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[Resolved] Nero hangs on launch; Word misbehaves

Discussion in 'Earlier Versions of Windows' started by Joseph King, Jan 19, 2003.

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  1. Joseph King

    Joseph King Thread Starter

    Jun 30, 2001
    Running W98SE on P-III/500. IDE HD, Plextor 40x burner, and standard floppy. Was very stable system until a few months ago, after I had run a Repair on IE6 SP1, installed a few Windows Critical Updates, and a few innocuous apps (WS_FTP Pro, SnagIt, PhotoShop Elements). Also installed WinAmp, which gave some problems until a few wipes and reinstalls (which was on 10/4/02).

    Misbehavior began a number of months ago with intermittent problems in Word 2000. I use Outline view a lot and have macro keys set to control indents, etc, simulating simple keystrokes. On occasion, though, Word acts up: macros don't work, hotlinks don't work (web and email doesn't click through), and small icons at lower left screen to select page views don't work (but View menu still does). Also, selecting a command like Find sometimes results in the whole program -- Title Bar, program icon in Task Bar, etc -- blinking on and off (normal to dim to normal to dim) and no mouse or keystrokes work until I switch to another app and then back to Word, which always gets rid of the blinking and restores basic functionality but doesn't bring back the macros, hotlinks, and view icons (though those sometimes work just fine).

    A few months ago, my Nero 5.5 also started acting up, after having worked like a charm form many months. It started to intermittently freeze on launch, always at the "Scanning SCZI/IDE bus" status. End Task would close it and all other apps would work fine, but a system Shutdown after Nero froze always hangs. Once, when I attempted a Shutdown after Nero froze, I got a "Not Responding" window entitled "DDE Serve Window", and when I went into the Task List it shows WS_FTP Pro is Not Responding, which is very weird since I had had it open but it worked fine and closed fine.

    Another time when Shutdown hung after the Nero launch freeze the Task List showed only one item in it: RunDLL32, and an attempted End Task on it popped up a Not Responding window on it (though I suspect that's too generic of a message to tell us anything).

    On rare occasions, my Cool Edit audio editing program misbehaves, too. It won't record, or won't play back ("not enough memory" message, which is not accurate).

    What I'm assuming is that a DDE-related file (DLL or something) that is not basic to Windows but was installed by and is shared by a number of apps (Nero, Word, WS_FTP Pro, "etc") is corrupt or a file version is incompatible with others.

    I did a Find Files for filenames with DDE in them and the only ones that jumped out at me as having been installed in the past few months were in the Real Player program folder, and were dated 10/4/02. I searched the Windows folder for all files of that date and noticed WinAmp was installed on that date, which gave me a lot of problems when I was installing it.

    I also see Mplayer2.lgc dated 10/4/02. I’m guessing this is the date the problem occurred.

    To clarify: Nero freezes on launch only “sometimes”, and “apparently” only after Word or another program that shares the problem file has been open (even if I then close it). No other programs are hanging, or causing Shutdown problems – only Nero. Every single time Nero freezes on launch, its at the “Scanning SCZI/IDE bus” status, and every single time that happens, I can End Task on it and go back to work, but 100% of the time a subsequent system Shutdown will hang (it starts the process, spins the floppy drive a moment like normal, and then hangs with an empty green screen – Desktop with nothing on it). Nero had been working fine for months after first being installed.

    I've already tried, wiping Nero including having their tech support show me how to clean the registry, and then going to the latest version; doing the same with the ATI video driver (Nero's web site hinted they might be related); keeping a CD in the drive on launching Nero; disabling everything logical in MSCONFIG Startup; and a Repair on Office 2000. Nero's U.S.-based tech support is now suggesting I unplug the CD drive and see if it's hardware, which tells me their lost. Once Nero launches, I can burn and play back all day long without a glitch; I seriously doubt it's hardware.

    Ideally, I'd like to find a way to "see" what Nero is hanging on when I try to launch it, or else what it’s leaving "open" that prevents a system Shutdown each time it hangs on launch. I don't know how to see that, though.

    I'm thinking my best bet is to "pick" a program to uninstall that is a suspect or, rather, that seems to share the problem file. I'll have to then do one of two things when it says it wants to delete a file that may be shared: either say Yes and then reinstall the program from CD and hope it replaces the questionable file, or say No and list each shared file and then manually replace them all (unless one or two jump out as being highly suspect).

    Any advice, comments, thoughts, intuitions, or psychic insights, would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

    Dec 9, 2000
    There are two ways to approach the set of problems you are having; one is to look for software conflicts and "hidden" installs that could be interfering with them. And we can probably do that in this forum. The other is to treat them as individual problems associated with specific programs. Nero issues might best be handled in All Other Software, while Word would be a "Business" application. Outlook: Web and Email.... (There is an article for "hyperlinks" not working that I will refer you to here.

    But for now, let's have a look at the current running configuration. Using the StartupList application available from the site below, run it and copy/paste the results to a reply.


    hyperlink issues:


  3. Joseph King

    Joseph King Thread Starter

    Jun 30, 2001
    Rollin' Rog,

    Thanks for the quick reply and advice.

    I've just downloaded and installed WMP 9. I'm now downloading and installing the Office 2000 SR-1 Update. (I may also do the same with Office 2000 SP-3 after that.) I'm "hoping" that with all that, odds are I may end up replacing the guilty file(s).

    (I'm also hoping not to run into too many problems with this updating of Office 2000 -- the "update from web" option failed after stringing me along for almost an hour, and then I saw a number of Web articles saying this has been a very problematic procedure for plenty of others. I hope it at least keeps all of my customizations if it does work.)

    When the current download is done, I'll get and run the Startup diagnostic you suggested and post the results.

    As to the hyperlinks issue, I looked at the KB articles you listed, but neither seems to apply to my problem. My default browser and email settings are fine. I have no trouble with hyperlinks in any other apps, just in Word, where I don't even get a "hand" for the mouse cursor when positioning it over the hyperlinked text. (It seems the longer I have Word running at any given time, the more likely it is that the hyperlinks will stop working... I think.)

    Thanks again.
  4. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

    Dec 9, 2000
    You're welcome Joe and I hope the new downloads take care of the problem. What you describe with the mouse cursor could actually be a video driver issue (not ruling out the mouse either). Why it occurs with Word exclusively I don't know, but it could have to do with the way it uses memory.

    If an update is available for your video drivers, I'd get it. Otherwise, if the problem continues, I'd just remove and reinstall them.

    And you haven't said how much ram is installed in the system, from the programs you are running (Word, Nero, PhotoShop) it sounds like you need a minimum of 256 mb (Win9x does not have good support for more than 512 mb unless certain adjustments are made to System.ini. If you have more than 512 mb, that could actually be a source of problems). Available virtual memory for the swap file on the drive is another part of the equation.
  5. Joseph King

    Joseph King Thread Starter

    Jun 30, 2001
    As I said initially, I already wiped and reinstalled the video driver, even wiping the registry. I also went to the newest version and when that didn't help the Nero freeze issue I went back to a clean install of the old one, still with no help. (I didn't bother seeing what effect those steps had on Word.) ATI tells me the new driver won't do a thing for me anyway, just help gamers.

    I have 256 MB RAM and there's plenty of room on the HD for the swap drive (over 5GB of a 20GB drive).

    Thanks again.
  6. Joseph King

    Joseph King Thread Starter

    Jun 30, 2001
    Well, I've done all the Service Release and Service Pack updates etc for Office and the problem is still there (I'm really not concerned with Word misbehaving -- it was still misbehaving after the SR-1 update but I haven't yet tried after SP-3 update), but I certainly AM concerned about the Nero freezing, which has now gotten worse -- now other apps refuse to launch after a Nero startup freeze and end task to close it. (Maybe that was already an intermittent characteristic of the problem, I don't really know.) I just got Nero to launch successfully, as it often does, and then I burned 20 CDs, no problem as always. I then closed the program and immediately attempted to relaunch it -- and it froze! I'm seeing that Outlook and/or Word is usually opened before Nero will freeze (or maybe it's just Outlook -- I'm not sure). I updated he obligatory update to Outlook after installing Office SR-3, BTW.

    I ran the StartupList utility that you suggested, for what it's worth, and here are the results (though I remind you that I turned off everything in MSCONFIG that was feasible or possibly suspect and that didn't help, and my StartUp folder was empty, too -- the list below is after I later turned all of that back on). I didn't want to put the output list on this forum page, so I put it on my web site instead:

  7. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

    Dec 9, 2000
    Well you've been talking about Nero, but all I see in those startups are entries for Adaptec -- which appears to be an older version at that. I think you may have a conflict between the two installations. I have seen many issues with older Adaptec software, especially the DirectCD component, which once it starts stays in the background until it is end-tasked. If you want to use Adaptec, you should upgrade to the latest version, but I would not have them both installed at once. CD burning software will place some vxd's in the c:\windows\system\iosubsys folder that load on startup regardless of the msconfig selections. It can be a pain to identify them if they remain after the uninstall process. But you can go through the folder looking at the Propeties > Version of each. Most will be Microsoft, but some you will see identified with burning software vendors.

    If you want to keep Adaptec, Nero says to rename the scsi1hlp.vxd


    There is a Nero FAQ and Help site here, I don't know whether you've seen it:


    The only other anomally in your startups is the mdac/runonce entry which was not removed when installed, due to a bug.

    To remove it, run regedit and navigate to:


    In the right hand pane you will see:

    mdac_runonce = C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\runonce.exe

    ...just right click on that and delete it.

    MS whassup here:

  8. Joseph King

    Joseph King Thread Starter

    Jun 30, 2001
    Rollin' Rog,

    You're the best!

    I had seen the Nero troubleshooting page in the past but for some reason only focused on the "Crashes and system hangs" link and never noticed the next one, "Handling conflicts with other CD-recording software (Information)". It may just be the ticket.

    I finally got a reply from Nero Tech support in Germany via email. They asked me to run the Nero Info Tool in the Nero Toolkit and send them the text file, which I did. It's also on my site at:


    I'm tempted to ask Roxio for a walk-through on doing a clean, thorough uninstall of Easy CD Creator. Having Nero, which I love (it lets me multitask on my P-III/500 256RAM W98SE machine all day long, with only minimal degradation in response times, while Easy CD Creator rendered the machine entirely useless while burning), I have no need for any of the features in Easy CD Creator and will probably never use it.

    What do you think? Is it advisable to wait for Nero tech support to get back to me and/or have Roxio tech support walk me through the thorough uninstall, or just go for it with the normal uninstall procedure (Add/Remove) and then check the four VXD files listed on the Nero site under "drivers of other CD burner programs" for Adaptec? I'm a bit confused, though, since you say it's a matter of checking file versions. The list provided by Nero indicates only four VXD files that Adaptec might install:


    All four of those Adaptec drivers are in the folder now. I presume that if any of them are left after uninstalling Easy CD Creator, I should just delete them, right? Or are they shared by Nero and is it a matter of getting the right versions from Nero, probably by just uninstalling and reinstalling Nero after removing Easy CD Creator? Maybe I should do that afterwards anyway to be safe. (Maybe I should ask Nero this question.)

    Do you think I need to look further for other files in the IOSUBSYS folder, too, by checking over the Properties/versions as you mentioned?

    (By the way, that MDAC RunOnce item wasn't launching a window at startup as the MS KB article mentions, but it appeared in the Registry as the KB article indicated, so I removed it. I don't expect this was contributing to any of my problems, though, do you?)

  9. IMM


    Feb 1, 2002
    Can you tell about Nero (if retail or bundled with drive and if you've used the download from thir site to update from an earlier version) and the versions of the Adaptec software?

    What you probably want to end up with here is the windows version of the ASPI layer (rather than Adaptec's).
    Renaming scsi1hlp.vxd to scsi1hlp.old probably won't hurt you (tho' probably not really necessary). It's only used by some older stuff.

    I have a question - Do you also have a ZIP drive (particularly parallel port type)?

    Additionally - can you do a search of the HD on the file MFC42.dll and tell me how many you have, and where they are scattered?
  10. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

    Dec 9, 2000
    Joe I'd start with the simple stuff like renaming the scsi1hlp.vxd in c:\windows\system\iosubsys folder. I've seen this cause numerous problems in the past, often blue screens.

    Beyond that I would rather defer to IMM who I see has posted here. I've only worked with Roxio's software, recently at that, and have not had to uninstall it. The couple of threads I've been privy to where the uninstall caused problems, they were immediately apparent due to startup problems. The resolution seemed to be to identify components left behind in the iosubsys folder. One of them might be the apix.vxd which I think IMM is referring to, and while required, the version that is installed with Adaptec's earlier versions has had compatibilty problems. I don't think they install it any more.

    Anyway, here is a link from Plextor which gives their advice on uninstalling Adaptec. I'd wait and see what IMM thinks, before following the procedure. It's not clear to me which aspi layer you end up with following all the steps here as it involves a reinstall as well.

  11. Joseph King

    Joseph King Thread Starter

    Jun 30, 2001
    I was delayed in getting the Nero InfoTool.txt file on my site (as mentioned in message #8 of this thread). It's there now.

    First I installed Easy CD Creator Basic 5, which came bundled with the Plextor drive. It currently shows as version, but I really don't recall if I ever downloaded an update from the Roxio web site. If I did, it was probably -- make that CERTAINLY -- before I installed Nero, did the repair on IE6 SP1, and installed recent Windows updates, all the Office updates, etc.

    So, first I installed Easy CD Creator (and possibly updated it to what it is now). Then, I installed Nero. I bought it over their web site and downloaded it. They since came out with an updated version. I first ran a repair on IE6 SP1. Then I wiped my previous version completely, including the registry, and then installed the newest version, which I have now, which is version

    Note that I then also wiped the ATI video driver, installed the newer one, wiped that one clean, and went back to the older one (as described in my earlier posts in this thread), all to no avail.

    Throughout, I installed a few Windows Critical Updates, usually right as soon as they were released. A few days ago I installed all the available updates to Office 2000.

    It's interesting you mention the ASPI layer. Nero's tech support in California speculated that an incompatibility here might be the problem, but then he dropped the subject and he and others told me it's both very unlikely that that's the problem and almost impossible for me to do anything about it even if it is the problem.

    I had an Adaptec SCSI card and an internal Iomega Zip drive running off of it a long time ago, but they were completely removed from the system before I installed the CD drive or any burning software.

    Five instances of MFC42.dll turned up on searching the C: drive:

    C:\Windows\System (version 6.00.8665.0)

    C:\Program Files\Ahead\Nero (version 6.00.8665.0)

    C:\Program Files\Ahead\Nero\WaveEditor (version 6.00.8665.0)

    C:\Program Files\Ahead\coverdesigner (version 6.00.8665.0)

    C:\UPS\UOWS\Shared\REMOTE\INSTALL\CCIM\Singles (version 6.00.8447.0)

  12. IMM


    Feb 1, 2002
    If your other scsi and scsi like deivces are gone

    Let's start by giving you the windows ASPI layer

    Rename the follwoing files with and extension such as .ADP to call them Adaptec's
    I usually do this from DOS in case they are in use - but you can try from windows (or email me and I'll send a batch file to do it)


    Next extract the windows versions of the files using SFC > extract one file

    \Windows\SYSTEM\ASPI2HLP.SYS (this is windows version of aspienum.vxd)

    Next check the following using regedit
    The key
    should have an entry called ExcludeMiniports and this should be a null string "" (ie empty quotes)

    Check config.sys for loads re scsi or cd drivers (or posting the contents would be nice)

    Here's a partial list of junk drivers which may be floating from the iomega install (or perhaps not).
    Most will be in c:\Windows\System\Iosubsys

    Some of these have windows equivalents and you will have to be careful about deleting (though SFC will get the ones from the Windows CD)

  13. IMM


    Feb 1, 2002
    Just had a quick look at your startuplist and I think that I'd remvove the Visual C stuff from the UPS directory. If you can send me a dir list - I'll indicate which files should go.

    Using msconfig uncheck the following
    AdaptecDirectCD = "C:\Program Files\Adaptec\Easy CD Creator 5\DirectCD\DirectCD.exe"

    at least temporarily (I think DirectCD should go away permanently).

    This one (ati2evxx.exe) is a resource hog of almopst no utility - I'd disable it.
    Have the Sentinel drivers been on the machine for quite a while - or are they new?

    When troubleshooting burners I like to remove the burning plugins from WMP and Windows Media Player as well.
    I'll look through it more carefully later.

    One more thing to look at - boot to SAFE mode and see if there are multiple instances of yor CD drives (and HD's) in Device Manager.
  14. Joseph King

    Joseph King Thread Starter

    Jun 30, 2001

    I'm extremely grateful to you for all the detailed help!

    I'm going to remove Easy CD Creator from my machine based on everything I've seen in this thread. I will want to coordinate the implementation of the steps you spelled out with that. As you've seen in this thread, this removal might create tricky problems in light of everything we're dealing with. I certainly don't mean to second-guess you. I just want to make sure you're taking this into account and I do things in the proper sequence.

    Frankly, I'll feel a lot more sure-footed in doing all this when the Nero tech in Germany responds back to me. I've pointed him to this thread and asked him to look it over, and I'm hoping he'll read it in detail and guide me in detail. What do you thiink of that?

    The four files you suggested I replace with extracted files from the W98 CD are all currently showing as:

    version 4.60 (1017), Adaptec, 11/12/98

    To replace them, well, I guess they do have to come off the W98 CD since I don't see any newer versions available on the MS site.

    The registry key you described does contain a null string -- and, of course, there's also:

    (Default) - (value not set)

    Config.sys isn't loading any SCSI or CD drivers. Here it is to see (of course, I renamed it to Config-sys.txt just to show it here):


    FYI, here's the complete Autoexec.bat file, too:


    Well, this is about the point where I'm starting to get uncertain.

    When you say "here's a partial list of junk drivers", what do I do? I assume the first step is to replace them all off the W98 CD, of course. How important is it that I look for others? (Doesn't Iomega provide a utility or -- let's be more realistic -- at least a list? Same goes for Adaptec, for that matter. Well, I guess not.)

    Here's what I currently show for that list:

    aic78xx.mpd = ...\IOSUBSYS, v2.21a, Microsoft, 4/23/99
    asc.mpd = ...\IOSUBSYS, 2.9C, Iomega, 7/15/98
    imgdet.vxd = Does not exist anywhere on the machine.
    imgdll16.dll = Does not exist anywhere on the machine.
    imgdll32.dll = Does not exist anywhere on the machine.
    iomega.vxd = ...\IOSUBSYS, 2.9C, Iomega, 3/2/01
    pc1616.mpd = Does not exist anywhere on the machine.
    ppa3.mpd = ...\IOSUBSYS, 2.9C, Iomega*, 7/15/98
    scsidll.dll = ...\SYSTEM, 6, 1, 0, 7, Iomega**, 2/8/99
    sparrow.mpd = ...\IOSUBSYS, v2.04, Adaptec, 9/1/98

    * Iomega Parallel Port Mini-Port Driver
    ** Comments = $

    I'm not clear on how many of those I'm supposed to replace from, or just discard -- or if any are common files to be left in place. (I don't know if the ones that don't currently exist need to be restored, either.)

    As to UPS, well, I'll be more comfortable double-checking with them (they've got good tech support and ready access to supervisors). Again, not trying to second-guess you. Just being prudent. I'm wondering what it can matter since I never seem to have any problems with UPS and I assume nothing in that folder is gong to load without the program being launched -- or am I missing something? In any case, I have no clue what to look for in order to send you a directory list (or how to send the list other than screen shots in a graphic, unless it's a reasonably short list).

    I assume DirectCD will go when I uninstall Easy CD Creator. If not, I'll uninstall it anyway. Remember (somewhere "way up there" in this thread it's mentioned), I already disabled the three Startup items you mentioned and it didn't help the Nero freeze. If you still suggest I temporarily disable them, I need to know when.

    Getting rid of ati2evxx.exe is no problem, if you say it's useless.

    I have no idea what the Sentinel drivers are, so I can't answer.

    I will also need guidance on removing the burner plugins in WMP and Windows Media Player (aren't those the same thing) if and when we get to that point.

    I've often checked for multiple instances of things in Safe Mode and neither drive appeared twice.

    Whew! Well, I was getting a bit optimistic there for a moment, but now I'm not sure if you or anyone is going to have the head for wading through all of this carefully with me. I'm rapidly getting to where it would be more practical for me to buy a new machine and software and spend the 40-50 hours it will take for me to reinstall and reconfigure everything! My business is literally on thin ice as I put the time into this thing. I'm extremely grateful for your help! I'm just praying this doesn't degrade into a situation where my attempts at fixing it make things worse or take so much time that I end up out of business.

    Nero tech support should be getting to this thread any moment now. HOPEFULLY, their tech, Juan, and you, will think through each other's comments and between the two of you I'll have a coherent and efficient game plan.

    Please bear with me, IMM. I much prefer to wait for the Nero tech to read all this and give me his input before I do anything more.

  15. Joseph King

    Joseph King Thread Starter

    Jun 30, 2001
    Nero tech support just responded. Sure enough, the tech tells me the link that I sent him to this thread isn't working. That's odd. I tested it in the email message I sent him "after" I sent him the email, and it was fine. Go figure. (Maybe he's using AOL.)

    He pointed out that DirectCD (or any multiple burning software programs) can cause trouble. He suggested I rename (disable) the following drivers:


    He also suggested I go to the newest version of Nero. The one I have installed has apparently recently been updated.

    He did offer to send me two more diagnostic files if those two steps doesn't do the trick.

    Why do I feel like I've put in a dozen hours -- no, more like a couple dozen hours -- and gave him the most thorough information one could want to have for nailing down an issue, and I got a "two-minute fix" session?

    Is disabling those files going to leave me with a disabled program still installed??? Will a full uninstall of that program(s) then give me uninstall problems and hang? What do those files pertain to?

    I sent him a reply telling him I want to uninstall Easy CD Creator (he didn't know I have it since he didn't make it to this thread), explaining that I'm told doing so can still leave other issues. (I also asked if upgrading should entail an uninstall and a cleaning of the registry first.)

    I hope he reads this thread! I suggested that he copy and paste the link into his browser if it's not working in his email program. (Hey, I can offer him tech support if it seems he needs it, right?)

    Whaddaya think, Tech Support Guys?

    (And here I am, a fully paid-up retail Nero customer, getting totally different advice from their tech as from the very generous people on this forum who are putting in far more time and effort. Who wants to shoot the dice with me on what to try to do now?)

    Personally, if I may say so, it seems to me that I should have Nero (or Roxio?) walk me through a detailed uninstall of Easy CD Creator and DirectCD, and then any other cleanup that may be needed from that point (I suspect there will be a cleanup needed based on what Rollin' Rog said), then have Nero tell me if the Plextor software is acceptable to leave, and then tell me if it's advisable to wipe the current Nero before the upgrade. If a new diagnostic reading or two is advisable between these steps, fine.

    I'm not even vaguely an expert in this area, but that seems logical to me based on my many years of troubleshooting and what I've gathered from the generous posts by the two of you.

    It seems like a logical "first step". Then we can go from there.

    IMM, I think maybe you might be getting a bit more extensive than I need, and I'm concerned about opening a Pandora's Box. All I want to do is get Nero to stop freezing intermittently on launch. (If I get Word to stop misbehaving, that will be a bonus, but is not that important.) Believe me, I don't mean to imply I'm not extremely grateful, or that I question your expertise at all. Quite the contrary. I'm just being cautious with my time and my system since we're dealing with files that can disable my system, or part of it, and we might have to then restore and revisit things.

    Please remember that I have a business system here, and a business that relies on it for dear life. I've had the experience of seeing a troubleshooting project spiral into months of getting nothing else done. It set my business back literally years due to the timing. I would have been far better off buying a new system at the beginning but, of course, you always think the fix is just one more step away. Because it's a business system, to wipe the hard drive and restore everything takes a good two solid weeks of doing nothing else but the restructuring of everything.

    My system runs like a top except that Nero freezes (and Word hiccups.) "If it ain't broke...". Sure, I'm always one to do a bit of sure-footed cleanup and improvement, and would love to. I just don't get the feeling that "sure-footed" or even "safe" applies yet.

    I realize the nature of the problem doesn't lend itself to an obvious, simple fix. I'm just concerned it also invites land mines.

    IMM, I'm confident enough that if you want to reassure me at this point (if I haven't lost you yet), then I'm ready to proceed forward.

    It would also be nice to have Nero more on top of this!
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