FORMAT /S and SYS Copy Invalid System File with 4DOS or NDOS (111531)

The information in this article applies to:
    Microsoft MS-DOS operating system 5.0
    Microsoft MS-DOS operating system 5.0a
    Microsoft MS-DOS operating system 6.0
    Microsoft MS-DOS operating system 6.2
    Microsoft MS-DOS operating system 6.21
    Microsoft MS-DOS operating system 6.22

This article was previously published under Q111531


After you use the MS-DOS FORMAT /S or SYS command to create a system disk, you receive the following error message when you try to use that disk to start your system:

Bad or Missing Command Interpreter
Enter correct name of Command Interpreter (e.g., C:\COMMAND.COM)


This error occurs if JP Software's 4DOS.COM, Symantec's NDOS.COM, or another third-party replacement for MS-DOS COMMAND.COM was loaded as the command interpreter at the time you created the system disk. The FORMAT /S and SYS commands copy the file currently specified in the COMSPEC environment (for example, NDOS.COM or 4DOS.COM) to the system disk being created as "COMMAND.COM."


To correct this problem, replace the third-party shell, NDOS.COM or 4DOS.COM, with MS-DOS COMMAND.COM, then transfer the system files to the disk again using the MS-DOS FORMAT /S or SYS command.


The products NDOS and 4DOS are manufactured by vendors independent of Microsoft; we make no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding these products' performance or reliability.

Modification Type: Major Last Reviewed: 5/6/2003
Keywords: KB111531