KernelEx v4.5.2 released

By , November 14, 2011 22:59

Hi there!

This is a maintenance release to allow running the recently released official Mozilla Firefox 8.0 build.
Greets to aceman and felicitas for discovering the nature of the problem which prevented it from working.
What is not working yet: recently visited addresses, history and bookmarks.

KernelEx enters the dark world of VMM and kernel drivers.
In this release KernelEx doesn’t make any modifications to system files on disk.
Instead all patching is done on-the-fly in memory, while the system is performing the startup via a specialized driver.

Please report if you find any problems with copy protection-engines – like SecuROM, SafeDisc etc. that you didn’t have in v4.5.1.

What’s new:

  • Added KernelEx Virtual Device (VKrnlEx.vxd) project which makes modification of kernel32.dll file on disk unnecessary by patching the image directly in memory from kernel space before the shell starts
  • Implemented a fix for a crash occuring when accessing a locked file through file mapping object
  • Some programs shouldn’t complain about not having admin privileges anymore
  • Various bugfixes

Apps fixed / now working:

  • Now working: Mozilla Firefox 8.0

You can download the new release here.

67 Responses to “KernelEx v4.5.2 released”

  1. RP says:

    After I got Kex 4.5.2 to install, the virtual kernel works very nice. It starts Opera with Kernel32.dll versions 4.10.2222, 4.10.2225, 4.10.2226 without modifying them. Great job! I was afraid the in memory patch wouldn’t work on a faster machine.

    However, getting Kex 4.5.2 to install required replacing Kernel32.dll manually in MS-DOS. KernelEx v4.5.1 uninstall failed to restore the prior kernel32.dll, or it left behind a patched and/or unpatched version of it. KernelEx v4.5.2 **DID NOT LIKE** that modded up version of kernel32.dll:

    pop-up #1
    KernelEx Virtual device has failed to initialize.

    pop-up #2
    KernelEx has not been properly installed.

    As someone in the MSFN forum hinted, it says 4.5.120 not 4.5.2 …

    • Xeno says:

      The problem you mention is the inherent problem of patching the files. The backup of kernel32.dll is being lost for some reason on user’s system. What is odd I have never found that issue on any of my test systems. I tried to address that issue a few times already without success.
      Let’s hope that the new approach will end all those problems one and for all…

      4.5.120 is the internal version code. 4.5.2 means KernelEx 4.5 beta 2, 4.5.10 is RC 1, 4.5.100 final and so on… messed up a bit
      Guess I should fix this some day

      • Win98User says:

        Possible reasons for the loss of kernel32.dll
        a disk cleaning utility set to delete the contents
        or a disk cleaning utility set to delete any file
        with a .bak extension.

        Be sure you have kernel32.dll backed up and that
        any disk cleaning utility you use is not going
        to delete it.

  2. RP says:

    FYI, Opera is still set for “default” or “Windows XP SP2″ instead of “Windows 2000 SP4″. If you’ve lost all your menu’s, …

    • Xeno says:

      Please remind me what the problem is.

      • RP says:

        Opera installs and works correctly only with the compatibility mode set to “Windows 2000 SP4″. Kex sets Opera’s compatibility to “Windows XP SP2″. Opera won’t install with that setting. The “show menu bar” under the file menu won’t appear on other compatibility settings for at least the last eight versions of Opera. For Opera 11.60 beta, “Windows XP SP2″ causes the menus to be all messed up, e.g., ampersands. Lots of stuff like that.

  3. Deynyel says:

    thanks for continuing the project :)

  4. JC says:

    I’m very glad that you continued the project

  5. YourHungarianFan says:

    You are the greatest man!
    Thanks to you I can use my very-very old machine with 256mb ram to surf the web with Opera as almost fast as my newer work computer in the office!
    A big-big-big like to you!!!

    And I’m also very glad that you continued this project.

  6. rodrigoter says:

    Xeno, you´re a geniussssss!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for keeping the project! The new kernelex is more fast than the last version!
    I am writing from Argentina, with a PII-350, 384 MB RAM!!! I use Opera and Firefox!!!
    Thanks thanks thanks and excuse me by my poor english!

  7. hailey says:

    keep up with the project man:)

  8. jler says:

    since firefox 6, 7, and 8 under windows , the core need the SSE2, SSE3? instruction to work properly. I use sometime U11.10 kernel 3.0.14 and firefox 8 with processor single core just more gain !

  9. SumGuy says:

    Is there a way to get the list of API’s that KernelEx adds to Win-98?

    • Xeno says:

      there is no list as such, but you could download the source code and review the lists in invidual files named *_apilist.c under kernelex/apilibs, these files contain the API names that are used

  10. Aaron says:

    As a die-hard Windows ME user I must say thank you for creating Kernel Ex.

    My poor computer, which is ancient (12 years old), is still able to surf the web thanks to your program. Most people would have tossed my computer into the garbage long ago. But not me.

    Here’s what I’m running it on:

    866 MHz Pentium III
    Windows Millennium Edition
    384 Mb Ram
    Kernel Ex 4.5.1 final
    Opera 12 Alpha build 1213
    Dial Up Internet connection
    Opera Turbo Mode enabled

    ^This setup is lightning fast on dial up!!!

    It really works great. And this way I can continue with Windows ME because I don’t like newer computers.

  11. Aaron says:

    I should also add that in order to “update” Windows ME I also installed the following items:

    -Internet Explorer 6 (I don’t surf with this. But since the files are part of the operating system, it’s therefore faster and more stable than the default Internet Explorer 5.0)

    -Directx 9.0c (last version for Windows ME)

    -Windows Media Player 9 (again, final version for Windows Me)

    -Microsoft Windows Installer 2.0 (can’t install certain programs without it)

    ^after installing those things, then I install Kernel Ex and Opera 12. If anyone is curious as to “improving” Windows ME.

  12. RP says:

    Well, my video card recently died. It had some poorly soldered BGA’s or they unsoldered from insufficient cooling and caused an electrical short which destroyed a memory chip. So, I had to install a much older card.

    All the problems I had with Mozilla Firefox 3.6.x crashing randomly, or with MF 3.8 crashing when the browser window was resized disappeared. The issue with Google maps webpage corrupting all the MF browser buttons and turning all my systray icons black disappeared too. I never saw any of these issues with Opera, currently at 11.60. In fact, the only software that had any video problems was MF. It was so specific to MF that I thought Kex was the issue.

    The video card that died was a EVGA Nvidia GeForce 7950GT 512MB PCIe using Maximus-Decim’s modded NVIDIA drivers 82.69 (v1.03). The old video card is a Diamond Viper V330. It’s struggling. I have to install a new video card. I’d like to get another Nvidia card. Part of that choice is because MD’s modded drivers are available for Win98. However, it seems that MD’s driver may have been the cause of the problems I was having with MF.

    What other current video cards have drivers which support Win98? Are Maximus-Decim’s modded drivers still the best choice?

  13. Seam says:


  14. Isica says:

    KernelEx 4.5.2 (Core 4.5.120)
    Windows ME Russian

    1. Opera 11.xx/12.xx
    1.1. Drag&Drop only works on the Drop.
    1.2. Password manager doesn’t work (passwords are not substituted).

    2. The CreateFontIndirectW creates too small a font for the Russian language.
    Example: VLC Player 1.1.11

    3. In some programs that do not require a KernelEx, the KernelEx distorts the colors of some controls.
    Sample: VLC Player 0.86i

  15. Forever98 says:

    I got a problem…
    I got Win 98Se and want to play GTA san andreas multiplayer 0.3d ot 0.3c (sa-mp).I got kernelex installed.Please help me…

  16. Win98SE says:

    I need to get the gta san andreas multiplayer samp 0.3e (newest samp version) vorking on my windows 98 second edition.I hope you make this working on next kernelEx versoin.Anyvays thanks for *updating* windows 98 :)

  17. RP says:

    Dave-H mentioned Opera 12 on MSFN forums. I’m unable to run it without crashes. Has anyone else tried it? Does it work for you?

  18. schwups says:

    Opera 12 doesn’t work as stable as Opera 11.64, but it runs usable, not always stable for me on all my machines (WinME). The new plugin wrapper fails to run, so that no plugin work. The comp. mode for Opera 11 and 12 is Win2000SP4. Opera plays Flash videos without the Adobe Flash Player plugin. Opera uses the HTML5 Player inside. It’s not possible to add toolbar buttons by drag and drop.

    • RP says:

      Well, Opera 12.02 installs and does not crash. It seemed to be mostly fine. It has a few issues. E.g., Javascript inline frames were not working. I don’t recall the other problems. 12.10 does not install at all. So, I’m back to 11.64 again.

      • RP says:

        Another issue was Adobe Flash wasn’t working. I updated to 11.4.402.287. It took forever using Google and Yahoo to find the msi version on Adobe’s website. A link on the Wiki would be nice. I decided to retry 12.02 since I didn’t unistall my preferences from 11.64. After reinstalling, Javascript inline frames and Adobe Flash both work. I’m not sure if the earlier issue was old settings or older Flash. I just did this again, so haven’t thoroughly checked other stuff. BTW, is there a way to get Kext without an MSFN account?

        • RP says:

          It seems you cannot drag and drop to the toolbar for Opera 12.02. This is noted on the Wiki. I found this on the web:

          Button0, “Home/Menu”=”Go to homepage, , , “Home/Menu” + Show hidden popup menu, “Browser Menu Bar”"

          That’s the line for a HOME button in Opera’s standard_toolbar.ini. Paste it between NamedButton3 and NamedAddress4. Rename Button0 to NamedButton4. Rename NamedAddress4 to NamedAddress5.

        • schwups says:

          Hallo RP,

          the msi is in the packages on Abobe “Archived Flash Player versions”. I added the link on the Wiki. Working Flash of versions 11.2 – 11.4 depends on the KernelEX setting of Opera. If Opera works with default mode the file name must renamed to “NPSWF32.dll” ; hold the name “NPSWF32_11_4_402_287.dll”, if Opera works with Win2000 mode. You also can put the file in Opera’s plugin folder. Opera looks first in the plugin folder and then in the System\Macromedia\Flash folder.
          Maybe there is an issue with the Javascript inline frames of Opera 12.xx. I’m not sure. I have to do more tests.

          • schwups says:

            Make sure that you have the same player versions in the plugin folder of Opera and the System Flash folder. Otherwise the player doesn’t work.

        • schwups says:

          I think a download on an other website will not be initially available. Why you don’t sign up for an MSFN account?

  19. Jordi says:

    I only want to say thanks you!

  20. ron-m says:

    Hello all. The 1st PC I ordered was on the day that WinMe was available from Compaq. I believe that WinMe is the best OS (excluding it’s few limitations) that MS ever released. Both of my online computers, running through a LinkSys router run WinMe with a firewall and Firefox v2.00.20, and neither one of them have had an anti-virus program on them in 6+ years now with no encountered problems. My other 2 computers run XP Home on one and Win7 Pro x64 (on an Alienware Aurora-R4, Intel i7, @ 3.6-4.1GHz, 16GB RAM, 2-1TB HDs) on the other one. I’ve been working with computers since 1967, when you had to wire the IBM boards by hand, I also write my own bat files for cleanup. so I consider myself a very advanced user, but I sometimes still feel like novice when I encounter a problem like the one I have experienced tonight.

    That said, I recently found KernelEx and decided to give it a try tonight so I might install some upgrades to a few of my current programs. After installing KernelEx, I did a clean un-installed of Firefox v2.0.0.20 and tried to install v3.6.21. Much to my surprise I encountered the same annoying message that I needed a newer version OS. Am I missing some tweet or reg trick here?

    I re-imaged my system and came here to post my comment hoping to get some kind of response that will help me be able to install Firefox v3.6.21, as well as some other program upgrades. I’d really appreciate any help.

    specs: WinMe 4.8.3000, 1.5GB RAM, 2-120GB HDs.

    Thanks in advance, ron-m

    Note: I had to post this from another computer because the SourceForge webpage ‘CAPTCHA Code key’ was not visible to use to leave a post, and it wiped out everything I had typed when I pressed ‘Add your Reply’.

    • RP says:

      I’m using WinSE. This is how I install. There is lots of missing detail here. Even so, this is long. Ask.

      First, I install the OS and any available motherboard drivers and inf files, if I’m installing clean. If I’m not installing clean (normal), I find Ortwin Glueck’s “ODI’s LFN Tools”, especially lcopy.exe, to be useful. You’ll need a floppy boot disk with a bunch of MS-DOS files and CD-ROM drivers… There is supposedly an image on the install CD somewhere… I usually build my own. And, that’s a PATA CD-ROM, not SATA. Although it’s slower, if you value your install, you won’t use smartdrv.exe during the install either.

      If I’ve got 1GB or less installed, I leave HIMEM.sys alone. If I’ve got more than 1GB of memory installed, I switch from HIMEM.sys to Japheth’s HIMEMX.sys after the first install reboot. I also modify system.ini settings for both for large memory by changing [386enh] MaxPhysPage and [vcache] MaxFileCache settings. I set them to 22000 and 560000 for HIMEM or 3FFFF and 524288 for HIMEMX.

      I get the OS install and basic hardware working first. It’s best to disable ACPI in the BIOS at first. Later, enable it and redetect hardware. It’s best to install using an actual PS/2 keyboard, if you’ve got one. Switch to USB later. You may also need to cancel installing EHCI and OHCI USB drivers. Sometimes they conflict and will lock out USB keyboards and mice. If so, reboot into safe mode and delete them.

      After that, I install: Unofficial Windows 98/SE Service pack, NUSB (v33) Native USB drivers, Unofficial Windows 98 SE 48-bit LBA fix, and VBEMP 9x Universal Video drivers. You’ll also need to make sure unicows.exe is up to date. Kernelex requires a minimum version of it. Hopefully, the service pack installs it.

      There are WinME versions of the service pack and LBA fix. The service pack, NUSB, and LBA fix are available from MDGX’s website. VBEMP has a 9x and NT website. Get the 9x driver. I don’t see NUSB available for ME, so maybe ME doesn’t need it. You can check the other USB fixes at MDGX’s which are available for ME.

      Then, you’ll install KernelEx 4.5.2. DO NOT install older versions of Kex. Kex should tell you it installed correctly. If you right-click on Mozilla Firefox’s installer executable, there should be a new property tab for Kernelex. The Opera installer needs to be set to: “Use specific compatibility mode:” and for “Windows XP SP2″. Next, install Mozilla Firefox. After installing, right-click on Mozilla Firefox’s icon. It should be set to “Use specific compatibility mode:” and for “Windows 2000 SP4″ with advanced options is unchecked. Note that one is set to WinXP and the other to Win2k.

      Personally, I’ve had lots of problems with the 3.6.x series of Mozilla Firefox. It crashed repeatedly. It corrupted files and directories. Other people haven’t had any issues. The 3.5.x series of Mozilla Firefox works well. 3.5.19 is the last of the 3.5.x series. I’ve got it installed. I think 3.6.22 was the last version that worked with Kernelex, but maybe it was 3.6.21… There is a 3.6.23 pre-release.

      Opera works great with Kernelex up to 11.64. 12.00 crashes for me. Opera’s installer and program need to be set the same way you did for Mozilla Firefox. Opera is also *much* faster than Mozilla Firefox. So, I only switch to Moz if I need Java or I need a Moz plugin. Java with Kex won’t work with Opera. It requires a couple of changes to work with Firefox.

      I don’t recall if these issues were for Opera for Mozilla Firefox… One of them needed network drivers installed and setup before I was able to use it. One of them won’t install as completely if the installer is not set to XP compatibility.

      As for virus scanners, I’ve not seen this mentioned previously, like on MSFN forums. I use these for WinSE. McAfee’s Stinger works. It tests close to 5000 of the latest threats. Trend Micro’s sysclean works too. It tests against a huge pattern file. It’ll crash on a full disk scan. Just scan directories. If it crashes anyway, run scandisk on the next boot. It creates five temp files. The current versions of both, I think, will also complain about a missing SFC.dll. This is not an issue. I don’t recall if they require Kernelex or not. They do work with Kex installed.

      I would post links to all this stuff, but then the reply waits to be moderated. You’ll have to search for the websites and files, or get an account and ask on MSFN 98/SE/ME forums.

  21. ron-m says:

    I forgot to mention my CPU in my above specs:

    Intel Celeron 2.6 GH

  22. schwups says:

    Requirements for KernelEx:

    Windows 98 or Windows Millennium in any language
    Microsoft Layer for Unicode (MSLU)

    Do you had enabled or disabled KernelEx for all applications? If it is enabled Firefox is already set to comp. mode XP. For Firefox 3.x and higher the XP mode is mandatory .

    • ron-m says:

      IT WORKED!!! Thanks for the heads-up schwups. I set Firefox to the XP SP2 mode and everything installed. I’m now using Firefox v3.6.21

      Except I still had to use another computer because the CAPTCHA Code box still didn’t show. Both computers are using Firefox v3.6.21, The computer running WinMe cannot see the Capycha code box, the other computer running Win7 can. Maybe this is a heads-up for the sorceforge webmaster!!!

      Thanks again schwups. BTW I also just discovered the KernelEx MSFN Forum discussion group over at
      I’ve got some more reading to do. :-)


      • schwups says:

        I haven’t any problems with the CAPTCHA Code box on ME and different Firefox versions, 3.5.19, 3.6.27, 3.6.28. Did you delete your Firefox profiles, before you had installed FF 3.6? Maybe it’s a setting (about:config). It’s a png image. Do you see the box in Opera or IE?

  23. Anonim says:

    Xeno, widzę po screenach, że jesteś polakiem, więc będę pisał w ojczystym języku. Kiedy możemy spodziewać się kolejnej wersji KernelEx? Nie tylko ja w domu mam gromadkę starych pecetów, na których działa płynnie albo NT 4.0 – na którego w ogóle już nie ma software, albo Win98 SE w powiązaniu z twoją aplikacją, która jest naprawdę przydatna i ułatwia życie.

  24. J.C. says:

    Xeno, Tihiy,
    I translated the last post and was quite unhappy. You stopped to develop one of the most useful programs for the last decade. I understand that heavy coding takes up a lot of time, but.. KernelEx gave second life to Windows 9x and changed the choice for OS for many people, even on newer computers. With all the time you’ve been with us, I’ve never seen a “donate” button. I think I am not the only one who will definitely want to support the project development. Or even you can make it a commercial version. But we all really need a continuation.

    Greetings from Russia.

  25. RP says:

    What type of work would be need to be done to allow the NT versions of VBEMP and UniATA to work with KernelEx?

  26. rjr says:

    Xeno, Just want to say thanks and to encourage you to continue this effort. A “Donate” button via PayPal, etc would be nice as I like to donate to good efforts. Keep up the good work!

  27. hu$tle says:

    Xeno and Tihiy are both quitters. You will never prosper if you never finish what you started. You also lose respect from people on both ends. Learn how to start and finish, not just start. You both are bums

  28. Ray Richards says:

    Xano, just want to say thanks to the time and energy that you have put into this KernelEx project,I am currently running Win 98se ver.4.102222A & 1015.0 MB Ram on this Pent III 800mghz desktop. I have the KernelEx v4.5.2, Service Pack 2.1 from MDGX’s website,his unofficial 48bit 137gb hd update, all usb updates, Also use Win Media Player 10 for my 98se also from MDGX’s web site. All Microsoft official updates for 98se and service pack 0ne for internet explorer 6 and tools are also installed. You might note hear that I am also currently using the Fire-Fox 9.0.01 Browser as my primary browser. I access the web with a DSL 10/100 broadband connection via a Kingston PCI Ethernet card. I have been surfing the web almost daily with this system since 2005, I do have win 7 on a pent IV du-cor & win XP-pro on another Dell Du-Cor, however I prefer this Win 98se for surfing the web, it is extremely fast and responsive with the broadband connection. It is also less vulnerable to infections compared to XP & win 7. Avast 4.8 anti virus is current with all the latest definitions just in case there is still something trying to infect this legacy OS. I do wish you happiness in the coming years.

  29. Justin Ellenberger says:

    It’s really great that something like this exists and also very sad to see it go. As of right now I can still watch youtube with Opera 11.64 on 98se but I don’t know how much longer that will last. It’s great that Windows 98′s lifetime was extended so far. Still, is there any chance at all of work resuming on this? Any chance that someone else will pick it up? Enable the running of the now XP and above only versions of Opera and Firefox?

    It’s really sad to see a project this great die like this. Surely theres more that could be done?

  30. schwups says:

    Latest developments are on MSFN Forum > Windows 9x Member Projects (Kext: DIY KernelEx extensions, KernelEx — On building, debugging and related matters) and GitHub. These are still in the testing and experimentation phase. There isn’t a new stable version. You have to be patient.

  31. RP says:

    In the Kex Wiki for VLC version 2.06, it recommended changing a registry key for MSVCRT from MSVCRT.DLL to MSVCR70.DLL. That worked. I decided to try other versions of MSVCR. 80 and 90 don’t work. 71 works. 71 also makes glitchy VLC video problems go away! VLC seems to run faster with 71 too. So, I’m leaving MSVCRT regkey pointing to MSVCR71.DLL.

    I’ve also been seeing a problem with Firefox 10.0 and VBEMP video driver. Firefox will crash when starting. The solution is to switch video modes from your current color depth to a different depth and back.

    Is it possible someone can mirror Kext/Kstub822 etc files off of MSDN or unlock them for non-MSDN users? I can’t find a copy on MDGX.

  32. RP says:

    I just downloaded the latest version of Stinger from McAfee, Versions in the 11.x series do not work for Win98 with or without KernelEx. The last working 10.x version is Older versions can be downloaded from Select “view other versions” after selecting the download page for the current version.

  33. Christopher Witkowski says:

    Limited to about 16187 application invocations. After that
    you can’t invoke anything that isn’t running already. You
    can’t even even Restart to reboot. Have to use CTRL-ALT-DEL
    (twice). You may or may not get an “Error Starting Program:
    The KEXBASEN.DLL file cannot start. Check the file to
    determine the problem.” error dialogue.

  34. RP says:

    I’ve converted to Linux. All the problems are gone. Goodbye KEX!

  35. Bill says:

    you need to upgrade your KernelEx for firefox 28.0. firefox do not support 8.0 anymore.


  36. HELP PLZ says:

    anyone know how to install kernel ex on windows nt

  37. schwups says:

    This KernelEX isn’t designed for Windows NT. It’s only for Win 98 and ME.

  38. Eder says:

    When we will get a new version of KernelEx. I have a lot of computers with Windows 98 SE original and i need run programs in this system. For me, Windows 98 is a great OS. Simple, fast and complete.


  39. Someone says:

    I have Windows 98SE in another language than English, I installed KernelEx, but now some things are in English. I managed to change most of the things back to the original OS language using Reshacker, but still the OK/Cancel/Yes/No buttons are in English. Where can I find the right file to change?

  40. schwups says:

    Did you really install the latest version 4.5.2 (4.5.12) released on 14 November 2011?
    KernelEX is language neutral and multi-language ready. KernelEX MSFN Forums thread:
    I only found a language problem in post 813 /817 on page 33. I don’t think that this is your problem.
    Did you install other updates like a ServicePack (english version)?
    Did you uninstall KernelEX to see if the language changes back?

  41. Mehmet Ulukaya says:

    Hello KernelEx team,

    I tried some applications in Win98SE with by KernelEx but new Delphi XE3 compiled exes has got problem with the GetSystemTimes.

    Is there a plan to support this function?

    Best regards


  42. schwups says:

    I recommend you to ask about new Delphi XE3 and to support GetSystemTimes (Kernel32.dll) on MSFN Windows 9x member projects “Kext: DIY KernelEx extensions”, too or start a new topic. There are a lot of active members.


  43. IRNatman says:

    Hey KernelEx Team, I just wanted to stop by and thank you for your excellent work! Recently I’ve been playing around with a Windows ME Taulatin P3 system I built and KX has made the whole experience even better!

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  45. Anonymous says:

    What happened to KernelEx development guys?

  46. VaginatoR says:

    Hello, Xeno, man. How are you? Say, can you please advise a good reading resource on the subject of driver reverse-engineering? Speaking of Win98 compatible driver. Afaik, driver is stuck between hardware, windows api and consumer application. Where should I start intercepting, on which level of this sandwich? P.S. I have a java background, but my grades on assembly and clang were quite high back in the college.

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  48. Shella says:

    Your ideas are really wonderful, thanks for sharing this with us. for a long time, I am searching for this for my Minecraft windows edition. But facing some problem which I resolve from, A nice helpful website like you I find. After that, I enjoy your all suggestions hassle-free.

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