MS-DOS Shell Error Message: Unable to Load COMMAND.COM (73316)

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

This article was previously published under Q73316


You may get the following error message when trying to run an application from MS-DOS Shell:

Unable to load COMMAND.COM or DOSSWAP.EXE.


Your DOSSHELL.INI may be corrupt.


To correct this problem, the DOSSHELL.INI file must be expanded from the Microsoft MS-DOS 5 or 6 Upgrade disks. There are different DOSSHELL.INI files for various video systems. Because there is no compressed .INI file for VGA video systems, the EGA.IN_ must be expanded for VGA video systems. The names of the compressed INI files are as follows:
   MONO.IN_     2990     04-09-91     5:00a
   CGA.IN_      3330     04-09-91     5:00a
   EGA.IN_      3333     04-09-91     5:00a
For MS-DOS 5, these files can be found on Disk 3 (5.25-inch disk set) or Disk 2 (3.5-inch set).

For MS-DOS 6, these files are on Disk 1 (both disk sets).

The following command is an example of how to expand the EGA MS-DOS Shell .INI file to the \DOS directory on drive C. Type the following from the drive that contains the MS-DOS 5.0 upgrade disk:



For more information on installing DOSSHELL.INI files, see pages 44-46 of the version 5.0 "Microsoft MS-DOS Getting Started" manual. For version 6.0, refer to page 195 of the "Microsoft MS-DOS User's Guide" and to online help.

For more information on MS-DOS Shell, query on the following words:

MS-DOS and DOSSHELL and <version number>

where <version number> is the version of MS-DOS that you are using.

Modification Type: Major Last Reviewed: 10/14/2003
Keywords: KB73316