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COMMAND.COM is missing or corrupted

Posted By : Chris of Scottsdale Community College on November 25, 2002

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I tried to go back to the factory default settings to get the color back right.( I went to display in control panel but all the tabs that originally showed up weren't there any more.) When I rebooted, I got an explorer pop up box saying"this program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down". Explorer won't start at all now, even in safe mode. I then tried to start from the start up disk I made but I get the message "COMMAND.COM is missing or corrupted type command interpeter". I don't know what that is. I'm not familar with DOS. Please help!


This question was answered on November 25, 2002. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.


Your problem: When booting the computer, the error message "Missing command interpreter" appears.

This resolution also applies to the error message "Invalid boot disk error"

Some Additional Information for this issue:

This error message is caused by any of the following possibilities:

1 Non bootable CD or diskette in drive

2 Boot option setup improperly

3 The, msdos.sys, io.sys or drvspace.bin is missing or corrupted

4 Bad hard drive

Solution For:

-Non bootable CD or diskette in drive.

It is possible that the computer may be attempting to boot from a device other then your hard drive Verify that no floppy diskette or CD is in the computer.

-Boot option setup improperly.

Verify that within CMOS the boot options are setup properly We recommend that the boot options be similar to:


Hard Drive



-The, msdos.sys, io.sys or drvspace.bin is missing or corrupted.

Use a bootable floppy diskette with on it The fist MS-DOS diskette, Windows 95, or Windows 98 diskette will also work.

Boot from the floppy diskette and get to a A:\> prompt

Once at the prompt type sys c: and press enter

This should give you the message system transferred Once the system has been transferred remove the floppy diskette and reboot the computer

This issue can only be resolved with a bootable diskette If you do not have a bootable diskette refer to our boot diskette page for information on how to create one.

boot diskette Information about computer bootable diskettes and how to create them

sys Information about the sys command

Bad hard drive

It is possible that the hard drive may be going or already is bad If after following the above steps you are still receiving errors about the command interpreter or the missing or being bad we recommend that you follow the below instructions.

Boot the computer with a bootable floppy diskette

At the prompt type fdisk /mbr and press enter

This will return to a prompt with no message

Once back at the prompt attempt to reboot the computer

If the same issue occurs, I recommend that you delete and recreate the partition and reinstall the operating system back onto the computer.

About the author

Posted by Chris of Scottsdale Community College on November 25, 2002

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