Uninstalling CSNW

DOS shells would display "Cannot load VDM IPX/SPX support" because of Novell's drivers.

I worked at a company that used a Novell server. I also used DOS quite a bit. Whenever I created a DOS shell, I got a funny error message. One day I decided to remove that message but had a hard time figuring out what was causing it.


  • When you open a DOS shell or if you run some programs in the DOS shell, you will get an error: Cannot load VDM IPX/SPX support


On Windows 2000 (maybe Windows XP and others), when you install CSNW and Novell's Netware client, it adds extra stuff to your autoexec.nt file. When you uninstall the client, it leaves a few turds around on your system (don't they all?) that could cause problems.


Edit your %SystemRoot%\system32\autoexec.nt file and delete three lines.

  • Double-click on my computer
  • Double-click on C:
  • Look for "WINNT" or "WINDOWS". Remember which one you saw.
  • Start -> Run
  • Type in notepad c:\winnt\system32\autoexec.nt or notepad c:\windows\system32\autoexec.nt depending on if you saw WINDOWS or WINNT.
  • Look for these lines: REM Install network redirector lh %SystemRoot%\system32\nw16 lh %SystemRoot%\system32\vwipxspx
  • Delete those three lines, and only those three lines.
  • File -> Save
  • Close Notepad -- You are done!

Problem solved.