America Online AOL Command Hangs with MS-DOS 5 and later (74930)

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 Q74930


If you log on to America Online and type AOL to load the service's terminal program, your system may stop responding (hang) or it may display the following error message and then return you to the MS-DOS command prompt:

System error - bad handle passed to system


This problem occurs because AOL.BAT loads a program called GEOS.EXE, which checks the version of MS-DOS on your machine. GEOS.EXE does not recognize MS-DOS version 5.0 or later.


To correct this problem, you can use the MS-DOS 5.0 or later SETVER command to change the version number that MS-DOS reports to GEOS.EXE. To change the version number, type the following at the command prompt:

setver c:\dos geos.exe 4.00

After typing the above command, restart your system to make the new SETVER active. MS-DOS now reports version 4.0 to GEOS.EXE when it requests the MS-DOS version number. When AOL is executed, GEOS.EXE loads and functions correctly.

The products included here 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: 5/12/2003
Keywords: KB74930