Tuesday 23 September 2008

XP - 16 bit MS-DOS Subsystem - Error S32EVNT1.DLL

On a brand new Lenovo T61 laptop after a downgrade to XP Professional and subsequently the removal of any superfluous software we received the following when running a DOS app:

16 bit MS-DOS Subsystem

C:\PROGRA~1\Symantec\S32EVNT1.DLL. An installable Virtual Device Driver failed Dll initialization. Choose 'Close' to terminate the application.

Since our client has Symantec Corporate 10.2 A/V managed by the server, we had uninstalled the Symantec Client Security.

One of the things we do as we are prepping a system and installing their line of business applications is run them to verify that everything is good to go.

This particular application is a DOS based inflation/tax/interest/ and other financial type stuff calculator written by a local Edmonton fellow. The program receives regular updates for Canadian tax updates and the like. It just works ... so why look for something else?

So, after double clicking on the shortcut, that is the error that we received.

To date, we have never seen this one!

A quick search turned up a couple of Symantec technical articles:

The first one is what fixed it for us ... almost. We need to pay particular attention to the instructions as they say to delete the data for the indicated key, not delete the key itself!

We navigated to the required registry location:

Registry: HKLM\System\CurentControlSet\Control\VirtualDeviceDrivers

Double click on the VDD key and delete the data contained therein. Note that in our case no zeros were left as the Symantec article indicated there may be. Also, if we placed the zeros in the key, the error came back when we started the DOS program.

This is what the key looks like after removing the data:

Registry: Blank VDD Key

One more little thing to watch out for when threads of an old program are left by a software uninstall.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much.

Symantec AV Corp v10 reached end of life, so I had to uninstall it and go with something else. I was getting this error when I ran a batch file that deletes temporary files using the DOS DELTREE command (which still works on Win XP, tho not included with it).

Tom said...

Years go by, and still Symantec doesn't fix their issues. Just encountered this today after uninstalling Symantec Endpoint Protection.

Anonymous said...

Symantec Technical Engineer here,

Just wanted to provide some feedback about this issue since it recently come up in a support case I worked on. I just happened to stumble across this blog and thought I'd share some insight.

The registry key can become corrupted which will cause this issue. Microsoft is aware of this and has posted documentation about reasons for this behavior:


This behavior can occur if the following registry value has become corrupted:

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

At this point, it is not entirely clear if this corruption is due to a change in the Symantec product as attempts to reproduce this issue have been unsuccessful in a lab environment.

The steps in the above Microsoft KB article can be referenced if the Symantec tech articles are unclear.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Symantec support.