Error Message: VFAT Device Initialization Failed

2:57:00 PM |

When you start Windows, you may receive the following error message on a blue screen:
VFAT Device Initialization Failed
A device or resource required by VFAT is not present or is unavailable. VFAT cannot continue loading. System halted.

CAUSE:
This error message can occur when any one of the following conditions exists:
The Ifshlp.sys file is missing from the Windows folder.
The Config.sys file contains a line pointing to a previous version of the Ifshlp.sys file.
The following Ifshlp.sys statement was deleted from the Config.sys file after reinstalling Windows : DEVICE=<DRIVE>:\<WINDOWS>\IFSHLP.SYS
where <drive> is the drive containing Windows and <windows> is the Windows folder.
For example, if Windows is installed in the WINDOWS folder on drive C, the line will read: DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\IFSHLP.SYS
The [Paths] section in the Msdos.sys file is incorrect.
A Winboot.ini file from a previous incomplete installation is present in the root folder of the boot disk.

RESOLUTION:

To resolve the problem, use the method in the appropriate section below.
Ifshlp.sys File Missing from Windows Folder

If the Ifshlp.sys file is missing from the Windows folder, Use WinSafe's DOS command WINSAFE or extract a new copy of the file from your original Windows cabinet files to the Windows folder.

For information about using the Extract tool, at the Windows prompt type "Extract /?" or see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: ARTICLE-ID: Q129605

TITLE : How to Extract Original Compressed Windows Files

Config.sys file points to Previous Version of Ifshlp.sys file

  1. Restart your computer. When you see the "Starting Windows " message, press the F8 key, and then choose Safe Mode Command Prompt Only from the Startup menu.
  2. Use any text editor (such as Edit.com) to open the Config.sys file.
  3. Remove the line that loads Ifshlp.sys. (Windows automatically loads this driver when you start your computer.)
  4. Save and then close the Config.sys file.
  5. Restart your computer.
Ifshlp.sys statement was deleted from the Config.sys file after reinstalling Windows

When reinstalling Windows , Setup will delete the Ifshlp.sys statement in the Config.sys file and not replace it. To add the Ifshlp.sys statement back to the Config.sys file, follow these steps:
  1. Restart your computer. When you see the "Starting Windows " message, press the F8 key, and then choose Safe Mode Command Prompt Only from the Startup menu.
  2. Use any text editor (such as Edit.com) to open the Config.sys file.
  3. Add the following line to the Config.sys file: DEVICE=<DRIVE>:\ <WINDOWS>\IFSHLP.SYS where <drive> is the drive containing Windows and <windows> is the Windows folder. For example, if Windows is installed in the WINDOWS folder on drive C, add the following line: DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\IFSHLP.SYS
  4. Save and then close the Config.sys file.
  5. Restart your computer.
Incorrect [Paths] Section in Msdos.sys File

1. Restart your computer. When you see the "Starting Windows " message, press the F8 key, and then choose Safe Mode Command Prompt Only from the Startup menu.

2. Type the following line at the command prompt: Attrib -s -h -r msdos.sys

3. Use any text editor (such as Edit.com) to open the Msdos.sys file.

4. Verify that the following lines in the Msdos.sys file are correct
[Paths]
WinDir=<Windows>
WinBootDir=<Windows>
HostWinBootDrv=C
where <Windows> is the folder containing Windows . Note that if you are using disk compression software (such as DriveSpace), you must change the drive letter in the "HostWinBootDrv=" line to the drive letter of the host drive.

5. Save and then close the Msdos.sys file.

6. Type the following line at the command prompt: Attrib +s +h +r msdos.sys

7. Restart your computer.

Winboot.ini File Present in Root Folder of Boot Drive

1. Restart your computer. When you see the "Starting Windows " message, press the F8 key, and then choose Safe Mode Command Prompt Only from the Startup menu.

2. Delete the Winboot.ini file in the root folder of the boot drive.

3. Restart your computer.