Cannot Start a Command Prompt or Restart in MS-DOS Mode

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Article ID: 195176 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

When you try to start a command prompt in Windows, or restart your computer in MS-DOS mode, or start an MS-DOS-based program, you may receive one or more of the following error messages:

  • Windows cannot find MS-DOS Prompt.pif. This program is needed for opening files of type "Shortcut to MS-DOS Program".
  • The object that "C:\WINDOWS\Desktop\MS-DOS Prompt.pif" refers to has been moved or is inaccessible
  • Windows cannot find Command.com. This program is needed for opening files of type "MS-DOS Application".
  • Windows cannot find Exit.exe. This program is needed for opening files of type "Shortcut to MS-DOS Program".
  • C:\WINDOWS\Exit To Dos.pif Access to the specified device, path, or file is denied.

CAUSE

This behavior can occur if either the Vgafull.3gr file or the Winoa386.mod file in the Windows\System folder are missing or damaged.

RESOLUTION

To resolve this issue, use the appropriate method:

Damaged Winoa386.mod File

Rename the Winoa386.mod file, and then extract a new copy of the file to the Windows\System folder:

  1. Extract the Winoa386.new file from your original Windows media to the Windows\System folder.

    For information about extracting files, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    129605 How to Extract Original Compressed Windows Files
  2. Click Start, point to Find, and then click Files Or Folders.
  3. In the Named box, type Winoa386.mod (without quotation marks), and then click Find Now.
  4. Right-click the Winoa386.mod file, click Rename, type Winoa386.old (without quotation marks), and then press Enter.
  5. In the Named box, type Winoa386.new (without quotation marks), and then click Find Now.
  6. Right-click the Winoa386.new file, click Rename, type Winoa386.mod (without quotation marks), and then press Enter
  7. Restart your computer.

Damaged Vgafull.3gr File

Rename the Vgafull.3gr file, and then extract a new copy of the file to the Windows\System folder:

  1. Click Start, point to Find, and then click Files Or Folders.
  2. In the Named box, type "vgafull.3gr" (without quotation marks), and then click Find Now.
  3. Right-click the Vgafull.3gr file, click Rename, type "vgafull.old" (without quotation marks), and then press ENTER.
  4. Extract a new copy of the Vgafull.3gr file from your original Windows media to the Windows\System folder. For information about using the Extract tool, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    ARTICLE-ID: 129605
    TITLE : How to Extract Original Compressed Windows Files

  5. Restart your computer.

Properties

Article ID: 195176 - Last Review: January 23, 2007 - Revision: 1.2
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 95
Keywords: 
kbenv kberrmsg kbprb kbui KB195176

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