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Microsoft KB Archive/173309

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Knowledge Base

Blue Screen STOP Message C0000135 Appears at Startup

Article ID: 173309

Article Last Modified on 11/1/2006


  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q173309

IMPORTANT: This article contains information about modifying the registry. Before you modify the registry, make sure to back it up and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For information about how to back up, restore, and edit the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

256986 Description of the Microsoft Windows Registry


When you start Windows NT 4.0, the system stops and displays the following message:

Stop: c0000135 {Unable to Locate DLL}
The dynamic link library FILE_NAME could not be found in the specified path Default Load Path.


This error can occur for any of the following reasons:

  • File_name.dll is missing from the %SystemRoot%\system32 directory.
  • Your computer is loading the Sermouse.sys file.
  • If File_Name.dll exists, the software hive may be corrupted and, therefore, cannot load.


The method for checking whether File_name.dll exists varies, depending on the file system in use.

For NTFS file systems, install a parallel copy of Windows NT into an unused directory, and then verify that File_name.dll exists in the %SystemRoot%\System32 directory.

For FAT File Systems, an MS-DOS installation disk can be used.

If the file exists, it is possible that the registry software hive has been corrupted. Check the integrity of the software hive by using the following procedure:

WARNING: Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

For information about how to edit the registry, view the "Changing Keys And Values" online Help topic in Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) or the "Add and Delete Information in the Registry" and "Edit Registry Data" online Help topics in Regedt32.exe. Note that you should back up the registry before you edit it.

NOTE: In every case tested in which the software hive could not be loaded, the File_name was Winsrv.dll.

  1. From a parallel installation of Windows NT, click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the dialog box, type Regedt32.
  3. On the toolbar for Registry Editor, click Window, and then click the window with the following name:


  1. Select the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE key in the left pane of the window.
  2. On the menu bar, click Registry, and then click Load Hive.
  3. Browse to %SystemRoot%\System32\config, where %SystemRoot% is the correct installation of Windows NT that you want to check.
  4. Click the file named Software. In Windows NT 4.0, this will be the file named Software that does not have an extension, and has a generic Windows icon next to it, not the file with the Notepad icon. In Windows 3.51, the file name is System, has no extension, and has a generic Windows icon.
  5. The system will prompt for a key-name to use in loading the hive. You can type whatever you prefer in the dialogue box; Work would be a good choice.
  6. The hive is corrupted if you receive the following error message:

Registry Editor could not load the key. The file is not a valid Registry file.

After you have determined the problem, there are several ways to resolve it. The software hive can be restored by making a parallel installation from backup files. It can also be restored from the latest emergency repair disk (ERD), using the procedure outlined below.

Note: Windows NT 4.0 requires the Setupdd.sys file to be copied to disk 2 of the Windows NT Setup disks to perform this repair without a CD-ROM. This file can be found in Service Pack 2 or later. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

150497 How to Repair Windows NT System Files Without a CD-ROM Attached

  1. Start the system with the Windows NT Setup disks.
  2. At the first screen, press R for repair.
  3. Use the arrow keys to move the cursor to Inspect boot sector, and then press the ENTER key to uncheck this selection. Then perform the same procedure to uncheck Verify Windows NT system files and Inspect startup environment. After this, only Inspect Registry Files should have a check mark. Next, move the cursor to Continue (Perform Selected Tasks), and then press ENTER.
  4. Let Windows NT perform the mass storage detection. When prompted, select S to specify additional drivers if your computer requires OEM drivers.
  5. When prompted to do so, insert the emergency repair disk that was originally created for this computer, or press ESC to let Windows NT search for repair information for version 3.51 or version 4.0.
  6. Setup will then ask which registry files should be replaced. Using the arrow keys, move the cursor to Software (Software Information) and press ENTER. Next, move the cursor to Continue (Perform Selected Tasks) and press ENTER.
  7. When finished, restart your computer when Setup prompts you to do so.

For additional information about how to repair your Windows NT installation, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

146887 Repairing Windows NT After the Application of Service Pack 3

129037 Windows NT 3.5x and 4.0 Emergency Repair Process Screens

148262 Removing Windows NT 3.51 SP4 or SP5 May Cause Logon Failures

103280 Using an Emergency Repair Disk Created by Windows NT

150947 How to Repair Windows NT System Files Without a CD-ROM Attached

Additional query words: 0xc0000135 winsrv.dll

Keywords: kberrmsg kbprb KB173309