OS_VERSION Points to Incorrect COMMAND.COM on Novell (97020)

The information in this article applies to:
    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 Q97020


If you are using MS-DOS 6.0 or 6.2 with a Novell network, you may receive the following error message or your system may stop responding (hang).

Bad or missing Command Interpreter


Because the Novell NET.COM file requires that you use SETVER (set for MS-DOS version 5.0 by default), the OS_VERSION environment variable is set to the current version as follows:
Many Novell system login scripts map the COMSPEC environment variable to the OS_VERSION variable. (This is not an MS-DOS environment variable.) Under this configuration, when MS-DOS needs to find the transient portion of COMMAND.COM, it looks in the V5.00 directory on the network and may lock the computer or generate the error message above.


To temporarily work around this problem, do the following:

    Create a directory for the MS-DOS files called V4.60 on the network.
    Copy the MS-DOS 6.0 files to the V4.60 directory.
    Modify the SETVER.EXE table by typing the following at the MS-DOS command prompt:

    setver netx.com 4.60

    Restart your computer by pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL.
NOTE: This procedure requires that you use a directory name with a version number earlier than 5.0 (4.40, 4.50, and so forth). The actual directory name doesn't matter since NETX depends on the major version number only.


The new Novell shell (version 3.32) is compatible with MS-DOS 6.0. The new shell is available for download from the NOVFILES area on CompuServe in the file DOSUP7.EXE.

NOTE: To make this version work correctly, you must remove the SETVER entry for NETX.EXE, BNETX.EXE, EMSNETX.EXE, or XMSNETX.EXE. For example, type setver netx.exe /d at the MS-DOS command prompt and then press ENTER.

If you are using MS-DOS 6.2 with the Novell 3.32 shell, you still need to use a directory called V6.00 if you want to use %OS_VERSION. This information may change when Novell releases an MS-DOS 6.2-compatible version of its shell.

Modification Type: Major Last Reviewed: 11/19/1999
Keywords: KB97020