SMARTDRV.SYS Reports "Bad or Missing Command Interpreter" (76831)

The information in this article applies to:
    Microsoft MS-DOS operating system 5.0

This article was previously published under Q76831


SMARTDRV.SYS may report "bad or missing command interpreter" and hang during start up if there is a problem in extended memory. The symptoms or possible causes are:
    HIMEM.SYS does not load properly.
    The following line in the CONFIG.SYS:
          device=c:\dos\smartdrv.sys <InitCacheSize>
    could give "bad or missing command interpreter" error message if InitCacheSize is set to some value.


Possible Solutions

    Use a memory diagnostic program to check the memory and replace memory chips if necessary.
    Check with the hardware manufacturer to make sure the motherboard is compatible with HIMEM.SYS. Some motherboards such as GENE II or HAWK from Gateway 2000 are not compatible with HIMEM.SYS.


    Load SMARTDRV.SYS with no cache size at all.
    Load other drivers that take up extended memory first, such as RAMDRIVE.SYS. Because RAMDRIVE.SYS will not use the memory immediately, it should work to use it to block the bad extended memory. SMARTDRV.SYS should be loaded after that.
If the above workarounds or solutions don't work, you may want to use another extended memory manager.

Modification Type: Major Last Reviewed: 12/3/1999
Keywords: KB76831