Err Msg: Cannot Load COMMAND, System Halted (with Novell) (77322)

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 Q77322


When you quit an application or log off a Novell network, you see the following message:

Cannot load COMMAND, system halted


Some versions of the Novell login program prevent the resident part of COMMAND.COM from reloading the transient part, if the SHELL command refers to a copy of COMMAND.COM in the DOS directory. MS-DOS then displays the "Cannot load COMMAND, system halted" message.


You can correct this problem by obtaining an updated version of the Novell login program from Novell. Or, you can do the following:

    Use a text editor, such as MS-DOS Editor, to open your CONFIG.SYS file. If you want to use MS-DOS Editor, type the following command:

    edit c:\config.sys

    Find the command line that begins with the word "shell."
    Make sure the SHELL command refers to C:\COMMAND.COM rather than C:\DOS\COMMAND.COM. For example, suppose your SHELL command looks like the following:
           shell=c:\dos\ /p /e:512
    Modify the command (by deleting "\dos"), so it looks like the following:
           shell=c:\ /p /e:512

    Save your CONFIG.SYS file. If you're using MS-DOS Editor, choose Save from the File menu. When MS-DOS Editor displays a dialog box prompting you to save your file, choose Yes or press ENTER.
    Use the text editor to open your AUTOEXEC.BAT file.
    Look for a command line that begins with "set comspec=." If you find this command, delete it.
    Save your AUTOEXEC.BAT file and quit your text editor.
    Make sure there is a copy of the COMMAND.COM file in your root directory. To do this, type the following command:

    dir c:\

    If MS-DOS displays the "File not found" message, there is no COMMAND.COM file in your root directory.
    If there is no COMMAND.COM in your root directory, copy the file from your DOS directory. If your MS-DOS files are in the C:\DOS directory, type the following command:

    copy c:\dos\ c:\

    Restart your computer by pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL.


For more information about COMMAND.COM (the COMMAND command) and the SHELL command, see Chapter 14 of the "User's Guide and Reference."

Modification Type: Major Last Reviewed: 5/12/2003
Keywords: KB77322