Novell Causes "Cannot Load COMMAND.COM" After Upgrading MS-DOS (76803)

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 Q76803


After you upgrade a Novell workstation to a later version of MS-DOS, the following error message may be displayed after you start or exit an application:



To work around this problem, do one of the following:
    Verify that the SHELL statement is present in the CONFIG.SYS file and remove the Novell COMSPEC definition (the COMMAND.COM location) from the personal login script.

    NOTE: You need supervisor privileges to modify the COMSPEC setting in the system login script. -or-

    If COMSPEC is set in the system login script, you can change your personal login script to set COMSPEC to the new COMMAND.COM. For example:



    Copy the COMMAND.COM file from the root directory to the Windows directory. (This is a temporary workaround only and should not be used as a final solution.)


The Novell COMSPEC variable is contained in the network login script and can be defined by a two-line entry similar the following:


In this example, the %MACHINE_TYPE variable is set by the SHELL.CFG file and the %OS_VERSION and %OS variables are set by the Novell Shell (based on the version of MS-DOS used to boot the workstation). A search drive (which is the same as having it in the path) then maps to this directory. If a workstation is booted from an MS-DOS 5.0 workstation, the mapping may look like this:


In this case, using the SET command at the MS-DOS command prompt would result in the following:


The "Cannot Load COMMAND.COM" error message occurs when you exit an application as control is returned to MS-DOS and the COMMAND.COM file cannot be located.

To correct the problem, make sure that the CONFIG.SYS file contains the following line

shell=<drive>\<dir>\ <drive>\<dir>\ /p

where <drive> is the drive that contains the MS-DOS directory and files or the drive that contains COMMAND.COM and <dir> is the appropriate MS-DOS directory that contains COMMAND.COM.

Remove the three COMSPEC-related entries from the login script, reboot the computer, and log back on to the network. For the procedure to modify the Novell login script, consult your Novell documentation, the network administrator, or Novell Technical Support.

The products included here are manufactured by Novell, Inc., a vendor 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: KB76803