Win 98 question: vmm32.vxd missing/unable to load

I’ve had this problem since getting the computer a year or two ago, and no one’s been able to explain this yet… but reading other posts clued me in to the fact that there are some very computer literate straight dopers out there. So here goes:

Most of the time, but not every single time, whenever rebooting or restarting the computer, it will get past the initial BIOS but when it starts loading Windows (Win 98) the screen will go blank, with the text based message:

Hitting any key will then shut off the computer completely, as will hitting nothing and waiting half a minute.

Hitting the power button to start the computer up again, it begins with the same BIOS startup (of course), then goes to a screen offering to start up in Safe Mode (I tell it not to open in safe mode, as I’ve learned from experience that opening in Safe Mode doesn’t help with this problem and I then have to rearange my desktop icons after they’ve been shifted from opening in 640X480 resolution), and then it might start up fine and it mght not.

If not, it’s exactly the same as before; I press the power button again and try once more. I sometimes have to do this three or four or five times before windows starts up normally. Or maybe just once or twice.

Occaisionally after rebooting or restarting (even after the machine has been shut down normally, which I rarely do anymore because of this problem) it will start up fine, but most of the time it will have this problem.

It will always (eventually) start properly, I don’t think I’ve ever had to repeat this more than five times, and usually only once or twice, so it’s not a big enough problem to get a new computer, but I would like to figure out what’s going on.

One thing I have checked is when it hasn’t started properly, I’ve started up the computer in DOS mode (no problem doing that) and looked in the /windows/system directory for the vmm32.vxd file. It is always there. That tells me that the problem is that this file is “unable to load” for some reason (if you can believe Window’s error messages), but I have no idea why it would sometimes be able to load and sometimes not be able to.

Any thoughts?

Here are some links that may help. In the end you best bet is probably to save your data, format and re-install windows.
That nagging C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\VMM32.VXD missing/unable to load error

Found in Windows 9x machines, VMM32.vxd is the virtual device driver library that contains virtual device driver files needed for system start up.

VMM32.vxd is different for every machine; therefore, if it gets corrupted, it cannot be copied from another computer; it’ll need to be rebuilt.

Is there a scanner attached toy our system? If so, what kind?

evilhanz, good call!

Why, yes thre is!

It is a Umax SuperVista S-12. It is connected to the computer through a SCSI connection, daisy-chained with a Zip drive and a Jazz drive (both external).

Whoa! (to quote Keanu). When I went into the control panel system to report the drivers used, hoping to offer whatever help I can here, I see that a big yellow question mark appears next to the scanner, and clicking on “Properties” tells us the drivers for this device are not installed.

Yet the scanner works perfectly, and always has (I always and only access the scanner through my picture editing software).

As additionl info, the SCSI driver settings are: Adaptec AHA 2920 & Future Domain PCI SCSI Host Adapter

For w98, I would first do: Run: SFC

SFC is a nifty program with w98 that you didn’t know was there, I guess, that checks all system files for ya. Give it a shot.

I don’t like those scanners either but if you put the exact message you get into a search engine, you should be able to find people on the net who have answered it.

From the link previously provided

"Genius and possibly other repackaged Umax scanners are also affected by this problem.
I have been receiving more reports lately from Genius scanner users that they are also getting the same VMM32.VXD error. Many people have said that their various Genius scanners are repackaged Umax models with similarly named drivers. Contact their Tech Support for driver update info. or see Download the new driver packages or try renaming your existing smis11.386 driver (if there is one), download this one smis11.386 and copy it to your C:\WINDOWS folder. Reboot and let me know if it works at"

Richardb - Yes, I have heard about this as a Umax scanner problem. There’s a knowledgebase article over at Microsoft if the other suggestions are ineffective.