Error Message: Cannot Find Win386.exe Needed to Run...

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Article ID: 153044 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q153044
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If this article does not describe the error message that you are receiving, view the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article to view more articles that describe error messages:
315854 Windows 98 and Windows Me Error Message Resource Center
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When you start Windows, you may receive one of the following error messages:
  • Cannot find Win386.exe needed to run in 386 enhanced mode; check to ensure the path is correct or reinstall Windows.
  • You have started your computer with a version of MS-DOS incompatible with this version of Windows. Insert a Startup diskette matching this version of Windows and then restart. The system has been halted. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart you computer.
  • An error has occurred. To Continue:

    Press Enter to return to Windows.
  • Windows protection error. You need to restart your computer.


This behavior can occur if a file from an earlier version of Windows exists in the root folder.


To resolve this issue, remove or rename the file in the root folder, and then restart your computer. If you have an earlier version of Windows installed on your computer and there is no file in the folder for that version of Windows, move the file from the root folder to the folder containing the earlier version of Windows.


Article ID: 153044 - Last Review: October 25, 2013 - Revision: 2.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Windows 95
kbnosurvey kbarchive kbenv kberrmsg kbprb kbwinprotecterr KB153044

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