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VxD refers to a virtual device driver for the Microsoft Windows operating system . "VxD" stands for "virtual x driver", whereby the "x" in the abbreviation should originally stand for a hardware component, "d" stands for display , ie display devices. "c" would have stood for communication , "p" for printer and "n" for network . A file with the extension "VPD" would therefore be a virtual printer driver. Since the "x" in the abbreviation has often not been replaced by another letter, you will usually only find files with the extension ".VXD". The drivers have the file extension .386 under Windows 3.x and .vxd under Windows 95. It should be noted that the .386 files can also be used under Windows 95, but not vice versa. This virtual device driver controls the system resources such as hardware components (printer, internal controller , plug-in cards, etc.) or installed software (e.g. the anti-virus program AntiVir ). This means that multiple applications can access the same resource. With the introduction of the Windows Driver Model with Windows 98, the VxDs became superfluous, but they could still be used up to Windows ME. Windows NT and systems derived from it no longer support VxDs.

The VxDs should not be confused with the NTVDM- specific "VDD" (Virtual Device Drivers).


  • H. Gumm, M. Sommer: Introduction to Computer Science . Oldenbourg, Munich, Vienna 2006. ISBN 978-3-486-58115-7 .