File Checker to extract a file, please see the "System File Checker Tool" section of the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

ARTICLE-ID: Q129605

TITLE : How to Extract Original Compressed Windows Files

For more information about System File Checker, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

ARTICLE-ID: Q185836

TITLE : Description of the System File Checker Tool (Sfc.exe)

If you are still unable to start Windows 98 normally, see the "Troubleshooting Protected-Mode Driver Problems" section later in this article

Troubleshooting StartUp Folder Problems:

The problem may be a result of a program that is run during startup To determine which program is causing the problem, follow these steps:

Click Start, click Run, type msconfig in the Open box, and then click OK

Click the Startup tab, and then click each check box to clear it

Click OK, and then restart your computer when you are prompted to do so

If the problem is resolved, follow these steps:

Click Start, click Run, type msconfig in the Open box, and then click OK

On the Startup tab, click the first check box in the list to select it

Click OK and then restart your computer when you are prompted to do so

If the problem is still resolved, repeat steps 1-3, but click the next check box in the list to select it When the problem returns, the last check box you selected is loading a program that is preventing Windows 98 to start normally Contact the program's manufacturer for further assistance

There may also be a problem with a TSR being loaded in the Winstart.bat file (if the Winstart.bat file exists) If the Process Winstart.bat File check box is available on the General tab in System Configuration Utility, click the check box to clear it, click OK, and then restart your computer

The Winstart.bat file is usually located in the Windows folder, and is used to load TSRs that are required only by Windows-based programs

Troubleshooting TSR Problems:

The problem may be a driver or TSR being loaded from the Config.sys or Autoexec.bat file To determine if this is the case, follow these steps:

Click Start, click Run, type msconfig in the Open box, and then click OK

Click Selective Startup, and then click the Process Autoexec.bat File check box to clear it

Click OK, and then restart your computer when you are prompted to do so

If the problem is resolved, the problem driver or TSR is being loaded from the Autoexec.bat file If the problem is not resolved, the problem driver or TSR is being loaded from the Config.sys file To determine which line in the Autoexec.bat or Config.sys file is loading the driver or TSR, follow these steps:

Click Start, click Run, type msconfig in the Open box, and then click OK

Click the Autoexec.bat or Config.sys tab, and then click the check boxes for all non-essential drivers and programs to clear them

Click OK, and then restart your computer when you are prompted to do so

If the problem is resolved, follow these steps:

Click Start, click Run, type msconfig in the Open box, and then click OK

On the Autoexec.bat or Config.sys tab, click the first check box in the list to select it

Click OK, and then restart your computer when you are prompted to do so

If the problem is still resolved, repeat steps 1-3, but click the next check box in the list to select it When the problem returns, the last check box you selected is loading the driver or TSR that is causing the problem Contact the manufacturer of the program for further assistance

If the problem is not resolved, run the Windows Registry Checker as there may be a problem with the system registry To start Windows Registry Checker, click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, click System Information, and then click Registry Checker on the Tools menu

Troubleshooting Protected-Mode Driver Problems:

The problem may be a Windows 98 protected-mode driver To determine if this is the case, follow these steps:

Click Start, click Run, type msconfig in the Open box, and then click OK

On the General Tab, click Advanced

Under Settings, click a check box to select it

Click OK, click OK again, and then restart your computer

If the problem is not resolved, repeat steps 1-4, but click a different check box to select it in step 3 When the problem is resolved, the last check box you selected is causing the problem For more information about advanced settings, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

ARTICLE-ID: Q181966

TITLE : System Configuration Utility Advanced Troubleshooting Settings

If the problem is not resolved, disable PCI bus IRQ steering in Windows To do so, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

ARTICLE-ID: Q182628

TITLE : How to Disable PCI Bus IRQ Steering in Windows

If the problem is not resolved, follow these steps to disable devices in Device Manager:

Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel

Double-click System

On the Device Manager tab, disable all devices under the following branches:

Display adapters

Hard disk controllers

Mouse

PCMCIA socket

SCSI controllers

Floppy disk controllers

Keyboard

Network adapters

Ports

Sound, video, and game controllers

To disable a device in Device Manager, follow these steps:

Double-click the branch containing the device you want, click the device, and then click Properties

On the General tab, click the Disable In This Hardware Profile check box to select it, and then click OK

Restart your computer

If the problem is resolved, enable the devices you disabled in step 3, and then verify that no devices are conflicting

NOTE: Enable devices in the following order:

COM ports

Hard disk controllers

Floppy disk controllers

Other devices

To enable a device and check for possible conflicts, follow these steps:

Double-click the branch containing the device you want, click the device, and then click Properties

On the General tab, click the Disable In This Hardware Profile check box to clear it

Click the Resources tab and verify that there are no conflicts listed under Conflicting Device List Note that the Resources tab does not appear for each device

Click OK, and then restart your computer

If the problem is not resolved, run the Automatic Skip Driver Agent tool to enable any device that has been disabled To start Automatic Skip Driver Agent, click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, click System Information, and then click Automatic Skip Driver Agent on the Tools menu

For information about how to use Automatic Skip Driver Agent, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

ARTICLE-ID : Q186588

TITLE : Description of the Automatic Skip Driver Agent (Asd.exe) Tool

If the problem is not resolved, check for a damaged static virtual device driver (VxD) by following these steps:

Restart your computer, press and hold down the CTRL key until the Windows 98 Startup menu appears, and then choose Step-By-Step Confirmation

Press Y at each prompt up to and including the "Load all Windows drivers?" prompt, and then press N to everything else Note that you should make a list of all the items trying to load after this point This prevents VxDs from loading and VxDs in the Windows\System\Vmm32 folder from overriding Windows internal VxDs (VxDs built into the Vmm32.vxd file)

Additional Notes

For information about known hardware issues, view the Hardware.txt file in the Windows folder

For additional troubleshooting assistance, view the Bootlog.txt file in the root folder The Bootlog.txt file lists the loading status of all real- mode and protected-mode drivers If Windows 98 does not start properly, the Bootlog.txt file lists the last driver that loaded successfully, and lists a "LoadFail" entry for each driver that failed to load before the problem occurred

NOTE: Some "LoadFail" entries in the Bootlog.txt file are normal entries For a listing of normal "LoadFail" entries in the Bootlog.txt file, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

ARTICLE-ID: Q127970

TITLE : Load Failures Listed in the Bootlog.txt File

Important: You can access the above information on the microsoft site at the following address: http://supprot.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q188/8/67.ASP, This will give you all the additional information that you might need or is specified in the article.

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Posted by Ken of Data Doctors on August 27, 1999