When you run or install Microsoft Windows, you may encounter the
following problems: corrupted or incomplete installation of Windows,
insufficient memory or file handles, and/or an inability to use
standard and enhanced modes of Windows.
Remove nonessential device drivers such as keyboard buffers,
scanner drivers, printer drivers, and country drivers. If you are
unsure of what a device driver does, do NOT remove it.
Remove FASTOPEN statements and disk caches.
Verify that you have at least 60 FILES, and 20 BUFFERS.
If you are using MS-DOS version 3.3 or later, add a STACKS=0,0 line
to your CONFIG.SYS file. For MS-DOS version 3.2, the line should
read STACKS=9,192. For more information on STACKS, query on the
following words in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
stacks and explanation and config
If you have a SHELL=COMMAND.COM /P /E:256 statement, increase
the number following the E: (the environment space) to 2048.
Verify that the /p switch is used. If you do not have a SHELL
command, you may want to add one, making sure that the path to
COMMAND.COM in the SHELL statement matches the COMSPEC statement.
At the command prompt, type
This command will give you the path to which the location COMSPEC
Modify the AUTOEXEC.BAT file as follows:
Remove any nonessential programs such as TSR programs, print
buffers and APPEND, JOIN, SUBST, PRINT, and GRAPHICS statements.
If you are unsure of what a program does, do NOT remove it.
Remove all duplicate PATH entries so you only have one PATH line
in your AUTOEXEC.BAT file. Modify your PATH statement so it uses
the root, MS-DOS, and Windows directories only.
Verify that you have a valid SET TEMP statement to an existing
directory. For example, SET TEMP=C:\WINDOWS\TEMP.
Additional Troubleshooting Steps
Verify that the File Allocation Table is valid:
At the command prompt, type the following:
Caution: You must Exit Windows BEFORE you type the above command.
CHKDSK will also check the directory structure.
Verify that you are using the proper version of DOS for your
computer. For example, if you are using a COMPAQ computer, you
should be using a version of COMPAQ DOS.
Verify that the path, environment space, and TEMP directory are
valid. At the command prompt, type:
Reinstall Windows after you make the above changes to the CONFIG.SYS
and AUTOEXEC.BAT files.
NOTE: Before you reinstall Windows, switch your computer off, wait a
few seconds, and switch your computer on again and read the new
CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files to verify your changes.
To determine the function of certain drivers when Windows will not
run, create a MS-DOS boot floppy disk containing the following
CONFIG.SYS file and AUTOEXEC.BAT files and boot from the floppy
BUFFERS=20 PROMPT $P$G
DEVICE=C:\HIMEM.SYS SET TEMP=C:\WINDOWS\TEMP
If, after booting, you can access the hard disk properly (CHKDSK
gives the same output as before) try to run Windows.
If CHKDSK gives different output, do NOT run CHKDSK /F in this
state. You may have booted without a driver necessary to access
the hard drive properly. Remove the floppy and reboot from the
For more information on troubleshooting similar Windows problems,
query on the following word in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: