Clean Boot Hangs Computer with a Corrupted COMMAND.COM File (97452)

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 Q97452


Pressing the F5 key when the text "Starting MS-DOS..." appears bypasses both the CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files and passes control directly to the COMMAND.COM file in your root directory. If this copy of COMMAND.COM is either compressed or corrupted, your system stops responding (hangs). A blinking cursor remains on the screen, but no error messages are displayed.


To correct this problem, restart your system with a bootable floppy disk and copy COMMAND.COM to the root directory of your hard disk.


Your computer will restart normally if the following line
   shell=c:\dos\ c:\dos\ /p
is in your CONFIG.SYS file because the CONFIG.SYS file is processed before MS-DOS passes control of the system to COMMAND.COM to process the AUTOEXEC.BAT file. Since use of the F5 key prevents MS-DOS from redirecting access to the COMMAND.COM file in the DOS directory (or the directory specified in the SHELL= command), MS-DOS uses the COMMAND.COM file in the root directory by default.

Modification Type: Major Last Reviewed: 11/19/1999
Keywords: KB97452