Error Message: Bad or Missing Command Interpreter

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Article ID: 120822 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q120822
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SYMPTOMS

When you restart your computer, you may receive the following error message:
Bad or missing Command Interpreter
Enter name of Command Interpreter (for example, C:\Windows\Command.com)

CAUSE

This error message can occur when the Windows 95 or the MS-DOS command interpreter (COMMAND.COM) is missing or has become corrupted.

The Windows 95 COMMAND.COM file is renamed COMMAND.W40 when the system is booted to a previous version of MS-DOS. If this file is corrupted or missing, the above error message appears when you start Windows 95 normally.

The MS-DOS COMMAND.COM file is renamed COMMAND.DOS when the system is booted into Windows 95. If this file is corrupted or missing, the above error message appears when you bypass the normal Windows 95 startup by pressing either the F4 or the F8 key at the Starting Windows message.

Note that the Junkie virus is known to infect the COMMAND.COM and WIN.COM files. When the COMMAND.COM file is infected, its file size increases to 93,187 or 93,907 bytes.

RESOLUTION

To restore the Windows 95 operating system and make the disk bootable, follow these steps:
  1. Start your computer with the Startup Disk created during Setup.
  2. Make a backup copy of the current MSDOS.SYS file by typing the following lines at the command prompt:
    c:
    cd\windows\command
    attrib c:\msdos.sys -r -s -h
    ren c:\msdos.sys msdos.xxx
  3. Use the SYS command from the Startup Disk to transfer the system files to the hard disk by typing the following lines at the command prompt:
    a:
    sys c:
  4. Replace the new MSDOS.SYS file with the backup copy by typing the following lines at the command prompt:
    c:
    cd\windows\command
    attrib c:\msdos.sys -r -s -h
    del c:\msdos.sys
    ren c:\msdos.xxx msdos.sys
    attrib c:\msdos.sys +r +s +h
  5. Shut down and restart the computer.

Properties

Article ID: 120822 - Last Review: November 15, 2006 - Revision: 1.1
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows 95
Keywords: 
KB120822
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

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