"16 Bit MS-DOS Subsystem" Error Message When You Install a Program

After you install a program on your computer, you may receive one of the following error messages when you attempt to run any 16-bit program:

16 bit MS-DOS Subsystem
drive:\program path
XXXX. An installable Virtual Device Driver failed DLL initialization. Choose 'Close' to terminate the application.


16 bit MS-DOS Subsystem
drive:\program path
SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\VirtualDeviceDrivers. VDD. Virtual Device Driver format in the registry is invalid. Choose 'Close' to terminate the application.

In some cases, when you click Ignore, the program runs properly, but you continue to receive the error message when you start 16-bit programs.


This behavior can occur if the following registry value is corrupted:

This behavior can occur after you install a 16-bit program or a program that uses a 16-bit installation program that is not Windows XP-compliant. This behavior can also occur if the file that is installed on your computer is damaged or is the incorrect version.


Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. To resolve this issue:
  • Start Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe or Regedit.exe).

    NOTE: In Windows XP, Regedit.exe and Regedt32.exe have been integrated into a single program that combines the features of the two registry editors in Windows 2000.
  • Locate and select the following value:
  • On the Edit menu, click Delete.
  • On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click Multi-string Value.
  • Type VDD in the Value Name box, and then press ENTER.
  • Quit Registry Editor.
If the issue continues to occur, verify that the proper version of the file is installed in the systemroot/System32 folder on your computer