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Adding Uniprocessor Support to Windows NT 4.0 MPS Installations

Adding Uniprocessor Support to Windows NT 4.0 MPS Installations

If your host computer has more than one processor and one of the operating systems on the computer is Windows NT 4.0, you encounter problems when you try to run that operating system as a VMware Workstation guest operating system running from a raw disk. Typically, you see an error message like "This HAL DLL requires MPS version 1.1 system" when you try to boot the guest operating system.

The hardware abstraction layer (HAL) installed on your physical computer for Windows NT is for multiprocessor systems (MPS). But the VMware Workstation virtual machine uses only one processor.

It is possible to work around this problem by adding uniprocessor support to your Windows NT configuration.

Warning: These instructions are intended for expert Windows NT users and administrators only. The instructions below do not apply to systems running Windows 2000, Windows XP or Windows .NET Server.

You should be familiar with low-level operation of Windows NT and be familiar with modifying boot.ini parameters. You also need to be aware if your system is not a standard PC and thus requires a special uniprocessor hardware abstraction layer (HAL). If it does require a special HAL, you will need to ensure you use the correct hal.dll and NTOSKRNL.EXE for your computer.

These instructions apply to Microsoft Windows NT 4.0, both Workstation and Server releases.

To allow the use of a uniprocessor HAL and kernel files, follow these steps:

  1. Copy the hal.dll file and the NTOSKRNL.EXE file from the Windows NT CD-ROM or Windows NT Service Pack CD-ROM (if a service pack is installed) to a temporary folder. On Service Pack CD-ROMs these files are found in the \i386 folder.

  2. Rename the hal.dll file to unihal.dll, and rename the NTOSKRNL.EXE file to UNIKRNL.EXE.

  3. Copy the files you renamed in Step 2 to the C:\winnt\system32 folder. (If the system environment variable SYSTEMROOT is not C:, then use the appropriate path instead of C:\winnt\system32.)

  4. Remove the read-only attribute from the boot.ini file.

    attrib -s -h -r C:\boot.ini

    If the system environment variable SYSTEMROOT is not C:, then use the appropriate path instead of C:\boot.ini.

  5. Use a text editor (such as Notepad) to modify the [operating systems] section in boot.ini to read:

    [operating systems]

    multi(0)disk ....\WINNT40="Windows NT Server Version 4.00"

    multi(0)disk ....\WINNT40="Windows NT Version 4.00
    [UNIHAL]" /hal=unihal.dll /kernel=unikrnl.exe

    Note: The last line, from the second multi(0)disk to
    /kernel=unikrnl.exe, must be on one line. It must not wrap.

  6. Save the boot.ini file, exit the text editor, then restart the computer.

  7. When the computer reboots, choose Windows NT Version 4.00 [UNIHAL] from the Windows NT boot menu.

    This is the configuration you should use in the virtual machine.

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