Updated: 05/21/2018 by Computer Hope

Windows logoThe can become missing or corrupt in Windows. To resolve this issue, load the file manually by following the instructions below.

  1. Boot the computer to MS-DOS.
  2. At the MS-DOS prompt, type the following commands.
cd\windows <press Enter>
dir <press Enter>

Entering these commands should list the file. If you receive an error message "File not found," skip to the next section. If, however, the file is listed, ensure that the file matches the below size according to your operating system.

Windows 98 = 24,791 bytes
Windows 95 OSR2 = 24,503 bytes
Windows 95 = 22,679 bytes

If the file size does not match, see the below paragraph for information on how to extract the file and recreate the file.

To create a new, follow the instructions below. These steps will require that you have either the Windows cabinets locally or have access to recover them from the Windows CD-ROM.

  1. The file win.cnf must be extracted from a Windows cabinet file. Below is a listing of where this file is on each of the Windows CD's as well as Windows 95 diskette:
Windows 95 floppy disk #3 of the original Windows 95 CD-ROM of the original Windows 98 CD-ROM of the Windows 98SE CD-ROM
  1. Once the correct diskette or cabinet has been located, use the extract command and extract the win.cnf to the C:\Windows directory.
  2. Once win.cnf has been extracted do the steps below at the MS-DOS prompt.
  3. In the Windows directory where win.cnf and are located, type the following commands.
ren c:\windows\ c:\windows\ <press Enter>
ren c:\windows\win.cnf c:\windows\ <press Enter>

The computer has a computer virus

If the above solution does not resolve your issue, the computer may have a computer virus. To resolve this issue, we recommend that you erase the computer and reinstall Windows.