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When windows tries to run a Windows\system file it says that it cannot be run in dos mode. Why?

Posted on 1999-10-31
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
When I start my computer a dos window pops up and says that the file (mstask.exe) cannot be run in dos mode.
This happens as soon as win98 tries to run any file in the windows\system directory. Why?
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Question by:Gisslen
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15 Comments
 

Expert Comment

by:rdaves
ID: 2173161
I tried running mstask.exe in DOS and had no problem.  This file, I believe, is part of your task scheduler.  The file could be corrupted.  I would suggest trying to reload W98.  You can't hurt anything, but it will take you a while.  Another option to try would be to start MSConfig/startup and to uncheck the scheduler.  I have disabled the task scheduler.  Anything I want done on my computer (such as defrag) I do by directing it to be done.
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Patricia Siu-Lai Ho
ID: 2173212
Gisslen, try to check the task scheduler, what you have put there to run which windows/system file?  List it here.   pslh
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Expert Comment

by:tlik
ID: 2173293
Run SFC.EXE and browse to MSTASK.EXE to restore it.
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Author Comment

by:Gisslen
ID: 2174230
How do you (pslh) mean "check the task scheduler"?
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Patricia Siu-Lai Ho
ID: 2174329
Gisslen, Go to the Start-programs-accessories-system tools-Scheduled Tasks, click to open it. Check if you have some tasks there?
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Author Comment

by:Gisslen
ID: 2174684
Yes, I have. I got four tasks.
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Author Comment

by:Gisslen
ID: 2174687
But it's not mstask.exe who's not working. It's all .exe files in the windows\sytem directory.
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Patricia Siu-Lai Ho
ID: 2174710
Gisslen, one of your scheduled task may be set to run in Dos mode, please list what those four tasks, right click these tasks to see the "RUN" command.

Or please elaborate the problems in details.  
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Author Comment

by:Gisslen
ID: 2174784
They all tasks .txt files

Details:
When I start my computer and the window where I choose profile (I got 4 profiles) pops up, another dos window pops up and says that mstask.exe cannot be run in dos mode.
When I try to fill in a form on the internet, like i'm doing when i'm writing this, a dos window pops up and says that pstores.exe cannot be run in dos mode.
Also when I try to start a game (Championship manager) or when I want to see the configurations for the monitor (where i can change background and so on) the dos windows pops up and says that ddhelp.exe cannot be run in dos mode.

I hope this will be enough for you to tell me what's wrong.
I'm swedish so pls don't answer in to hard english.

Gisslen
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LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:dew_associates
ID: 2174851
Are you starting Windows 98 normally or are you starting windows by typing WIN at the dos prompt?

Is their a boot menu that comes up when you start you computer?
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Author Comment

by:Gisslen
ID: 2174991
I'm starting it normaly.
There's no boot menu.
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Author Comment

by:Gisslen
ID: 2175126
Now I noticed that my Windows/System directory is over 900Mb. That can't be good...
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LVL 25

Accepted Solution

by:
dew_associates earned 150 total points
ID: 2175140
Gisslen, give this a try:

Have your Win98 CD handy.

1. Rebbot the system into the startup menu. You can do this by either holding the CTRL key down during boot or by tapping the F8 key right after the memory post.

2. At the menu, choose Command Prompt Only.

3. Now change directories to \Windows\Command and type SCANREG/FIX<enter>

5. After scanreg has been run, reboot into windows.

6. Now click Start, Run and type in SFC and click OK.

7. Now click the Settings button and choose to search for changed files and deleted files. Replace all files that are noted as corrupt, damaged or outdated. Always replace files with their latest versions, not necessarily the latest date!

8. When done, reboot and test the system.
Dennis
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Author Comment

by:Gisslen
ID: 2175727
I don't have my win98 CD home right now so I have to try that later.
But I was looking through the system directory today and saw that ddhelp.exe was over 300MB and sage.exe was over 800Mb. Strange.
If this can't help you to solve the problem I will reinstall Win98, but thanks for the help anyway.

Gisslen
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LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:dew_associates
ID: 2175753
Gisslen, you do not have to reinstall at this point, just follow the procedures noted above first to check for any damage on the system registry or if there are corrupted files. It sounds as though a few may be corrupt and you may also want to verify that your system does not have any viruses.
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