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Error Message: Bad or Missing Command Interpreter

This article was previously published under Q120822
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.
SYMPTOMS
When you restart your computer, you may receive the following errormessage:
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 commandinterpreter (COMMAND.COM) is missing or has become corrupted.

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

The MS-DOS COMMAND.COM file is renamed COMMAND.DOS when the system isbooted into Windows 95. If this file is corrupted or missing, the aboveerror message appears when you bypass the normal Windows 95 startup bypressing 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.COMfiles. When the COMMAND.COM file is infected, its file size increases to93,187 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.
err msg
Properties

Article ID: 120822 - Last Review: 11/15/2006 17:09:57 - Revision: 1.1

  • Microsoft Windows 95
  • KB120822
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