Error Message: Can't find device file that may be needed.

Document ID: 94000583


Posted Date: 1996-08-19


Last Updated: 1996-08-19


Distribution: View Public Website


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When you start Windows, you may receive the following error message:

Cannot find a device file that may be needed to run Windows or a Windows application.
The Windows registry or SYSTEM.INI file refers to this device file, but the device file no longer exists.
If you deleted this file on purpose, try uninstalling the associated application using its uninstall program or setup program.

If you still want to use the application associated with this device file, try reinstalling that application to replace the missing file.


NOTE: The specific file may not be named.


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.

If the error occurs after following the instructions in step 1, you need to locate the value that references the missing device driver in the registry, and delete that registry value.

1. 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.

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