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Technical Note 20
Installation Error: 16-bit Windows Subsystem

 
We have received reports from some users with new Windows XP SP2 installations about an installation error when trying to install or reinstall BassBox 6 Pro, X•over 3 Pro and/or BassBox 6 Lite. An error message appears during the installation that reports a "16-bit Windows subsystem" error. Or it may report an error with one of the following files: config.nt, autoexec.nt and/or command.com.

This error relates only to the installer—not the BassBox Pro, X•over Pro or BassBox Lite programs, themselves. The error is typically the result of one or more missing Windows system files that the installer expects to find on the user's computer. The reason the system files are sometimes missing is because Windows XP no longer needs them and some computer vendors fail to include them. However, some installation programs, in their attempt to support the widest range of operating system versions, still expect to see them. This is the case with the version of industry-standard InstallShield installer that we use to install our software.

Microsoft is aware of the problem and they wrote Knowledge Base Article 324767 to explain how to correct it. You can view the article at: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;324767&Product=winxp. The article describes how to obtain a fresh copy of config.nt, autoexec.nt and command.com from your original Windows XP installation CD. So please locate your Windows XP disc before you attempt to follow the Microsoft instructions. We've included similar instructions below (based on Microsoft's article) for your convenience. We've tried to make our instructions a bit more understandable.

Note: BassBox Pro, X•over Pro and BassBox Lite are 32-bit applications and they do not use these older 16-bit system files. The problem primarily affects installer programs. Also note: Since our software is designed for 32-bit versions of Microsoft Windows it may not be compatible with 64-bit versions of Windows. It may be possible to install and run our programs in a 32-bit compatibility mode under a 64-bit version of Windows XP or Vista but we are unable to test or support such configurations at this time.
 

How to fix the error
Microsoft provides three methods to repair the problem but their instructions are kind of jumbled with two of the methods fused together in a confusing way. We've attempted to separate the three methods and provide a bit more explanation for clarity below. The first method requires that you have your original Microsoft Windows XP installation disc. If your computer didn't include one, then you'll need to contact your computer vendor and obtain one. The second method shows you how to create a new copy of two of the files. The third method shows you how to recover a backup copy of two of the files (if your computer has them).


Method 1
This method obtains a fresh copy of all three system files (config.nt, autoexec.nt and command.com) from your original Windows XP installation CD. The files are compressed and an "expand" command must be used to copy the compressed files from the Windows XP installation disc to the c:\windows\system32 folder of your computer's hard drive.

  1. Insert the Windows XP installation CD into the DVD/CD drive. If either the Windows XP installer or repair console attempt to start, close them with their exit command.
     
  2. Select the "Run" command from the Windows "Start" menu.
     
  3. In the "Open" box, type "cmd" (without the quotation marks) and then click "OK". A command window should open so you can type text commands.
     
  4. Note: Before continuing, you'll need to know the drive letter of your DVD/CD drive where you inserted the Windows XP disc. You'll need to substitute this drive letter for the green "DVD/CD drive letter" placeholder in each line below. Also, be careful to include the spaces just as they are shown in each line below.
     
    At the command prompt, type the following commands, pressing the "Enter" key of your keyboard after each command:
     
        expand DVD/CD drive letter:\i386\config.nt_ c:\windows\system32\config.nt
        expand DVD/CD drive letter:\i386\autoexec.nt_ c:\windows\system32\autoexec.nt
        expand DVD/CD drive letter:\i386\command.co_ c:\windows\system32\command.com
     
    For example, if the drive letter of your DVD/CD drive is "d" then you would type the first line as follows:  expand d:\i386\config.nt_ c:\windows\system32\config.nt
     
    Once you've completed this step, you should have a fresh copy of config.nt, autoexec.nt and command.com in the c:\windows\system32 folder of your computer.
     
  5. Remove the Windows XP installation CD and restart your computer.
     
  6. Insert the BassBox Pro, X•over Pro or BassBox Lite CD and run the setup program again. It should now work.

Method 2
This method shows you how to create a fresh copy of two of the files (config.nt and autoexec.nt). The third file (command.com) cannot be created by the user. It must be obtained from your Windows XP installation CD as described in "Method 1" above. However, it may not be needed. So if you don't have your Windows XP installation disc, you may still be able to solve the problem with this method if the problem is limited to config.nt and/or autoexec.nt. In order to use the following procedure, your computer will need to be configured to show file name extensions and hidden system files and folders. This is configured on the "View" tab of the "Folder Options" applet in the Windows control panel.

  1. Start the Windows Notepad program.
     
  2. Type the following entries:
     
        dos=high, umb
        device=%SYSTEMROOT%\system32\himem.sys
        files=40
     
  3. Select the "Save As" command in the "File" menu.
     
  4. Use the "Save In" list at the top of the dialog box to navigate to the c:\windows\system32 folder.
     
  5. In the "File Name" box type the file name "Config.nt" without the quotation marks and click on the "Save" button to save config.nt into the c:\windows\system32 folder. Allow your config.nt file to replace any older copy if one is present.
     
  6. Select the "New" command in the "File" menu.
     
  7. In the new blank document, type the following entries:
     
        @echo off
        lh %SYSTEMROOT%\system32\mscdexnt.exe
        lh %SYSTEMROOT%\system32\redir
        lh %SYSTEMROOT%\system32\dosx
        SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 P330 T3
     
  8. Select the "Save As" command in the "File" menu.
     
  9. Make sure that the "Save As" dialog is still pointing to the c:\windows\system32 folder. If it is not, use the "Save In" list at the top of the dialog box to navigate to the c:\windows\system32 folder.
     
  10. In the "File Name" box type the file name "Auoexec.nt" without the quotation marks and click on the "Save" button to save autoexec.nt into the c:\windows\system32 folder. Allow your autoexec.nt file to replace an older copy if one is present.
     
  11. Restart your computer.
     
  12. Insert the BassBox Pro, X•over Pro or BassBox Lite CD and run the setup program again. It should now work.

Method 3
This method will copy backup copies of two of the files (config.nt and autoexec.nt) if your computer has them. The third file (command.com) probably will not have a backup. It must be obtained from the Windows XP installation CD as decribed in "Method 1" above. However, it may not be needed. So if you don't have your Windows XP installation disc, you may still be able to solve the problem with this method if the problem is limited to config.nt and/or autoexec.nt. In order to use the following procedure, your computer will need to be configured to show file name extensions and hidden system files and folders. This is configured on the "View" tab of the "Folder Options" applet in the Windows control panel.

  1. Select the "Run" command from the Windows "Start" menu.
     
  2. In the "Open" box, type "%windir%\repair" without the quotation marks and then click "OK". A window should open showing the contents of the c:\windows\repair folder.
     
  3. Check the list of files to see if either autoexec.nt or config.nt are listed. If neither file is present, then your computer does not have backup copies and you can close the window and stop here.
     
  4. Select both the autoexec.nt and config.nt files by holding down the Ctrl key when you click on each one. Then select the "Copy" command from the "Edit" menu.
     
  5. Return to the Windows "Start" menu and select the "Run" command again.
     
  6. In the "Open" box, type "%windir%\system32" without the quotation marks and then click "OK". Another window should open showing the contents of the c:\windows\system32 folder.
     
  7. Select the "Paste" command from the "Edit" menu and paste autoexec.nt and config.nt into the c:\windows\system32 folder. Allow your computer to replace any existing copies of these files if they are present.
     
  8. Close both of the previous windows and restart your computer.
     
  9. Insert the BassBox Pro, X•over Pro or BassBox Lite CD and run the setup program again. It should now work.

If none of the above methods are successful, it may indicate a more serious problem with your Windows XP installation and you may need to install a fresh copy of the operating system. It could also indicate a computer virus problem or similar. Even new computers have been known to have such problems. Our software is compatible with all 32-bit versions of Windows XP and once these problems are rectified, it should work.

 

Technical Notes for
all of our products:

 
BassBox 6 Pro
BassBox 6 Lite
X•over 3 Pro
Typeface Collection
BassBox 5.1
X•over 1.0-2.x
 

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