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Norton Utilities 2000 v4.5 - Win95/98
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Error: "Windows has disabled direct disk access..." after installing Norton Utilities

You just installed Norton Utilities. Now when the computer starts, the normal Windows desktop does not appear. Instead, the following message appears:

"Windows has disabled direct disk access in order to protect your long file names. To override, see the LOCK /? command for more information. The system has been halted, press Ctrl+Alt+Del."

In Windows 95, the computer can be started to a DOS prompt and Safe Mode Command Prompt, but cannot be started into Safe Mode. In Windows NT, the computer can be booted to a DOS prompt provided that the system has a bootable FAT partition.

This situation is caused by attempting to install Norton Utilities for DOS and Windows (version 8.0 or previous) onto Windows 95/98 or Windows NT system. Norton Utilities 8.0 was written for DOS and Windows 3.x and thus will not work correctly on Windows 95/98 and Windows NT.

The error message is caused by lines that Norton Utilities for DOS and Windows adds to the AUTOEXEC.BAT file. To resolve this situation, do the following:
  1. Start the system to a command prompt.
  2. Edit the AUTOEXEC.BAT file to prevent the startup error.
  3. Restart the computer and remove Norton Utilities for DOS and Windows.

If you intend to install Norton Utilities for Windows 95/98 or Norton Utilities for Windows NT, you'll need to follow these instructions first.

Step 1 - Start the system to command prompt
To start the system to a command prompt (Windows 95/98):
  1. Restart the computer. Depending on the version of Windows, do one of the following:
    • Windows 95: When the message "Starting Windows 95" appears, press the F8 key.
    • Windows 98: Hold down the Ctrl key during system startup.
  2. From the Windows 95 or Windows 98 Startup menu, select "Safe Mode Command Prompt Only" and press Enter.

To start the system to a command prompt (Windows NT):
  1. Restart the computer.
  2. Choose DOS from the Boot Menu. If the system does not have a DOS option on the Boot Menu, contact Technical Support for further information.

Step 2 - Edit the AUTOEXEC.BAT file to prevent the startup error
To edit the AUTOEXEC.BAT file:
  1. At the command prompt, type CD\ and press Enter.
  2. Do one of the following, depending on the version of Windows:
    • Windows NT: Type CD WINNT\SYSTEM32 and press Enter.
    • Windows 95/98: Type CD WINDOWS\COMMAND and press Enter.
      Note: The name of the Windows program folder may be different on your system.
  3. Type the following line and press Enter:

  4. Type REM and a space at the beginning of each of the following lines:


  5. Save the file and exit the editor.

Step 3 - Restart the computer and uninstall Norton Utilities for DOS and Windows
After making the changes to the AUTOEXEC.BAT file, restart the computer. The system should start normally to the Windows 95/98 or Windows NT desktop. Uninstall any old versions of Norton Utilities or Norton Desktop that remain on the computer. Uninstall these before installing any Symantec programs that were written specifically for Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows NT.

If the system displayed the "Windows Has Disabled Direct Disk Access" message, follow the instructions in this section for removing Norton Utilities for DOS/Windows. Use these instructions only if you received that specific error message. This error indicates that you made no changes to Norton Utilities. If you did make changes, these instructions may not fully remove Norton Utilities for DOS/Windows from the system. In that case, see the document How to uninstall Norton Utilities for DOS/Windows.

These are the main steps for uninstalling Norton Utilities versions 8.x and earlier. These steps assume the computer has been restarted to a command prompt, (see "Step 1 - Start the system to a command prompt" previously in this document).

  1. Delete the files in the NU directory.
  2. Remove the NU directory.
  3. Remove the Windows shortcuts.
  4. Disable SYMEVNT in the SYSTEM.INI file.
  5. Delete the Norton files from the WINDOWS/SYSTEM directory.

For Norton Utilities versions 7 and 8, the Norton Utilities files are in a directory named NU. Versions older than version 7 use the NORTON directory. In the following instructions, if you have a version older than version 7, use NORTON for the name of the directory instead of NU.

Step 1 - Delete the files in the NU directory
  1. Change to the directory that contains the Norton Utilities files, for example:
  2. Type CD\ and press Enter.
  3. Type CD NU and press Enter.
  4. The DOS prompt shows the directory where Norton Utilities is installed, such as C:\NU>
  5. Delete all the files in the Norton Utilities directory:
  6. Type DEL *.* and press Enter.

    Use the DOS command DEL *.* with extreme caution. It will delete ALL FILES in the current directory. Make sure that you are in the correct directory before deleting any files.
Step 2 - Remove the NU directory
  1. Change to the parent directory where Norton Utilities was installed, for example:
    Type CD\ and press Enter.
  2. Remove the empty directory, for example:
    Type RD NU and press Enter.

Step 3 - Remove the Windows shortcuts

  1. Open Windows Explorer or Windows NT Explorer.
  2. Do one of the following, depending on your version of Windows:
    • Windows 95/98: Open the C:\Windows\Start Menu\Programs folder.
    • Windows NT: Open the C:\WinNT\All Users\Start Menu\Programs folder.
  3. Delete the shortcuts named "Norton Utilities DOS" and "Norton Utilities Windows."

Step 4 - Remove SYMEVNT from the SYSTEM.INI file

  1. Using any text editor, open the SYSTEM.INI file. For example:
    Type EDIT C\WINDOWS\SYSTEM.INI and press Enter.
  2. Locate the following line:

    DEVICE=C:\SYMEVNT.386    ;Added by NU8
  3. Type a semi-colon (;) at the beginning of this line. The line should then read:

    ;DEVICE=C:\SYMEVNT.386    ;Added by NU8
  4. Save the file and exit the editor.

Step 5 - Delete the Norton files in the WINDOWS\SYSTEM directory
  1. Change to the Windows\System directory, for example:
    Type CD\ and press Enter.
    Type CD\WINDOWS\SYSTEM and press Enter.
  2. Delete the SYMEVNT.386 and SYMEVNT1.DLL files:
    Type DEL SYMEVNT.386 and press Enter.
    Type DEL SYMEVNT1.DLL and press Enter.
  3. Restart the computer.

Alternate solution
If you did not try to install Norton Utilities for DOS and Windows, but Windows displayed the "Windows Has Disabled Direct Disk Access" message, the problem is probably caused by other lines in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file. If the instructions in this document do not work, rename the AUTOEXEC.BAT file to something else, such as AUTOEXEC.ABC, and restart the computer. If the problem is resolved, identify which line is causing the problem by typing REM at the beginning of various lines in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file and restarting the computer. You may find that a feature named Rapid Resume is related to this problem.

If the problem is not resolved by renaming the AUTOEXEC.BAT file, then see the document How to perform a clean boot of Windows 95.

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