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November 5, 2004

Error message when you install or start an MS-DOS or 16-bit Windows-based program

Article ID : 324767 http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;324767
Last Review : August 17, 2004
Revision : 2.0
This article was previously published under Q324767
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SYMPTOMS

If you try to start or install an MS-DOS-based or a 16-bit Windows-based program on your Windows XP-based computer, you may receive an error message that is similar to one of the following:
16-bit MS-DOS Subsystem
path to the program that you are trying to start or install
C:\Winnt\System32\config.nt The system file is not suitable for running MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows applications. Choose 'Close' to terminate the application.
16-bit MS-DOS Subsystem
path to the program that you are trying to start or install
config.nt The system file is not suitable for running MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows applications. Choose 'Close' to terminate the application.
16-bit MS-DOS Subsystem
path to the program that you are trying to start or install
C:\Windows\System32\Autoexec.nt The system file is not suitable for running MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows applications. Choose 'Close' to terminate the application.
Although you may be prompted to quit the program or ignore the error message, either selection makes the program quit.

CAUSE

This issue may occur if one or more of the following files are missing or damaged:
Config.nt
Autoexec.nt
Command.com

RESOLUTION

To resolve this issue:
1. Insert the CD into the CD drive or DVD drive.
2. Click Start, and then click Run.
3. In the Open box, type cmd, and then click OK.
4. At the command prompt, type the following commands, pressing ENTER after each command:

expand CD-ROM Drive Letter:\i386\config.nt_ c:\windows\system32\config.nt
expand CD-ROM Drive Letter:\i386\autoexec.nt_ c:\windows\system32\autoexec.nt
expand CD-ROM Drive Letter:\i386\command.co_ c:\windows\system32\command.com
exit
5. Start or install the program. If the issue is resolved, do not complete the remaining steps. If the issue is not resolved, go to the next step.
6. Note: The Command.com file is not edited or created in this in the following process. Because of this, you may have to expand it from your Windows XP CD-ROM.

Start Notepad.
7. In Notepad, type the following entries:
   dos=high, umb
device=%SYSTEMROOT%\system32\himem.sys
files=40
8. On the File menu, click Save As.
9. In the File Name box, type Config.nt, and then click Save. Close the Config.nt file.
10. On the File menu, click New.
11. In the new blank document, type the following entries:
@echo off
    lh %SYSTEMROOT%\system32\mscdexnt.exe
    lh %SYSTEMROOT%\system32\redir
    lh %SYSTEMROOT%\system32\dosx
    SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 P330 T3
12. On the File menu, click Save As.
13. In the File Name box, type Autoexec.nt, and then click Save. Close the Autoexec.nt file.
14. Start Windows Explorer. Locate the Config.nt file, right-click the Config.nt file, and then click Copy.
15. Right-click the %SYSTEMROOT%\System32 folder, and then click Paste.
16. Locate the Autoexec.nt file, right-click the Autoexec.nt file, and then click Copy.
17. Right-click the %SYSTEMROOT%\System32 folder, and then click Paste.
18. Locate the Command.com file, right-click the expanded Command.com file, and then click Copy.
19. Right-click the %SYSTEMROOT%\System32 folder, and then click Paste. Restart your computer.

MORE INFORMATION

For additional information about MS-DOS-based programs in Windows, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
305521 An error message occurs when you run an MS-DOS or 16-bit Windows program
314106 Troubleshooting MS-DOS-based programs in Windows XP

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Sincerely,

Davis M McCarn
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Email: davism@computer-help.net

Davis M McCarn 2004 All Rights Reserved