Question about Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition

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The ntvdm cpu has encountered an illegal instruction

Everytime i start computer i get this dialog box:

c:\docume~1\ownerstartm~\programs\startup\power~1.exe
the ntvdm cpu has encountered an illegal instruction.
cs:0000ip0077 op:fu 37 05 oc 02
choose close to terminate application

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  • Anonymous Feb 10, 2009

    help

  • shazi_only4u Apr 07, 2009

    i have the same problem to run turbo c++ it shows the same message that

    "the ntvdm CPU has encountered an illegal instruction...."

  • Thomas F. Schneider May 11, 2010

    Have you tried to go to the setup screen and load the default settings in the BIOS for the CPU?

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I took this from another web site:
Michael Chiew said:
What did you do before this happened? What were your last deeds on the machine before the pop-up appeared?

I think what you're referring to is NTVDM CPU, not NTDVM CPU. Am I correct?

What do you know about 16-bit and 32-bit applications? Well, 16-bit applications are those that must work within the DOS (Disk Operating System) environment, a real-mode arena. NTVDM stands for NT Virtual Dos Machine.

In Windows XP, as in Windows 2000, or Windows 98, there are 16-bit and 32-bit environments (real mode and protected mode respectively).

Windows XP can only operate in 32-bit mode. All 16-bit applications must work within its own theatre of operation, typically, the first MB of physical memory (ram). Conversely, 32-bit applications must function above the first MB memory line. If either of these applications happens to slip into "alien" territory, you get an error message like "something" has encounter an illegal instruction. In other words, the wayward application is trying to slip by the immigration checkpoint.

In your case, updatemgr.exe (I suspect updatemgr.exe is a 32-bit application) has in all likelihood wondered into the 16-bit arena. Hence, NTVDM CPU issues that warning. 

Why do you continue to get the message. It's because updatemgr.exe incessantly misbehaves itself on start-up, always trying to load itself into a particular memory address where it is not welcome. Why the persistence? Updatemgr.exe has gone bonkers. It is either corrupted or damaged.

On the other hand, one cannot discount the possibility that NTVDM (NTVDM.EXE) is corrupted or damaged. So your problem lies with either updatemgr.exe or NTVDM.EXE, or both.

There are 2 things you could do.

First, establish who owns updatemgr.exe, Microsoft or some third-party owner. Second, rename updatemgr.exe and see whether the message goes away.

To establish ownership (and the function of updatemgr.exe), do a search for the file. 

Click START, select FIND. In the FIND dialog box, type: updatemgr.exe. See the directory in which the file has lodged. In Windows Explorer, get to the file, right-click on it, select PROPERTIES. Who owns it? Is there an indication of its function.

Next, rename the file. Right-click it, select RENAME and rename it to, say, updatemgr.old. RESTART your computer. Do you still get the error message. Not likely.

To clean things up a bit, perhaps it is a good idea for you to replace the current NTVDM.EXE with a new copy. Find out where NTVDM.EXE is. Then, click START, select RUN. Type in the RUN dialog box SFC to run the System File Checker. Insert your OS CD, follow the prompts, extract a copy of NTVDM.EXE and send it to its place of residence. Of course, you should also replace a copy of updatemgr.exe.

That should eliminate your problem for good.


Posted on Dec 27, 2008

  • Andrew Gage
    Andrew Gage Feb 05, 2011

    What if the error prevents Windows from loading completely? Userinit.exe seems to be involved in this dilemma, and when I click either CLOSE or IGNORE Windows XP fails to load and I am left with only wallpaper on the desktop but no elements of the Windows OS. Can't use the Start feature. My only options are with the startup BIOS functions prior to the error message popping up.
    Reload Windows?

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