Both you and Marianne gave me good info (I changed the registry to YES per Marianne's link)...and I found most of this already at the MSKB.
The only thing I don't understand is first....the original program I installed and then uninstalled slammed in with no problems. It wasn't until I went to reinstall it this evening that I got the autoexec.nt error about it being a 16-bit program, which I never saw before and assumed it was a 32-bit program to begin with.
When I couldn't find the autoexec.nt file in the System32 folder, I found the download 'fix' mentioned in another forum here in CNET and downloaded it.
When I clicked THAT program to install the fix, a window came up telling me that it was required in order to install 'visual tour' which was another program at the fix site that I didn't get as I only needed the 'fix' instead.
Right after I installed the fix, I tried to install the original program again and got another error about having to reboot and reclaim memory to do so, so I rebooted.
Once I rebooted, I immediately reinstalled the original program and it slammed right in like it did the first time I installed it.........but then after I closed it, I got a small window that flashed for a second that I couldn't see at all. I opened task monitor in order to see if something installed behind my back and saw wowexe (or wowexec.exe) listed at the top of the list, and did an End Task on it.
Then I ran the spyware program, which reported 22 'winupdate' malware crap things that I got rid of, ran my updated antivirus program and came up clean. And started hunting this down after nothing came up in MSCONFIG.
I'm suspecting that wowexec or wowexec came along with the 'fix' for the autoexec.nt issue and I should have just extracted the files from my XP cd instead. I'll know soon enough when I go to open the original program I wanted to reinstall I guess if wowexec comes to the surface again.
Wish I could figure out what happened with the program in the first place though.......I even deleted out the file and went back to the site to download a fresh copy and it didn't matter. It was still telling me that it was a 16-bit program with the .nt error.
I feel like I'm chasing my tail on this one.