Not sure which particular forum this question is best suited to, so I'm defaulting to this one.
I have been trying to install NASA World Wind on my computer for the past few days, but I keep getting the following message:
16 bit MS-DOS Subsystem
The NTVDM CPU has encountered an illegal instruction.
CS:0544 IP:0119 OP:65 63 74 20 61 Choose 'Close' to terminate the application.
The only variation in the error message is that sometimes the CS:0544 shows up as CS:054a, CS:054e, and one other letter (can't find my notes about that one).
I posted the issue at the Installation sub-forum of the World Wind site, and the consensus there seemed to be that it was a spyware problem. Spybot S&D and AdAware scans come back clean, though, and I did a clean installation of the OS again over the weekend (Win XP Home). I tried installing World Wind again as soon as I'd reinstalled ZA firewall, AVG, Spyware Blaster, Spyware Guard, Spybot S&D and AdAware, but I'm getting the same message again, so unless there's inherent spyware within those programs, I don't think spyware is the issue.
In doing some research about NTVDM errors, I've found a number of references about them somehow relating to DOS. I seem to recall somewhere that DOS and NTFS don't coexist (?), and as I have my computer formatted as/with/to (don't know which preposition to use!) NTFS, I'm wondering if that's at the root of my problem.
According to Microsoft's topic at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314106/EN-US/, my NTVDM subsystem is running properly, but I don't really know what to make of the rest of the page there. It says, "This means that Windows does not support 16-bit programs that require unrestricted access to hardware. If your program requires this, your program will not work in Windows NT, Windows 2000, or Windows XP."
I know other people who have successfully installed World Wind on their XP systems, though...
Does anyone have any suggestions as to what the problem might be and if/how I might be able to fix it?
NT operating systems (NT.x, 2K, XP, 2K3) do not use DOS but can run it (mostly) as they would run any other application. However, since DOS apps are known to do some strange things, the NT systems protect themselves by creating a VDM (virtual DOS machine) in memory and running the app in that segment of memory with protective walls around the area so nothing inside can really get out and trash the PC. The VDM is designed to look exactly like an older OS version to the DOS app.
NT also does not allow any program to make direct demands on hardware but has a HAL (hardware abstraction layer - a sort of utility) that intercepts all hardware calls, figures out what they want to do, and does whatever in a manner that is safe to the OS. Some older 16bit apps, mostly games, did things to the hardware that weren't really legal in order to work around limitations of older hardware and many of these are either mis-interpreted by the HAL or deemed to be dangerous so the action is not carried out. Often you can see this as a 16bit app crashing when in fact it is just the main OS protecting itself.
Worldwind is a pure 32bit application so should not need to build an NTVDM to run but it is possible that part of the install routine needs one. If so and given the problems you are having, you may be running into a situation that we see from time to time but really don't know a cause for - malformed autoexec.nt or config.nt files (what XP uses when NTVDM starts and looks for autoexec.bat and config.sys).
Follow the instructions Here for fixing the problem.
Note that I have Worldwind on my XP machines at home and it does fine. Won't run on my laptop at but that's because my video subsystem can't handle the load and I don't intend to replace video on a company laptop out of my pocket.
I'm trying to work my way through the MS fix (at the link you provided, Newt). I went through steps 1-4, but still got the same error message when I tried to install WorldWind after that, so I've proceeded to part 2.
When I create the Notepad files and save them, they're automatically assigned the extension '.txt'. When the instructions say to call the files 'config.nt' and 'autoexec.nt', do they mean 'config.nt.txt' and 'autoexec.nt.txt'? I don't see any way to change the default file type from txt to nt.
Also, in the instructions in step 11, is that the number 1 preceding the 'h' in those three lines, or an uncapitalized letter 'L'?
Lastly (at least for right now!), where is the %SYSTEMROOT% folder located? I see a System32 folder in my Windows folder in Explorer, but no SYSTEMROOT. Can't even find a SYSTEMROOT folder when I run a search for it.
I set a system restore point before I started messing with this, and did a system backup to my external HDD just in case. I won't do anything else until I get some feedback here! Thanks.
I don't see any way to change the default file type from txt to nt.
Just right-click the file in explorer and rename it from autoexec.txt to autoexec.nt and the same for config.txt. That will take care of it for you.
%systemroot% is the folder you run windows from. Since it can be named Windows or WINNT (or rubber-ducky) depending on how you are set up and can be on pretty much any drive, that naming is used. If you need to make sure where it is on your PC, open a cmd prompt and key in cd %systemroot% (cd = change directory) and press ENTER. You will be taken to the proper folder on your PC.
lh = lower case letter L and lower case letter H. It instructs the PC to Load High the following stuff indicating it needs to be placed in upper memory.
I can see how those instructions can easily cause some confusion. They do assume some knowledge that lots of folks won't have but the geek who wrote it probably thought it made perfect sense to everybody. I run into the same thing when I try to write instructions at times.
When I go to paste my 'config.nt' file into the system32 folder, I get a popup asking me if I want to replace the existing file (2.51 KB, created 7/21/01) with the new one (mine, which is only 63 bytes in size). Do I really want to do that? [I assume I'm going to encounter the same thing when I try to paste my new autoexec.nt file there, too.]
Also, would you please verify for me that the bottom line in the autoexec.nt file I'm creating is "SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 P330 T3"? (Following the letter 'D', that's a number 1, not another lower case 'L', is that right?)
Yes you do want to replace the existing (and busted) files. On the off chance that some app you've installed has made changes, rename the old ones first so it does not get destroyed and then open the renamed old one with wordpad and copy the contents to a reply here. If any of the contents looks like it needs to be added to your new file, we can tell you what and how. Something like autoexec.old and config.old would do nicely.
Yes that is a number one after "D" rather than another lower case letter.
I renamed the old config and autoexec files, and went ahead and copied/pasted the new ones in the Windows\system32 folder. When I rebooted the computer, a little "Windows Installer" screen popped up, saying something about my Dell Resource CD, and a progress bar indicated that the computer was trying to do something - shortly thereafter I got an error message (Error 1706 I think) to the effect that something couldn't be found.
The CD I'd originally put in when I started this fix was my Windows XP Home CD, not my Dell Resource CD - and I took even that one out last night, when I had to interrupt my work here. Should I be putting the Dell Resource CD and rebooting before I do anything else?
Ignore the above event logs - I rebooted the computer with my Dell Resource CD in the drive. First time around, I got a message saying, "RCD.MSI file not found", then a message saying, "Warning 1909. Could not create shortcut Dell Resource CD.lnk. Verify that the destination folder exists and that you can access it." I clicked on OK or cancel, whichever it was that worked to get rid of the screen, rebooted, and this time the computer came up with no more of those messages (event log shows no warnings at all for this run).
Tried reinstalling WindWorld again - same error message. I will now go on to step 3 of the suggested fix.
Copied and pasted the autoexec and config files from the repair folder to the system32 folder, rebooted, but still get the same error message when I try installing WindWorld.
Any other suggestions? Maybe it's time for me to call Dell...
Last edited by rebecca; 30th October 2005 at 18:41.
Reason: additional info
Just an update here - I spent an hour and a half on the phone with Dell. Tech support had me try:
1) lowering my screen resolution and hardware acceleration settings
2) installing WorldWind in safe mode
3) installing .NET runtime environment and DirectX runtime (as per the Notes at the World Wind site)
My video card, according to the list at the WorldWind site, is among those reported to work with World Wind, albeit with the following stipulation:
"ATI RADEON X300: ok, BUT, program will not run in 800x600 resolution. Must step up to at least 1024x768. Note that WorldWind runs fine at 800x600 on my RADEON X300 SE" [I have the RADEON X300 SE]
Sadly, I'm still getting the exact same error message when I try installing World Wind. Tech support basically told me there's no info on any work-arounds or patches for this, and tried to end the conversation with "Sorry ma'am, it doesn't look like we can help you." I told the guy two of the main reasons I bought this new computer was so that I could finally use high-speed internet and run World Wind! I'm really disappointed about already having encountered a glitch in this system, especially after all the troubles I had with my last Dell (combination of hardware issues and crappy OS [WinME])! Anyway, the tech support guy either took pity on me or just got so frustrated about being unable to get me off the phone that he finally told me what I wanted to hear: said he'll do some research and get back to me. Here's hoping...
You will first need your Dell resource cd in you drive. Create a folder on your hard drive Called "Dell" (without the quotes). Open your search tool from the start icon. Search all your drives for rcd.msi. Once the file is located copy it into the folder you created. Then search again for data1.msi Once you find this file copy it into the same folder. If you are not sure which one to copy if there is more than one, hover your mouse over the file and the location should be the cd drive letter something like this "Eell Install" The path that will be displayed by the search will look something like this "C:\Documents and Settings\Name\local Settings\Application Data\ETC ETC. When actually the file is on the cd hidden.
You will need to do both files before continuing As after the .MSI file it may ask for the other but if it is all ready in the folder it should continue without prompting.
Once you have done this, when prompted for this RDC.MSI point to the folder you created and that should be that.