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Type the name of the Command Interpreter


If you ever get the message Type the name of the Command Interpreter while booting to Windows you know your in trouble. Well, actually it may not be so bad, if you know what to do.

Let's first get some basic knownledge before you attempt to fix this. The BIOS is looking for the files needed to load Windows, in this case it is the file Command.com. The required files are Command.com, IO.sys, and Msdos.sys to get Windows started. They reside in the Root of the C Drive. The file Command.com is the language Interpreter at the DOS level. This is the program that creates the MSDOS windows. It performs the functions you request when you type in a command in the MSDOS window. If you insert a boot diskette and boot up with it and you type in Copy A:\Command.com C:\Command.com, Command.com will copy the file A:\Command.com to C:\Command.com. However, if you type
Copy C:\Command.com A:\Command.com you will get an error because the file A:\Command.com is in use ( you are using it) and cannot be overwritten.

Command.com allows you to boot to DOS or a drive and have a prompt from which to work in, such as the A:>

Now that you are armed with this basic information, let's see if we can fix your problem. We know that the computer found a bootable drive, because we are booting to Windows and not a floppy then it found a bootable hard drive. Bootable means that the drive has been marked as active and it has a boot sector marked. Since a bootable drive was found we know that the drive is working and connected to the motherboard. If this was not the case you would get a message something like Insert bootable media.

Since the BIOS has requested the file Command.com and not NTDLR we now know that the boot sector is intact. The computer (BIOS) knows from the boot sector that the operating system is a DOS based operating system such as the Windows 95 platform, or earlier version of DOS, and not a Windows NT Platform ( NT, 2000, 2003, XP). So your doing ok so far.

Since we have a bootable hard drive, and we believe that the boot sector is intact, we now have basically only two other possibilities for getting the message Type the name of the Command Interpreter, a damaged FAT (File Allocation Table) or a deleted or corrupt file.

So let's insert a Windows startup diskette into the A drive. If you do not have an A drive you will need to have a bootable CD with the required files on it. If you made a startup diskette from the same operating system ( version of Windows) and you have Sys.com on the diskette you can type Sys C: at the A:> prompt and sys.com will transfer the required bootup files to the C drive.

If you do not have Sys.com on the diskette you can type
Copy C:\Windows\Command\Sys.com A:\ and the file will be copied to your diskette.

If you do not have a startup diskette, then boot to windows. When you get the error, type the path to Command.com, type C:\Windows\Command.com and press Enter. You now have MSDOS running. If you did not know you also have a copy of this file in the Windows folder.

Hopefully you have Scandisk.exe on your startup diskette. Next, type the word Scandisk.exe C: and press Enter again. Have Scandisk check and repair your C drive for errors. If Scandisk is not on your floppy, you can find it in the Windows\Command folder

The next thing we are going to do is to copy Command.com from our startup floppy to the C drive.
Type: Copy A:\Command.com C:\Command.com and then press Enter. You probably should also copy the IO.sys file on your floppy to C drive, just to ensure that it's there. DO NOT copy the MSDOS.sys file. By the way, the file IO.sys is probably going to be a hidden file so you will need to remove the Attributes. They should be Hidden, System, and Read Only. So you will need to type at the A prompt Attrib -H -S -R IO.sys and then press Enter before copying the file. If you do not have Attrib.exe on you diskette you will need to

Now reboot, hopefully you will not get the error message again. If you do get the message again, you may need to have Fdisk fix the Master Boot Record: from your Windows\Command prompt. You will need to type CD Windows\Command and press Enter. The type : Fdisk /mbr and then press Enter. This only takes less than a second and no message will be displayed.


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