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Receiving error "Missing command interpreter."

Windows command line (DOS)A command interpreter is part of a computer that handles each of the commands on the computer and if this file on the bootable device you will encounter this error. Below are some of the most common causes for this error.

Non bootable CD or diskette in drive

Verify that no floppy diskette, CD, or DVD, is in the drive and that no USB drive is connected to the computer. When connected or inserted the computer may try booting from it instead of the hard drive.

Boot option setup improperly

Verify that the boot options are setup properly within CMOS. We recommend that the boot options be similar to the example shown below.

  1. Floppy
  2. Hard Drive
  3. CD-ROM
  4. Network

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

Use a bootable floppy diskette with sys.com on it. The first MS-DOS diskette, Windows 95, or Windows 98 diskette also works.

  1. Boot from the floppy diskette and get to a A:\> prompt.
  2. Once at the prompt type sys c: and press enter
  3. 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. See the boot disk page for further information about creating a boot disk.

Bad hard drive

Finally, 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 command.com being missing or bad, we recommend that you follow the instructions below.

  1. Boot the computer with a bootable floppy diskette.
  2. At the prompt type fdisk /mbr and press enter.
  3. This returns to a prompt with no message.
  4. Once back at the prompt, reboot the computer.
  5. If the same issue occurs we recommend that you delete and recreate the partition, and reinstall the operating system back onto the computer.

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