Microsoft KB Archive/256015

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Article ID: 256015

Article Last Modified on 3/27/2007


  • Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 95
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q256015

If this article does not describe the error message that you are receiving, view the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article to view more articles that describe error messages:

315854 Windows 98 and Windows Me Error Message Resource Center


If the last two or more components in a path match MS-DOS device names, you may receive an error message on a blue screen similar to the following example:

A fatal exception 0E has occurred at (address) in VXD (FSD) + (address). The current application will be terminated.

  • Press any key to terminate the current application. * Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to restart your computer. You will lose any unsaved information in all applications.

Press any key to continue

NOTE: The VXD in question is a File System Driver (FSD) from the list in the "More Information" section of this article.

If you do not restart your computer at this point, subsequent blue screen error messages occur and the computer does not shut down properly. It may be necessary to interrupt power to the computer to reset it successfully.

Alternatively, if your computer has a large amount of memory (for example, 192 MB), the mouse pointer may be displayed as an hourglass over the taskbar and you may be unable to run additional programs. The computer eventually becomes unresponsive to mouse and keyboard input.


MS-DOS device names are reserved words and cannot be used as folder or file names. When parsing a reference to a file or folder, Windows correctly checks for the case in which a single MS-DOS device name is used in the path, and treats it as invalid. However, Windows does not check for the case in which the path includes multiple MS-DOS device names. When Windows attempts to interpret the device name as a file resource, it performs an illegal resource access operation that usually results in the computer becoming unresponsive.

Because you cannot create files or folders that contain MS-DOS device names, it is unusual for a user to try to gain access to one under normal circumstances. The chief threat posed by this vulnerability is that a malicious user can entice a user to attempt such an access. For example, if a Web site operator hosts a hyperlink that references such a path, when the user clicks the link, the computer may hang. Likewise, a Web page or HTML e-mail message that specifies a local file as the source of rendering information can cause the user's computer to hang when it is displayed. If this happens, you can put the computer back into normal service by restarting it.


A supported fix is now available from Microsoft, but it is only intended to correct the problem that is described in this article. Apply it only to computers that are experiencing this specific problem.

To resolve this problem immediately, download the fix by clicking the download link later in this article or contact Microsoft Product Support Services to obtain the fix. For a complete list of Microsoft Product Support Services phone numbers and information about support costs, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

NOTE: In special cases, charges that are ordinarily incurred for support calls may be canceled if a Microsoft Support Professional determines that a specific update will resolve your problem. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for the specific update in question.

The English-language version of this fix should have the following file attributes or later:

   Date        Time     Version    Size     File name   Platform
   03/08/2000  07:57pm  4.00.954   165,057  Ifsmgr.vxd  Windows 95
   03/06/2000  01:12pm  4.00.1116  185,922  Ifsmgr.vxd  Windows 95 OSR2
   03/06/2000  01:33pm  4.10.2001  185,926  Ifsmgr.vxd  Windows 98
   03/02/2000  01:16pm  4.10.2223  185,926  Ifsmgr.vxd  Windows 98 SE

The following files are available for download from the Microsoft Download Center:

For Windows 95 and Windows 95 OEM Service Release 2 (OSR2)

For Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition

For additional information about how to download Microsoft Support files, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

119591 How to Obtain Microsoft Support Files from Online Services

Microsoft scanned this file for viruses. Microsoft used the most current virus-detection software that was available on the date that the file was posted. The file is stored on security-enhanced servers that help to prevent any unauthorized changes to the file.
This update is also available from the Windows Update Web site:


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in all versions of Windows 95 and Windows 98, and applies to all international localizations.


The possible FSDs that can occur in the error message are listed below:

  • CDFS (the path references a CD-ROM drive letter)
  • NWREDIR (the path references a network drive mapped by the Microsoft Client for NetWare Networks)
  • UDF (the path references a DVD-ROM drive)
  • VDEF (the path references an unformatted disk drive)
  • VFAT (the path references a floppy disk drive, a hard disk, or an FTL-formatted Linear Flash PCMCIA card (Flash File System)
  • VREDIR (the path references a network drive mapped by the Client for Microsoft Networks)
  • 0028:DEDEDEDE (the path references a network drive mapped by the Novell NetWare Client for Windows 95/98 version 3.1)
  • Unknown (the path references drives managed by third-party, or custom file system drivers and network redirectors)

NOTE: To eliminate inadvertent occurrences of the problem described in this article, the MS-DOS device names in all sample paths included in the text have been replaced with the acronym "DDN" (DOS Device Name).

This problem can occur in a variety of situations, where the path contains the offending syntax, with multiple MS-DOS device names (for example, CON, AUX, NUL, PRN, LPT1/2/3/4 COM1/2/3/4, CLOCK$, XMSXXXX0, and so on):

  • You view or preview a Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) document (for example, a Web page), containing a background image that specifies an offending path. Therefore, in addition to normal browsing activity, this problem can occur if you have preview enabled for the current view in Microsoft Outlook, and HTML formatted e-mail message displays.
  • You click a URL that contains an offending path specification.
  • You click an offending file link embedded in a program data file (for example, a Microsoft Word document, a Microsoft Outlook e-mail message, and so on).
  • You type a similar path in the Open box (when you click Start, and then click Run), and then click OK.
  • You type a path containing multiple device names in an MS-DOS prompt (this action generates an "MS-DOS Prompt" error message and closes the command prompt window).
  • You create a shortcut to file://localhost/DDN/DDN/DDN on your desktop, and then click it.

Here are some sample error message details for various FSDs on several versions of Windows:

   Window 95 OSR2:
   0028:C002ADB7 in VXD    VFAT(01) + 0000A3D7

   Windows 98:
   0028:C004CD4F in VXD    VFAT(01) + 0000B897

   Windows 98 Second Edition:
   0028:C18344A4 in VXD    CDFS(03) + 00009854
   0028:C022E451 in VXD NWREDIR(07) + 00002365
   0028:C004D86F in VXD    VFAT(01) + 0000B897
   0028:C0278ED8 in VXD  VREDIR(03) + 00003ED8

If this article does not describe your shutdown-related issue, please see the following Microsoft Web site to view more articles about shutting down Windows 98:

For additional information about Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition hotfixes, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

206071 General Information About Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition Hotfixes

For additional information about Windows 95 hotfixes, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

161020 Implementing Windows 95 Updates

For additional information, read Microsoft Security Bulletin (MS00-017). To do so, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

Additional query words: ifs ifsmgr crash w95qfe w98shutdown

Keywords: kbhotfixserver kbqfe atdownload kbbug kbenv kberrmsg kbfatalexerr0e kbfix kbqfe KB256015