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Microsoft KB Archive/101752

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Knowledge Base

PC Ext: Dispatch Cannot Spawn Batch File Without COMMAND.COM

Article ID: 101752

Article Last Modified on 10/30/2006


  • Microsoft Mail for PC Networks 3.2

This article was previously published under Q101752


When the Dispatch program specifies a batch file with multiple executables as the idle process and COMMAND.COM cannot be found, only the first executable is performed; the others are ignored.


The Dispatch program searches for COMMAND.COM after completing the first executable. The program returns to Dispatch from the idle process when it fails to locate COMMAND.COM. This can be seen when running Dispatch > ERROR.TXT; the ERROR.TXT file records the error:

Cannot start COMMAND, exiting

On a fast computer, Dispatch can overwrite this error, thus overwriting the need to record it in a text file.

This problem occurs only for certain versions of MS-DOS. The following table shows which versions cause Dispatch to fail to spawn the second batch file executable:

   Dispatch version     MS-DOS version        Result

     3.0                3.3, 5.0, 6.0      Success in all cases
     3.2                3.3, 6.0           Success if COMMAND.COM
                                             is in the current
                                             directory of focus
     3.2                5.0                Failure


Ensure that a copy of the current version of COMMAND.COM is available in the directory from which dispatch is executed. Also check your version of MS-DOS against the above table.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in version 3.2 of Microsoft Mail for PC Networks. We are researching this problem and will post new information here in the Microsoft Knowledge Base as it becomes available.

Additional query words: 3.20 schdist

Keywords: KB101752